Georgia (Part 2)

October 26th: We took a share taxi (us and six other passengers in a minivan) up to Tbilisi and settled back in to the Green House Hostel.

October 27th: We spent the day walking around Tbilisi and taking it easy. We bused to the train station and bought tickets for the that evening’s overnight train for Zugdidi. We stopped for lunch at Fabrika, a funky looking hotel/shopping/eating area with the same owners as the Rooms Hotel in Kazbegi. We had DELICIOUS burgers from Pipes Burger Joint (in Fabrika).

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Outside Fabrika
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Stressful life for a cat in the Fabrika courtyard.

Back at the Green House Hostel, Maia and Alex had the fire going so we read by the fireplace until it was time to catch our train.

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Nice compartment! You’re looking at a boy who likes trains.

We were disappointed to learn they don’t provide bedding, but we settled in and got a couple hours of sleep.

October 28th: The train arrived in Zugdidi at 6am. Marshrutas were waiting to fill up and head north to Mestia. It didn’t take long to fill up and we were on our way!

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We got to watch the sunrise as we drove up. This was the view from our last smoke break. We were very excited to see snow covered mountains! (To be clear, we don’t smoke, but most people here do.)

We checked in to our Air BnB and were so happy with the view looking out at the river, towers, and mountains.

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The view from the kitchen/sitting area.

After checking in, we went out to find food and explore.

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This dog was just so majestic.

The area of Svaneti is famous for many things, including the towers found throughout the region. A combination of rough geography, spread out population, and blood feuds meant that each household had their own tower. The towers were used as a place of safe refuge during attacks, of which there were many.

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The towers near Lanchvali Cafe, where we had the best lobio with freshly baked bread. It was one of the best meals yet.
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The mountains are cold.

October 29th: We hiked up to the giant cross 900m above Mestia. We had a choice of two routes: a gentler grade walking up a switch-back road or a steep grind up the hill-face. We chose the latter. From the cross, we continued towards Koruldi Lakes but didn’t reach them. We decided the views were good from where we stopped and that our knees were tired 🙂

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Snacks at the viewpoint.

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Walking towards the lakes.

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We took the road down and saw lots of cows. I loved this guy’s hair.

We went back for more lobio from Lanchvali Cafe 🙂

October 30th: Our legs were sore! So we took it easy. We read, strolled, sat, ate, etc. It was a beautiful day.

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We walked out to the airport to see the dam development. This link is an interesting read on Georgia’s dam developments. There were many many garbage piles lining the river. It seemed deliberately piled there, we’re just not sure why.
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Our lunch break was made that much cuter. (Yes, that’s more lobio.)

October 31st: We spent the day traveling, via marshrutkas, to Batumi. In total, we waited about 2 hours for our buses to fill up. The Air BnB we rented was perfect; it was close to the beach, had a comfortable couch and chairs to sit on, and a washing machine!

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Buildings along the waterfront near our apartment.

November 1st to 4th: Batumi is a very easy city to relax in. Accommodation and food are both cheap, which makes it less stressful when it comes to making decisions. The waterfront walking area stretches for 6km and is a really nice stroll. There are lots of interesting buildings to look at, including a few where you wonder about building codes and workers safety. We spent this time walking and relaxing and doing laundry 🙂

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“Flip-flops on Eggs”
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That’s one childhood dream come true.
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Evropas Moedani (Europe Square)
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Ali and Nino – a moving statue. The figures move in circles and pass through each other without touching every 20 minutes.

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The Batumi Tower has a Ferris wheel on it!

 

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We really enjoyed our time in Batumi. Next up, Turkey!

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