Friday 6 September 2019
06.09.2019 - 06.09.2019 25 °C
Breakfast was at ? We opted to get the bus to Batumi rather than marshrutka. The bus stop for the 16 and 17 went from outside our door. We’d discovered that the travel card that we got in Tbilisi could also be used for local buses in Adjara region. It cost pennies to travel this way for a 15-20 minute journey, depending on traffic. Getting the bus at around 11am meant that it was a lot emptier and we could actually get seats. The bus tends to stop at every bus stop so that, by the time we got to Batumi, the bus was pretty full.
There are some extraordinarily tall buildings in Batumi, the shiny modern towers alongside the old soviet blocks - quite incongruous. At first sight Batumi is quite an ugly place but once we got off the bus nearer the old town, the buildings were more historic, low level and attractive. Also, there are lots of small parks and squares dotted around that makes the place more scenic. We found a statue of Jason of Argonauts fame which was puzzling until we read that the land of Colchis where he sought the Golden Fleece is supposedly in western Georgia. His ship, the Argo, is commemorated by Argo beer that is brewed in Tbilisi and who seem to sponsor the cable car that’s close to the harbour.
There is quite a lot to see in Batumi but we just needed to find out about the marshrutka to Kutaisi and trains from there to Tbilisi. There are nine Tourist Information centres in Batumi - the one we went to was under the cable car. The people there are very helpful and speak really good English. We got the information we needed, had a coffee and headed back to the relative peace and quiet of Kvariati. Finding the bus stop was a bit of a challenge but we managed to find the stop after chatting to a guy whose only English seemed to be Theresa May & Boris Johnson. He could also do a great impersonation of old pifflepaffle Johnson.
The bus back was crowded and the old woman sitting next to me was very vociferous - shouting out loudly to whoever would listen. As ever we had no idea what it was about although Nick was convinced it was about me! We had some time on the beach but the sea was very rough and threatening black clouds started to come over. We saw an extraordinary sight of thousands of birds streaming across the sky heading north to south as if they were getting away from the storm. It wasn’t like a starling murmuration - it was similar to seeing bird migration. There’s a bird watching Festival in Batumi -the ornithologists would have enjoyed this.
Last meal was at Oqtopus but our appetites were starting to diminish so we didn’t manage to get through all the food. The portions are so big. I much prefer small plates with more variety but that isn’t the Georgian way! We said our goodbyes to the waitress who had served us each time we came to the restaurant - she was very sad to see us go - we ended up having a group hug before we left.
There was a big storm in the night with heavy rain. Luckily, this time the electricity wasn’t knocked out like it was at Borjomi.