Sunday, July 12, 2015

Batumi, completely different

Tbilisi was the farthest east we went during this trip. A nice terminus for us. As we have some more days and our flight back to NL is from Trabzon we travelled back to the Black Sea coast by bus yesterday. A 7-hour trip it was, but the Metro-buses are big and comfortable and there is even a bit catering on board. Our bikes were in the cargo-hold beneath, I only had to take the front wheels out.

We were so surprised when we rode into Batumi town yesterday afternoon. We are used to scruffy streets, paintless ramshackle houses, dirt and dust, but nothing at all of that. The old town is spotless. Clean, everything beautifully restored, romantic streets, a historic centre that can compete with any western-European one. Batumi has been a seaside resort for more then a century and the boulevard area is magnificent. Then there is some beautiful architecture and some, rather silly, skyscrapers. This town is a complete contrast with all the other towns in Georgia we visited. It is the capital of an independent republic within Georgia, we later heard. We saw the parliament building. Maybe this fact, and the revenues of its long history as a seaside resort, result in this totally surprising shining place.

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