06.05.15 – 07.05.15
On Wednesday morning we left the mountain village of Mestia to travel to Batumi, grateful that any danger from Svenati bandits mentioned in our guidebook was finished around 2003 (mental note to always buy an up-to-date guide book!)
Imagine a day which starts with a morning spent in the Swiss Alps, travels through the Netherlands in the afternoon, and ends in Madiera in the evening, and you will have a fair picture of our journey.
Early evening found us having a pleasant walk through the Batumi botanic gardens, a little disappointed to be too early in the year for the avenue of Magnolia Grandiflora to be enveloping us in their lemony scent.
Batumi has an interesting mix of traditional squares with columns and fountains, and wild, modern architecture, including a wedding house which is not unlike Captain Nemo’s Nautillus! We wished we had longer to explore it. We had our evening meal in a restaurant which looked like a galleon, then walked back to our rather plush hotel via the dancing fountains, having a go at a bit of Greek dancing en route. No suprises there!
Thursday morning saw us once more donning our wedding gear for our blessing on a boat, following again in the footsteps of Brian’s grandparents. I think I had expected more QEII than Norfolk Broads day cruiser, but never mind! The weather was perfectly calm as we cruised out of the harbour, seeing the strange sillhouettes of the various towers fade into the distance. The ceremony was performed with the Botanic Gardens as a backdrop, and we managed to get through our third bottle of champagne of the trip without too much bother!
The rest of the day has been spent driving back to Tbilisi for the night. We had a great view of a demonstration by aviation students and fireworks from our balcony.
With weddings 1 and 2 complete, and our 3rd scheduled for 16.05.15, we are signing off our last blog of the trip, ready for our 4am pick-up to take us to the airport.
Thank you to Irakli, GeorgiCa Travel and Steppes Travel for making this trip possible. It has opened our eyes to a different part of the world which is at once familiar but different, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to experience so many different aspects of Georgia. We will also be taking much more interest in the politics of Georgia and its neighbours.
Brian and Norma Arthur
didi madloba da ghami (thank you and goodnight)