Batumi Part 2

Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 17:45

We have continued to relax in Batumi the last couple of days, though personally I've struggled slightly due to some kind of stomach bug. Luckily it hasn't held us up completely, and loaded with ibuprofen we did still manage to get out to explore the rest of Batumi city centre yesterday late afternoon and early evening.

The city centre is a mish mash of different architectural styles, though primarily something close to 19th century central European style, a bit like Vienna. Some of these buildings are being restored, which means there are still a lot of run down ones, as well as some of the Soviet era tenements I mentioned in the previous entry. There are also two squares in the centre: one is simply called Batumi Piazza, named in an Italian style because it was built in 2009 to look like a real Venetian piazza. It was quite odd to see Italian architecture in the middle of the city, though the piazza was nice enough, with restaurants and a stage ready for live music later on. The second square is called Europe Square and appropriately features the central European architecture I just mentioned. We stopped for dinner in this latter square, which was bustling with restaurants set up with outdoor seating for the lovely warm evening. In the middle of the square there was a group of Ukrainians singing and waving flags to raise money for medical supplies in Ukraine, and one of the buildings behind them on the square was lit up in blue and yellow to complement the event. There was also a very high quality market with local people selling lovely hand made items such as elaborate and unique looking handbags, clothes, and wooden sculptures.

Today we were in the vicinity of the hotel all day long, and we rented some deckchairs and an umbrella by the Black Sea for a very cheap 15 Lari (£4.50) for the whole day. The beach here is stony and there is quite a steep drop down to the water which creates a few waves on the otherwise very calm Black Sea.

Some general observations about Georgia so far (based purely on Batumi):
- English is much less widely spoken than we had anticipated. Russian is very much the second language.
- Service in the restaurants is slow so expect 90 minutes or more for a sit down meal. They bring food as it is ready rather than in starters and mains even though the menu is divided that way - I remember similar from Moscow so must be a Russian thing. This is quite a contrast to Turkey where service was almost too quick and we could have a full restaurant dinner in about 20 minutes.
- They freely take Euros and Dollars and the exchange houses will change to Georgian Lari at pretty much the interbank rate.
- The Georgian's remind me a lot of Israelis, with a quite blunt but jokey attitude at the same time. There are lots of Israeli tourists in Batumi so I imagine they feel quite familiar here.

Today marked the end of our five night mini-break in Batumi. Well rested (except for my stomach), we are ready to hit the road again tomorrow to explore more of Georgia.

Dog Notes: 

We met two more Russian corgis yesterday evening on our way back from dinner. These were six and eight month old puppies who reminded us how much energy Summer used to have when she was a bit younger. They had a play and a run around, but Summer quickly got tired and sat down panting. When we asked the owner where they were from she sounded rather embarrassed to say Russia - I guess a sign of the times.

Electric Vehicle EV Notes: 

Not much to report on the charging side of things for this entry, but we did finally take the car for a wash yesterday. It was fairly easy to find a hand car wash place in the back streets and the price was only £6 for inside and out. However, the man certainly doing the washing didn't look like the people in the photos he had on the walls behind him at the place (see below).

Miles Driven: 
Hilton Batumi


How upsetting the washers didn't match the photos.

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