You can listen to the Georgia Batumi Trip here
It is a content in which we try to explain the problems, memories and experiences we experienced during the Georgia Batumi journey through writings, videos and photographs.
In my 20s, when I turned 30, I used to think that there would be serious differences in my point of view on life. Adults over 30 that I know always said that there were serious changes in their point of view on life at this age.
It was like a self-fulfilling prophecy. After the age of 30, people relax a little. The stupidity ends even if you don’t want it, and you suddenly discover that you have hobbies that you hadn’t noticed before.
It’s not like chasing any scraps of talent that we couldn’t deal with in our 20s. We already have hobbies and interests. For example, I love literature, video games, writing and producing content. We do not give up on them, on the contrary, we deepen them, but new things are added on top of them.
I started to enjoy traveling after the age of 30. Maybe with the motivation of producing content, maybe with the happiness of being able to travel to the places I want. I started to enjoy traveling seriously.
When I look at the travelers struggling with trips full of problems I watch on Youtube and say that they are crazy. Although it made me nervous to experience similar things, it began to fascinate me with his happiness after it happened.
The trip to Georgia took its place in my memory as one of these difficult journeys. Lüks Karadeniz has a long bus line from Isparta to Tbilisi. We joined this bus from Espiye district of Giresun at 4 am to go to Batumi.
Getting excited about every passing bus, wondering if this is it we finally got on the bus we were going to get on.
We were at the Sarp Border Gate at around 09:00.
You come out of a tunnel and all of a sudden you come across the border gate. Sarp Border Gate is one of the most interesting border gates I have ever seen. It has a strange structure, like a bus terminal, like a closed corridor. I think it is due to geographical conditions. You get your international exit stamp and you come to the exit. Here, the officials do not bother to put the order in line, as in Kapıkule, for example. It is regrettable to say that people try to take someone’s place by arguing with each other and pushing.
In the meantime, we will come by car, there will be no queue for us, but do not think that we will pass slowly with air conditioning. They allow only the driver to pass by the car. Other passengers also get up and line up and cross on foot.
After waiting for a long time, we passed through the border gate.
Our bus was waiting for us at the exit.
We exchanged our liras at the border and bought Lari, despite the fact that we had read beforehand that we should not have done it, just as we were in the mood when he came out of the queue.
Lira/Lari parity at the border goes up to 0.080 and in the center of Batumi it goes up to 0.096. We don’t understand what a strange difference this is. Therefore, our 30-35 Lari, which we could have a lunch with, disappeared. It was also more advantageous to exchange Euros or Dollars. I think there are very interesting arbitrage opportunities in Batumi.
Have it in mind.
Batumi, 20-30 minutes from the border. There are actually many taxis and minibuses that you can go to Batumi here. We continued with our own bus.
Midway. Got a message from Whatsapp. While we were thinking that we had arranged a hotel where we would pay with our credit card, which has a reception, and enter our room, we realized that we were renting an apartment from a person you know. Orbi company built the hotel. Sold some rooms. The owners of these rooms also rent their rooms to future people under the guarantee of Orbi. However, the process works strangely. Orbi does not take the payment. You send the money in cash from the ATM at the entrance to the man’s account. The man takes a photo of your passport or ID and enters it into the system. You go and say this to the reception and you get the card that will allow you to enter the room. It took a lot of our time and energy to find the right blog where we have our room and to understand the process with our sleepless, restless and nervous state.
Our room was on the 42nd (fORTY tWOST) floor. I’ve never stayed on the 42nd floor before in my life. I think it’s insanity. There is no point in people living in skyscrapers. It looked like catastrophic science fiction. There were 6 elevators running all the time and people getting on and off from the middle floors, getting on from the top and getting off three floors later. These made me feel like I was navigating around different quarters of a spaceship. We didn’t wait too long for the elevator, but considering that the only other option was the fire escape and 42 floors had to go up and down, we couldn’t criticize it too much. But let’s say the view from the room was not bad at all.
Batumi is an incredibly noisy city. Especially on the sides of the new boulevard we couldn’t hear thunder.. When we searched before, they told us that many shopkeepers knew Turkish, but we saw that it was not like that. Few speak English. Turkish was almost non-existent.
Indeed, many cars in Batumi do not have bumpers. They said they didn’t care and didn’t get it done because the car was cheap, but this justification didn’t make sense to me. When I researched, I learned that since second-hand cars are sold at very affordable prices in Batumi, people buy cars and sell the car parts in Trabzon, Artvin, Rize and bring the car more affordable. I’ve seen a lot of bumperless vehicles in traffic. It is also interesting that although the traffic flows from the left as in our country Turkey, the steering wheels in Batumi can be both on the right and on the left. They didn’t make any arrangements for it. Also, I think that they drive cars very badly and dangerously, maybe because the price is affordable.
There are also modern means of transportation in the traffic. Electric I guess.
These vehicles have the EU logo on the sides. You know, Georgia turned its face completely to the west after the Rose Revolution, especially after 2004. They even had a conflict with Russia in 2008 for this reason. The best part of the EU is that even if you are not a member, the effort you make to fulfill its criteria also increases your welfare. You can also invest in many things with funds from the EU.
Batumi is part of the Georgian Autonomous Republic of Adjara. Especially the last century of Georgia is quite complicated. I. The relations with Turkey and the Soviets during the World War II changed the political situation of the country considerably, but the political reason why Batumi is affiliated to the Autonomous Republic of Adjara today is the Treaty of Kars signed with Turkey in 1921. Although, after 2004, even the head of the council of ministers of Adjara Autonomous Republic began to be determined by the Georgian president, but Adjara’s position is still officially autonomous.
According to the human development index report published in 2022, the country ranks 63rd. It should be noted that Turkey is ranked 48th in the same report. The minimum wage in Georgia in 2023 is 750 Laris. Considering that the price of Khachapuri, which is similar to our cheese pita we ate in Batumi, is 16 Lari, we cannot say that the welfare level of people is very high. Prices in the markets are relatively more affordable, but the minimum wage of 750 Lari is still low. Although, I could not obtain any information on how many of the people earn minimum wage. We do not know how many of them are officially insured or not, but when we think about the minimum wage, the level of welfare did not seem very high to me.
Although the human development index, which includes variables such as life expectancy, education, literacy rate, security, and economy, provides important data on countries, human experience reveals a completely different perspective. It is not possible to understand and explain every country with statistics from the table. It is also very important how and how much a country shares its income, which is seen as just numbers, with the right and how it looks from the outside.
Georgia, in particular Batumi, has a half-American, half-European look with its high-rise skyscrapers and buildings designed by respected architects. However, this half-American, half-European look combined with the old Soviet-influenced apartments has created a self-consistent style despite being chaotic.
Every building shouts “I’m here”. Normally this is not a positive thing, but it has become the identity of Batumi. Despite the unplanned urbanization, these interesting designs and sculptures similar to those taken from European cities are worth seeing.
We especially liked the Piazza square. This place would be great when there is a concert in the evening. Near this square, St. Nicholas church. During the Ottoman period, it was allowed to be built on the condition that the bells are not rung, but now it is ringing. We saw that such an event was held in Europe Square for those who lost their lives in the Ukraine War.
Almost every hotel in the city accepts pets. People roam freely and comfortably as if they were walking around with their pets and friends. They value the protection of green spaces. Even though there was construction everywhere, they took care to protect the parks and gardens in the middle of the city.
We also saw the Ali – Nino statue, one of the iconic places of the city. Although they say that this statue, which is about the love of a Muslim and a Christian, was born from real folk stories and legends, the truth is not like that. Sculpture designed by Tamer Kvesitadze. It was inspired by a German novel that the sculptor read and was very impressed by. It is a very important sculpture as it shows that a text can create the opportunity to produce a new text and sometimes even go beyond the text that inspired it. Sculptures may intertwine with parts of each other at certain intervals, but they can never become a complete whole.
The city’s symbolic statues and buildings are in similar places. We got on the Ferris wheel. We also saw the ABC tower here, which was built to represent the Georgian alphabet, one of the few alphabet systems in the world.
Adjara State Art Gallery is large enough with a collection of more than 200 paintings and sculptures, and especially the interior of the gallery is really worth seeing. Some paintings and sculptures are truly remarkable. You also encounter Koton at the exit of the art gallery. I was happy to see the shopping areas of Turkish brands such as Koton and Penti in the city.
I will say that it is not a very rich place for food culture. It is possible to find examples from many cuisines of the world and encounter delicious beers. There are even kiosks with fountains selling beer at affordable prices on the street, but apart from Khachapuri, there is no local product close to our taste. Even our salad had a heavy pesto sauce on it, which they said was unique to Georgia. When we asked for mushroom soup, what we got was a cold drink with boiled mushrooms mixed into our tzatziki.
We had lunch in Piazza and dinner at a place called Fanfan.
Batumi welcomed us with sunshine on the first day, but the next day was rainy. We remembered that we were on the Black Sea coast. We spent the rest of our day finding Luxury Karadeniz’s office in the city center, as it was not within the bus terminal. Finally we found our bus and got on.
We were crushed at the border and faced many problems in arranging where we would stay. We were stressed, tired, and hungry, but we still encountered many places that were worth seeing. Neither memories nor experiences can be gained without leaving home and getting tired. Batumi remained in our minds as a place that we were glad we went to, but would never go again unless a close friend insisted. They describe Tbilisi very well, but we don’t know, time and opportunities will always tell.
Until we see you in the next content, take care of yourself.