Bilderverkauf aller 50 km / Pictures on Sale every 50 km

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We will come back to Georgia!

24th – 26th of November:

In the morning we visit the Stalin museum in Gori. Actually visiting this museum was the only reason to go to Gori, but we met such nice people there that we almost forgot about the museum. It is always like that, we have a main direction and are open for everything what happen. Finally, the monument to visit gives us just a direction. However, before we leave we wanted to see the museum. Unfortunately, the museum shows basically the heroic parts of Stalin’s live. Most interesting is for me the house he was born in. It stands in the a park and as protection they build something like a hall with antique columns over it.

We would like to see more of Georgia, its people and nature. Unfortunately, now it is not really the time for our kind of travel. In the mountains is already snow and the streets are difficult to go. In the lowlands you have rain coming from the Black Sea. We decide to definitely come back to Georgia another time. The street in the South through the mountains sounds nice, but all suggest just to go to Batumi as the road in the mountains are closed because of snow. I am not sure and with the broken spring of the car I am not in the mood for an Off-road adventure. Somewhere in the mountains between Gori and Batumi we find a sleeping place in the mountains. Again people come and invite us to there home to drink some wine and stay there. We have to refuse since we need some rest from the drinking in the last days (:).

(N 42.09221°, E 42.3084°)

When we arrive in Batumi it is already afternoon. We decide to do some shopping and I bring my shoes to a shoemaker for repair. It is to late to cross the border to Turkey that day and anyway I have to pick up my shoes next day. We eat some Katchapuri (cheese pie) and drive back to the scenic bluff at the black sea. From the street it is going down very steep to the sea but all the way down you have mandarin trees and some houses from time to time. Everything seems to be private area. I drive a small road down to such a house. I can see some people and ask if we could park our car behind the house and open our tent. The lady, her name is Valentina, offers us a place in her house to stay. She, her son and the grandmother are living there. In the moment we are there they just sell their harvest of mandarins to an Armenian guy who will sell it later in Armenia. Around half a ton they harvested and are tiered from the hard day. In the evening we are chatting and I recognise that her Russian is very good and also with her son she speaks Russian. Actually she has Georgian passport but is Russian Nationality. In this part of Georgia still a lot of Russians are living, although a lot of them left already because of the bad economic situation. She tells us a lot of Georgians work in Russia and especially at the universities. The other way round it is not like this anymore. She prefers to speak Russian and is not really used to the Georgian language. The old Russian times she likes and a lot of things seemed to be better. In former times this area around the Black Sea was very touristic. Nowadays there is almost no more tourism. She complains that everything is too expensive here and most Russian will go to Turkey for holiday instead of Georgia. But she do not want to go to Russia. It seems she has a hard but satisfied live in something which looks for me like paradise. She has her own cow, potatoes and all kinds of vegetable. From the mandarins she has a small income which helps her family to buy the things she can not crow. But she starts dreaming and telling us how nice it is here in spring and summer. A lot of flowers and a smell in the air you never forget. We have to come back in these seasons she says and we really think once more that this was not the last time we visit this cultural and natural rich country.

(N 41.7634 °, E 41.75167 °)

In the morning we start for Turkey and say Good Bye to Valentine such a warm hearted and strong lady. We hope that we will see her again.

Again I risk filling up my entire additional canister. Again 140 Litre illegal Diesel are inside the car. From Azerbaijan to Georgia the Diesel price doubled from 30 EUR Cent to around 60 EURO Cent and now from 60 Cent to 1.2 EUR. The border check point is located just between the black sea and the steep rocks of the fast ascending mountains. It is an incredible place. The street is blocked by a fence and after entering the neutral zone you drive through scanners and a big gate is closed behind you. We are trapped and I am always hoping they won’t find the Diesel. Georgian’s check this time is no problem as we just leave the country. In Turkey everything feels already European; the custom guy is not really interested. He looks inside sees all the “garbage” and he let us go. Just get car insurance for 20 USD for 3 month and we are in Turkey. It is dark, heavy rain, and no cheap place to stay. We go to the South into the mountains and after 100 km of amazing good streets it clears up and we make our camp.

(N 40.84494°, E 41.68151 °)

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