Azerbaijan and Georgia – Day 13-14

Our last two days were spent in Batumi and to be honest we didn’t really do a thing on the first day. 😀 Went for breakfast at our hotel, which was actually quite decent; not as good as at Fabrika in Tbilisi, but pretty good anyway. And then spent most of the day just napping and went out only when we got hungry. We wandered aimlessly outside a little bit before heading to a restaurant called Cafe Adjara.

There were some little shops, which sold homemade chacha (something like grappa), homemade cognac, and many other types of homemade alcohols. 🙂

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Homemade alcohol
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Batumi
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Batumi Boulevard

Cafe Adjara was ok. Khinkalis and the chicken and potatoes stew were really good, but the mixed dish entrée plate wasn’t that great.

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Cafe Adjara

Inexplicably we felt absolutely exhausted just by eating out and taking a short walk, so we headed back to the hotel to sleep. 🙂 I feel like these kind of days are a complete waste of time as I could very well sleep at home, but I try to accept that a holiday should feel like a holiday, which sometimes means doing nothing. 😉 I try to get away from a mentality that I have to see absolutely everything on my trips, which often means running around from one sight to the other and feeling after the holiday that now I really need a holiday! 😀

On our last day in Batumi we had a completely different energy level and after breakfast we headed out to explore the sights. Our first point of interest was Argo Cable Car, which was actually a nice experience. There was a line first to get tickets and then to actually get into one cabin, but the view from the cable car is very interesting and from the top you see the entire Batumi.

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Argo Cable Car
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Argo Cable Car
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Argo Cable Car
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Argo Cable Car

There wasn’t much else to see or do on the top, so we headed down after enjoying some breeze high up.

We started our walk to spot Batumi’s sights and it turned out to be quite a nice city with very interesting architecture. We walked along the beach and first saw a lighthouse, which is a hotel and a rather ridiculous dolphin statue. 🙂

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Lighthouse
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Dolphin Statue

Chacha fountain has a rather misleading name as it didn’t have chacha nor water in it, so it wasn’t even a fountain.

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Chacha Fountain

Batumi Tower has a ferris wheel in its side, but I didn’t see it turn, so I am not actually sure whether one could ride it. The tower was constructed to be a technological university, but it was later sold to be a hotel. 😀

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Batumi Tower

Alphabet Tower is a monument to Georgian script and culture.

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Alphabet Tower

Tamara Kvesitadze designed this metal sculpture in 2010 and it is known as Ali and Nino after the story is from novel of the same name where Ali, an Azerbaijani Muslim, falls in love with Georgian princess, Nino, but unfortunately after they are finally able to get together, the war hits home and Ali is killed. Kurban Said is credited with writing the story, but the name is an alias and the author of the novel is actually unknown. Despite this it is considered to be the national novel of Azerbaijan.

The statues move throughout the day, but I understand that there is a 10-minute scene, which begins at 7 p.m., where Ali and Nino embrace shortly before separating again. It is also lit in the night, which is probably more impressive than seeing the statue in bright daylight.

 

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Ali and Nino Statue

It was again closer to 40°C and I really envied the guys on the ship, who jumped into cool water from the old ship seen below.

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People diving off the ship

We finally found a beach section of Batumi and after two weeks finally managed to dip our toes in the water. It was heavenly! I was seriously considering just diving in my clothes. 😀 The beach is very rocky with no sand at all and the water gets pretty deep right from the shore, so not the ideal spot for swimming with small kids, but the water felt amazing. Of course we weren’t really prepared for a day on the beach, so we didn’t have any swimsuits with us, so instead we headed for ice cream. I read good reviews about a place called Luca Polare and wasn’t disappointed. The ice cream was really really good! I happened to eat it so fast enjoying the coldness that I started feeling sick and needed to sit outside for 10 min to gather myself. It turns out that it’s not good to inhale cold ice cream after spending a couple of hours in scorching sun. Funny that! 😀

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Batumi Beach

After that we headed more into the city and I must say that I really liked the whimsical architecture of Batumi. Some of it is really cool and some of it might be over the top and kitsch, but it’s never boring.

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Batumi
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Batumi
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Astronomical Clock
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Europe Square
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Europe Square
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Europe Square
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Batumi

We stumbled upon BQ Wine Bar by accident. I have read about it and while we’ve been to so many wine bars in Georgia, we decided to give this one a try and were very pleasantly surprised! The owner really listened to what we like and I think these are the best wines we tasted during our trip. Our favorite wine was the one the owner makes himself and we bought a couple of bottles of it and a couple of other bottles as well to take with us back to Finland. A great experience!

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BQ Wine Bar
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BQ Wine Bar

In the evening we headed to GUESTS Gastrobar, which is managed by Russians, who moved to Georgia. The appetizers were really good and cocktails were rather good as well despite not looking that tasty. 🙂 The main course was okay, kind of like home-cooked meal that is pretty good, but nothing spectacular.

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GUESTS Gastrobar
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GUESTS Gastrobar

The next day we took a cab to the airport, which is located like 5km from Batumi and flew home via Istanbul, which was uneventful. The only weird thing was that we couldn’t use the wifi at Istanbul airport because it claimed that we have used all the allocated free time we had for the week never mind the fact that it’s been two weeks since we’ve been there.

Our entire trip with flights, hotels, trips and meals cost about 3 600€ for both of us of which hotels and flights were almost 2 000€. Tours were the next biggest spend with about 750€. Food and entrance tickets are not very expensive and there wasn’t really anything we wanted to buy. We ended up buying six bottles of wine to take with us to Finland and some churchkhelas for my friends, but that’s pretty much it.

I liked the trip a lot and the only thing I’d change would be that I would go during another month than July and August because it is really hot and not many opportunities for swimming. On the other hand last summer in Finland was so bad that it felt really good to experience real sunshine and warmth. 🙂

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