We failed to see Okatse Canyon but that’s alright because in between keeping awake and falling asleep (I was seated in front), the Black Sea of Batumi was a welcoming sight.
Upon entry to the city, I felt that it was finally summerrrrr! (insert Olaf singing here)
Batumi is definitely Georgia’s summer holiday capital. It has a very relaxing atmosphere with a subtropical climate. Located in a convenient natural Black Sea bay in the region of Adjara, Batumi is not only an important seaport for the entire Georgia, but also a tourism capital of the country.
In contrast to the black long skirts worn by women in Kutaisi, shorts and mini skirts are the trend in Batumi. In my mind, I felt relieved knowing that we can finally get out of our jeans and blend with the rest of the tourists, which are mostly Europeans.
We booked an apartment just a walking distance from the famous Seaside Park-Boulevard. For the price we paid, it is a great place to stay. It is spacious (with living room and with complete amenities). The owner and his family are very nice too.
You may pick fruits from the tree behind us. We did and it was fresh and sweet!
The city has also embraced the modern civilization as around the area are high-end hotels and structures featuring European and Asian architecture. From the articles that I have read, it is apparent that over the last ten years, Batumi has changed a lot.
After settling in and a much needed shower, we headed out to the beach and had a cotton candy stop-over. Why not?
Batumi at night is very alive. Families, friends, tourists and locals are everywhere in the Boulevard gathered for tours, talks, bike rides, night life and more.The modest structures in the afternoon transform into majestic sights at night.
One amazing structure along the Boulevard is the moving sculpture of “Ali and Nino,” which is believed to be a “celebration of true love without boundaries and prejudices.” I felt the heartwarming slow movement of the steel figures towards each other, creating a dramatic union for a moment and the heartbreaking separation afterwards. It was amazing to witness such a story told without words and yet, creates a great impact on the viewers.
“The two figures represent a Muslim boy, Ali, and a Georgian princess, Nino, from a famous 1937 novel by Azerbaijani author Kurban Said. The tragic story ends with the lovers separated by the invasion of Soviet Russia.”
It was already getting cold and we were dead tired so we walked back to our apartment.
On our second day in Batumi, I woke up at 5am (as always) and since my friends were still asleep, I thought of heading out to the beach for a short walk and to witness the sunrise. It was lovely walking in the cool breeze and having the streets to myself except for occasional joggers and still-not-home ‘late nighters’.
After a breakfast of coffee and leftover Khinkali, we headed out to another direction towards the Europe Square. The streets were still empty, to my delight.
The Europe Square is one of my favorite places in Georgia. It is centrally located in Batumi and around it are unique and exquisite buildings. Our photos here looked like we really traveled to Europe. For both tourists and locals, this is a popular site for relaxation.
It would have been nice if we lingered more in Batumi (there are really great shops around) but knowing that we would need six hours travel time back to Tbilisi to catch the free walking tour, we started walking back to the apartment. All we managed to buy were these pretty-looking cherries.
And guess what? They’re very cheap too.
Although we had a very short stay in Batumi, this beautiful city treated as well. If you desire a resort-type ambiance, this is your best choice in Georgia. They have an international airport too!
Lasha then picked us up from the apartment and before we completely left Batumi, he took us to one last glimpse of the Black Sea.
Somebody got tipsy with the free Vodka and it was not me. Opppps!
It was past 5pm when we were almost at Tbilisi and just before we lavish its charm, Lasha made one more stop and tested our balancing skills. We looked silly here but we had a great laugh.
I still can’t believe how we managed to sit in the car for six hours. Maybe because the gorgeous mountain views entertained us in between naps or we were on tourist mode so we had to be flexible. Nevertheless, hurray to us for making it through!
Well, that’s about it for Batumi. Now, it is time to say Hello to the charming capital, Tbilisi.
- Photography: Cristina
- Research: Mariecris
- Tour Guide: Lasha of Tours in Georgia
- Tbilisi Free Walking Tours: Tamar
- Batumi Apartment: Rustaveli Apartment
- Tbilisi Apartment: Alicat home
#marengsingeorgia – June 23-26, 2017