Brisbane2Bristol

On our great adventure

A Rainy Night in Georgia…

There was a huge sign that said welcome to Europe..huh…we thought Europe started at Istanbul, Turkey…

The Georgian Immigration was very quick, show your passport and that’s it….but the bike was a different story they wanted papers for the bike, the only papers we had was the Carnet, which apparently wasn’t what they wanted to see, we have no ‘other’ papers Clive tried to tell them we don’t need anything else but the Carnet….

Anyway after a bit of humming and haring they allowed the bike through,they were very good about it and we had a few laughs with them…
We rode the long empty road heading towards the city of Tbilisi past lush rolling green hills.

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As we approached the outskirts of Tbilisi i could see some buildings, they were ugly blocks of flats and small houses amongst them, there was nothing appealing about them at all, i was disappointed as i had heard Tbilisi was beautiful and full of character….

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We continued through the streets and came upon the Mtkvari (Kura) river which is lined with tall shady trees and on the opposite side of the river was a small cliff face with houses and the Metekhi Church it looks like its hanging off the cliff…

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This is what i have heard about, the real city of Tbilisi, oh my-its fantastic….

Daylight was fading fast and hotels here were stupidly expensive, so with choices being limited we went off to Mcdonalds for a coffee and to use the wifi to see if there were any hotels close by…
We found there were three hotels near by, they were more our budget allowed but we we didn’t have a lot of choice, it was pay up or sleep in the park!

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We did however find a nice little hotel in a quiet street, we were dog tired and it was late so we got showered and went straight to sleep, after all it had been a long ride from Baku, Azerbaijan, it had a great buffet breakfast and secure parking for the bike so we were happy …

The following day we needed to see as much of Tbilisi as we could so on the bike we set off for the old city.
This place is beautiful, way nicer than i had expected, twisting cobbled streets, with quaint houses with little balconies that colourful flower baskets hung gracefully over, carved wooden balconies leaning at rakish angles, many gift shops and cafes, this place really caters for the tourists, but not in a tacky sort of way…

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A strange thing to say, but we have not been in a ‘tourist’ area for a while, it was weird, you could tell we were nearing Europe…

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Some really modern architecture being built…

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What a great wall…

With lots of walking around, we decided that we would go on the cable car that whisks passengers up to the Nariqala fortress and amazing views of the city below…

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Lots of new modern building integrated with the old, it all mixed well together, its a great city.

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‘Mother of Georgia’… Who towers over the city,a stunning twenty-metre aluminium figure of a woman in Georgian national dress, in her left hand she holds a bowl of wine to greet those who come as friends, and in her right hand is a sword for those who come as enemies.

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Old lady coming out of church…

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This was a bank…

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City square..

After a full on day out we head back to our hotel we didn’t need any dinner as we had a big lunch, but something light would be nice, so on the way we brought some crackers, tomatoes, cucumber…all we need now is some cheese- just near our hotel we noticed that there was a stall with handmade cheeses that weren’t refrigerated! .. i asked if they had any cheddar and to my surprise they did….
Hmmm it didn’t look like any cheddar i had seen before, it was almost white and seemed to have lots of air bubbles in it, to me it looked a bit like a white chocolate aero bar….
I brought the smallest piece the lady could cut, but it was still way to big…just as well Clive loves cheese.
We also brought some local beer to share, all set we head back to our hotel as it started to rain….
After a shower we decide to have our mini feast….holy crap that cheese is strong, you only needed a crumb and it exploded in your mouth, even Clive struggled to eat any, needless to say it got binned after a few mouthfuls…
The beer wasn’t much better either, it was disgusting we both couldn’t drink it and made its way down the sink… lol

Following a delicious breakfast we left Tbilisi feeling guilty for not seeing everything this beautiful city has to offer, but we certainly enjoyed what we saw.
Our next destination was Butumi a seaside city on the border with Turkey by the Black Sea…the roads were great as we left Tbilisi, but you couldn’t say the same about the weather, the skies were dark and the rain came down, thankfully for only a short time.

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Warp speed…

We past many small old soviet style towns, that were charming…a step back in time you could say, especially when you past donkeys pulling old wooden carts…

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We rode into the modern city of Butumi, and passed a large US Navy vessel moored up in the port!
As the day was hot and we were by the sea we decided an ice-cream would be nice, we passed a very unusual looking Macdonald’s…so doing a u-turn we headed in to our ‘favourite’ restaurant for ice-cream.

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Every thing was very modern here…

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Now we just need to find somewhere for the night,everywhere we asked were fully booked out (it was high season), so we rode along for a while enjoying the sea view and before we knew it we had come to the Border, not wanting to head in to Turkey this late in the day, we turned around and rode back a little way we had come.

We saw a old disused military air field it was massive and had lots of hedges scattered around, so we could do a bit of stealth camping, but first we needed some supplies…armed with enough food for the night we rode across the airfield and headed past the cows and found a great little spot in-between some black berry bushes, and set up camp.

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Lots of bunkers dotted around …..

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Had to go back down the road later and take a photo of the very unusual border checkpoint on sunset…

With a great night sleep we were up early,had a bit of breakfast and packed up and rode back across the airfield….

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Past all the grazing cows, that now inhabit the airfield, back onto the road to ride the ten minute ride to the border with Turkey….

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