Trip to Georgia: Part 2 – Batumi

Welcome to the second part of my blog on Georgia! In the first part, I’d talked about the first four days of my trip to Georgia with my wife, spent in the amazing capital city of Tbilisi. This post is about the three days we spent in the beautiful beach city of Batumi, and later our final day in Tbilisi.

On the 12th of October, we travelled to Batumi– our second destination. Batumi is Georgia’s second largest city, located on the cost of the Black Sea. It is an extremely popular tourist destination and it’s not difficult to see why- classical well-preserved buildings, modern high-rises, port, beaches, boulevard, and more. We took a train which started from Tbilisi at 0910 and reached Batumi at 1410. One-way journey per person cost approximately INR 800. The train was excellent- modern, clean, fast, and comfortable. Pictures tell it better.

IMG_20161014_154724156_HDR

IMG_20161012_095714191

IMG_20161014_221503612

Our Batumi accommodation, the Sunny Hotel, too was booked through Airbnb. This was with a private bathroom- cost us around INR 2000 per night. The hotel is 15 minutes away from the city centre. From the balcony, we had an amazing view of Batumi skyline. Here are some pictures, again, all of which are from Airbnb.

b1

b2

b4

b6

b8

b9

b10

b11
View from balcony
b12
View of the hotel from the road
b13
View from balcony

We stepped out in the evening, taking a marshrutka (minibus) which cost us INR 14.5 per person. We visited a souvenir shop and bought some stuff, took a ride on the Ferris Wheel, admired the stunning scripture of Ali and Nino, ate pizza and Khinkali (Georgian dumpling) and then headed back to the hotel.

IMG_20161012_164901381
We didn’t become really big fans of the Georgian food, so we stuck to pizza all the time

IMG_20161012_173545855

IMG_20161012_173800920

IMG_20161012_173842402_HDR

IMG_20161012_183855738

IMG_20161012_192135731

IMG_20161012_192552112

IMG_20161012_204009859
Khinkali, the Georgian version of dumpling

IMG_20161012_212916724

IMG_20161013_140316367
Oh this is a US warship we spotted docked at Batumi port- USS Mount Whitney. To be precise, she is a Blue Ridge-class command ship of the United States Navy under the Military Sealift Command; it is the flagship of the United States Sixth Fleet. She is also the command and control ship for the Commander Joint Command Lisbon and the Commander Striking Force NATO (from Wikipedia).
IMG_20161013_143100655
A Turkish joint. Try at least one of these places. Amazing rolls.

IMG_20161013_155331327

IMG_20161013_162208710_HDR
Dolphinarium. Never ever miss!

IMG_20161013_162932182

IMG_20161013_163012493

IMG_20161013_165035771

IMG_20161013_165443788
Shingle beach
IMG_20161013_190531940
St. Nicholas’ Church. Amazing architecture and paintings.

IMG_20161013_211203052

The next day too we explored Batumi city. The whole of the city can be covered on foot.

Feel free to explore Turkish food joints which serve amazing rolls. There are a lot of street-side shops from where you can buy souvenirs- but don’t forget to bargain. We visited a dolphinarium, an Armenian church, and St. Nicholas Church. Please check out the show timings at the dolphinarium and do not miss it for the world!

The next day we reached the city by around lunch time and went straight to the Hilton, Batumi. Beautiful hotel, needless to say. But what we found interesting was that it charged almost the same price for food as much as a street joint charged. Now I don’t know who’s selling it cheap/ expensive, but this was something we’ve never seen elsewhere. So, don’t worry about the bill, just walk into the Hilton Batumi and enjoy.

IMG_20161014_121532984
Hilton Batumi
IMG_20161014_131146015
Hilton Batumi

After lunch, we returned to the hotel, packed our stuff, said goodbye to its manager, and went straight to the railway station to catch our train back to Tbilisi. It was the same nice train which took the same five hours. We were back at Nana’s place by 2300.

The next day, the 15th was our last day in Georgia. The flight was at 1705 in the evening, so we still had half the way to explore Tbilisi. We picked the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi commonly known as Sameba. Now as opposed to the other churches we visited in Georgia, this one is not ancient; this was built between 1995 and 2004. Wikipedia says that this church is the “third-tallest Eastern Orthodox cathedral in the world and one of the largest religious buildings in the world by total area”. The church is located at walkable distance from Avlabari metro station and has a nice little cafe just outside it. Don’t miss this church, it’s quite a sight.

IMG_20161015_110315130

IMG_20161015_110901856

IMG_20161015_111233655_BURST000_COVER_TOP

IMG_20161015_112017427

We got back to Nana’s place, packed, spoke to her for some time, said our thanks and goodbye, and left for the airport. She had arranged a taxi for us, for INR 580. Remember our trip from the airport to Nana’s place cost us INR 1450! We should have bargained harder.

The return Air Arabia flight also took the same route: Tbilisi-Sharjah-Hyderabad. We reached Hyderabad on time. There ended a memorable trip. Happy honeymoon – check.

Before I call it a day, here are the expenses we’d incurred:

expenses1

expenses2