We were planning on taking the train from Tblisi to Batumi, on the coast of the black sea. But a friend drove to Tblisi who lives in Baku, Azerbaijan, and instead five of us drove across Georgia in his Mercedes station wagon. It was a long drive. When night fell last night, our friend, Fazil Abdullayev (Adil and Fareed’s father for those who recognize those names) was tired because he drove all night from Baku. I was the only other person in the car legal and suitable to drive. So, I drove for two hours in the Georgian night on a twisty mountain road. And of course it rained. And if you haven’t been here the driving is well, interesting. It is not as bad as being on the road in India (where I have not driven), and certainly not as tame as driving in the US. It was a difficult drive.
We made it to Kutaisi before having to stop for the night. That is the same city where I posted from last week with the Svengali singers. Fazil was alert enough to drive today – thank goodness, because the roads didn’t get much better, and we drove through more towns, which are harder to navigate. We did get a flat tire along the way. Here is a picture of the family that helped us at the roadside store.
We had an awesome Ukranian meal in Batumi, which is a lovely seaside resort city. We then went to Gonio and visited in ancient Roman fortress, built in 300 B.C. There is a marker for the apostle Mathew’s grave here, which is pretty cool. What I really liked was walking along the top of the wall, imagining Roman solidies 2,300 years ago walking along that same wall. Here is the path on the wall:
And here is Sasha, Sophia, and Fazil:
Our flight home leaves in 29 hours, so tomorrow is the last morning we will wake up to in Georgia. It’s been a great trip, and I’m excited to get home.