Day 8 – Batumi
It took us about 2 hours to reach our Hotel in the Batumi surroundings: the “Castello Mare” Resort: an inexpensive 5-star hotel by the Black sea shore in the middle of a private park! It was the equivalent of 290 euros for 3 nights and we had a blast! Spa, outdoor 80-meter swimming-pool with panoramic view on the sea, nothing but quietness and the splashing of the waves on the stony beach! These things made my day! We literally had to motivate ourselves to take the car and go to visit Batumi!! It was almost too comfortable to leave the resort!!!
It took us about 30 minutes to reach Batumi and we parked the car by the marina to walk alongside the sea shore, it seems there are trying to make Batumi a very European seaside city. Marina, city tower, attraction parks, restaurants, take-away food, sea-side avenue and much more! To be honest this part of the city was quite welcoming and nice: we went up the 140 meter high city tower, they had a nice bar-restaurant serving tea and cakes and vertiginous views over both the Black Sea and the city, we walked on to the marina, we had a look at the Nino and Ali monument: a modern animated steel creation where 2 metallic statues made of discs are getting closer and closer, fusing and separating. It summarizes the Kurban Said’s novel “Nino and Ali” a love story between a Muslim young man and a Christian Orthodox young woman in the early XX century’s strict society. I will definitely read it! We walked further to the Hall Square and we saw many beautiful European styled buildings and statues. I must say this part of Batumi was quite nice to visit!
On the other hand, when we took the cable car from the city center to go on top of the mountain, the view was quite different… the rest of the city looked like a giant ghetto or some districts looked very old, damaged and not taken care of, as we saw them from above. On top of the mountain, the panorama was splendid it seems we reached a lost paradise was we were surrounded with forest and nature and further you looked, the more urbanized it was!
As we came down, we got back to our car and we got stuck in the traffic for quite a while! I must say, that’s the main problem in Georgia when you get close to a town. And as soon as you get outside a city, people drive like mad people! Choose what you like most!!! We also visited the Batumi National Park but it was quite disappointing comparing to the Borjomi one… As we were tired of the road trip we decided to stay for an extra 2 nights in this gorgeous resort and we didn’t regret it)