The Indian Summer is in full swing in Georgia. The autumn colors in the mountains are fantastic to see. During the day it’s wonderful, but as soon as the sun goes down, the temperature drops to a few degrees and makes us appreciate the extra sleeping bags in the car.
Wander around the markets in Tbilisi
We stay a couple of days to explore the capital city Tbilisi. We see a mix of new modern buildings and old small streets. Streets have small ‘hole in the wall’ shops where you can buy bread and other groceries and of course vodka is available almost everywhere. On the market we are invited for glass of vodka at 9 o’clock in the morning. Haha and we seriously thought we would get tea ;-). We also see the walnut sticks everywhere in the city. They dip the walnuts in a kind of glaze and eat it as a delicacy. An explosion of colour which created many colorful market stalls. The city is also bursting with flea markets, so you can guess where Suus was found most of the time!
From the Military Highway to the vineyards and fig trees
From Tbilisi we drove through the vineyards towards the Military Highway which ends at the border of Russia. A mountainous area with fantastic views. Of course we stopped at a winery to do a tasting and they allowed us to camp between the grapes and fig trees on their vineyard. perfect solutions as we preferred to drink the wine instead of spitting it out:-). All the trees where covered in figs, so nice to be able to pick fresh figs from the tree in the morning for breakfast!
The snowy peaks of Svaneti
We were so impressed by the north of Georgia that we decided to drive to the north west as well. The snowy peaks of Svaneti with a color explosion of the Indian Summer on trees. After a hike to the glacier we found a super nice wild camp spot. Just after 5 minutes of relaxing with our wine, the sun disappears behind the mountain and the temperature dropped immediately to freezing cold at 4 o’clock in the afternoon! So we looked for another place in the sun to sit outside and eat. After that we returned stay the night on this fantastic spot.
A bit closer to Europe
Driving through the country we see a lot of the old Soviet buildings and apparently they love to wash in Georgia. Everywhere we see stalls with dozens of types of washing powder. Honey is well represented as well and here the beehives are stored in movable trucks. Also in this country we see many street dogs but here they are chipped. As well the landscape and the people and habits change slowly towards more habits we recognize from Europe and with that it hits us, we are really getting close to home now.
From friendly Batumi to the border of Turkey
Batumi, our last stop before we drive into Turkey. When we drive through the city to find a suitable parking space, we drive past the Holland Hoek Hotel. Of course we stop to have a look inside and there we meet Corrie with her husband. They are from Holland as well and we end up having a nice chat out their business and our trip. We are invited to sleep in the dorm instead of in our car and have a super fun evening where we learn more about the culture of Georgia. Unfortunately we have to leave this nice place the next day, because it’s time for a border crossing. With the alcohol well hidden and our clean laundry as a distraction (mainly underwear and bra’s in sight) we make the car unattractive to check and again we have success. The border of Georgia breaks all records and Turkey itself is arranged fairly quickly. On to the warm south coast of Turkey!