Day 5 September 4, 2010                                               Day 06             Table of content for Eastern Turkey Tour Journal
Saturday   Rize-Georgia-Artvin
Submitted by Susan Casey

The general plan for the day was to drive along the shore of the Black Sea and cross the border to Georgia and have lunch  in Batum  and then drive to Artvin in the mountains to the east.  On the way Meli told us stories about how she connected with Earlham college of Richmond, Indiana and with Miami University of Ohio. She said to materialize a Silk road tour for Miami University, she had to write a project description for  a Fulbright grant so that faculty and students could come to Central Asia to really know about the history and culture if the country that was on the curriculum. 
The fishing boats were out.  They were colorful.


At border Meli said go forth and  explore on your own   since she is not allowed to enter Georgia.  We through Turkish passport control, then Georgian passport control and finally entered Georgia!  W e found a mini bus that took all 11 of us to the town of Batum and then started exploring.  Ken was our leader and lead us down streets toward a couple of churches and  mosques and then to the ocean  where we ended up at a lovely park where we saw a wedding. We took pictures of the bride while her video person took pictures of us.  We found a fast food cafe and most of us ordered a boat shaped bread filled with cheese and egg called adjarian khachapuri.  Delicious.  The back to the center of town where we boarded the 101 bus back to the border.  How clever we felt.  Back through two sets of passport control and to our bus.  
Impressions of Georgia.  Much poorer than Turkey  much poverty streets in complete disrepair.

But the people are friendly, the women in mostly western dress.  Cows roam the streets at will. The main streets looked wide ,clean and well taken care of but the back streets were showing signs of hard life. There were churches on the peaks of the hills.  There were churches on the peaks of the hills. The men were playing backgammon in the parks where wedding parties were greeting the visitors. The food was tasty!


The church that we had visited in Batumi was kind of a small church but it was cheery and decorated with icons.
There was no one to greet us there. We walked in
through the open gate and found a little treasure
inside Images of Mary and Jesus were
decorating the alter of the church. We drove back
along the Black Sea to the turn off to Artvin. 

Up, up, and u p through tea fields where took pictures of women loading big bags of tea on carts to central collection sites.

The sides of mountains are so steep!  We saw the special open air barns for drying corn.  As we climbed ever higher we had a last view of the Black Sea before finally crossing over a pass that took us out of the rain forest and into drier landscape.    We passed a dam that should never have been built, muddies the outflow, and hardly produces any power and is in an earthquake fault zone.  And still up and up till we reached Artvin which stretches to the very top of the mountain and our hotel is at the very top.  And so to eat and to bed,  Another wonderful day. 


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