George Johnston: August 22nd

I got Batumi figured out and began to appreciate it a bit. It has a great bike trail along the beach and several on sidewalks in town. The town seems to have sprung up haphazardly, with a mixture of classical building and modern high rises.

The are also some poor neighborhoods just out of the tourist area. After three days in the hostel there it got crowded on the weekend, so I took an overnight bus to Tbilisi. All of the trains and the daytime buses were sold out. After a six hour ride I arrived at 4:00 am and went to the hotel I had picked that listed and all night reception. I was warmly welcomed and made to feel at home. I registered for two nights, since I knew I wouldn’t be up for anything after missing most of a nights sleep. My room is small, but comfortable for one with a back, A/C, TV, and excellent Wi-Fi. The more of Tbilisi I’ve seen, the better I like it. It’s a huge spreading city with all kinds of architecture. There is an old town section with thermal bath and lots of tourist hotels and restaurants, but still interesting. There is a park with a lake for swimming near the top of a mountain. I large river runs through the city center and many churches overlook it.

I’ve been have a problem with a rash on my back since the all night bike ride to Odessa, and the hotel recommended a clinic to me where I saw a good dermatologist, who gave me a good treatment program of two ointments. I’ll have a follow up with her when I get back from Baku. I’ll take a sleeper train there, spend Friday through Sunday in Baku and take another sleeper train back if I don’t have a problem with the ticket back. I expect I could get a bus is the train is sold out, but I don’t think I should have a problem on Monday night.

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