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WorldAsiaHow Batumi welcomes Russians: grilled skewers, carafed wine, khachapuri of all kinds

How Batumi welcomes Russians: grilled skewers, carafed wine, khachapuri of all kinds


In our case, we are not talking about starving children or lack of medicine. We are sitting in a restaurant by a mountain stream. The table is literally packed with skewers, adjarian khinkali, khachapuri, trout, fruit (Turkish grapes, but the cherries are already theirs, local) and a mountain of food. A party for the whole world. Wine flows and is drunk like a river: delicious, homemade. A trout was swimming in a pond near a mountain river half an hour ago. I won’t name the owner, it’s like in the famous movie: “The last name is too famous for me to call it.”

Friends whispered in his ear that the beauty and beautification of modern Batumi is a considerable merit of this particular person.

But Batumi is good, you could even say obscenely.

However, I do not begin my knowledge of the city with a feast. I buy an Argo cable car tour. It’s a 2.5 km cable car, for 30 lari (900 rubles) I go up to the highest point of the city, they promise a “walk in the park”, the return is included in the price. I can’t find any park at the top (the mountain is called Anuria), just a cafe, souvenir shops and a wine shop. But the view is fascinating: Batumi as the crow flies. The extreme is included in the price: due to strong gusts of wind, the cabins sway, under the feet at 50 meters in height, the sensations are more vivid than during turbulence in an airplane.
Most stalls were empty – not yet the season. The sun is hot, but the sea is still cool.

But personally, it seems to me the best time of the year: a wonderful walk, no crowds, lots of empty seats in cafes and restaurants.

It is hoped that soon direct flights from Russia, and not only from Moscow, will go to Batumi. So far – only with transplants. For example, May 25 – via Tel Aviv or Istanbul. If you are traveling through Israel, then an overnight transfer, 11 hours of waiting, but the ticket is 23,000 rubles. In Turkey, a 3 hour transfer, but they want 45,000 for a ticket. However…

I prefer to return to Tbilisi, from where there is a direct flight to Moscow. There is a high-speed train from Batumi to Tbilisi. More precisely, it is conditionally high-speed, on the route it accelerates to 99 km / h, but slows down in the tunnel, on the bends between the mountains, accordingly, the trip takes 5.2 hours. The composition is new, the armchairs are comfortable (but it depends on the class), the views from the window are picturesque for most of the route. Especially from the second floor. My travel companions are local or uncurious travelers. Maybe I was the only one looking out the window, the others were buried in their phones. Internet is available but weak.

Comfort is determined by the thickness of the wallet: a ticket for the 2nd class – 14 GEL (430 rubles), for the 1st – 75 GEL (2300 rubles).

However, it is too early for me to return to the Georgian capital. I am on the Black Sea. In Batumi, housing prices are now as follows (for convenience – in dollars): apartments and apartments – from 30 per day, a small hotel – 30-40, for the sake of showing off at the Hilton – from 100.
A cup of Turkish tea in a waterfront cafe – 2 lari, cappuccino – 5, latte – 6.

Don’t be greedy for 5.5 GEL for homemade lemonade – in this country they know a lot about lemonades. You will never confuse homemade adjarian lemonade with bottled soda, it is heaven and earth. Drinking vodka or chacha with lemonade is bad taste, but it is possible.

In street tents, khachapuri of all kinds (with beans, with cheese, with Imeretian cheese) – 2.5 GEL.

In restaurants, salads range from 9 lari (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers) to 30 (Caesar with salmon). Royal restaurant khachapuri – 20, pizza – from 15 (margarita) to 20 (mixed), grilled salmon – 30, sea bream – 45.

In my opinion, sea bream is not caught in the Black Sea (although there is a similar species of goldfish), hence the price. For gourmets there is a fish market, it is not far from the cable car. There is a choice and a full set of services: in nearby cafes your fresh fish will be cleaned and fried. Prepared according to the standard price list of 6 lari per kg.

The most expensive thing I found on restaurant menus: salmon with walnuts and mushrooms – 120 lari (3600 rubles).

Taxi rides here are affordable for everyone, for 5-6 GEL you will drive Batumi up and down.

But that’s it for tourists. If you want to stay longer, then… Forget half of what I wrote. Here you can be a tourist, you can be a local, but there are no timid decisions. You decided, for example, to spend the summer in Adjara: rented an apartment, met your neighbors, stopped by a car service, – in general, made at least some kind of relationship with the locals, and … Note -THE. From that moment, you are already part of your board of directors, you are part of their company. And if you broke bread with a Georgian and drank a glass of wine (and you can’t do without it), then in fact from this moment you are close relatives.

You can also become an enemy, and quite easily. That’s if you’ve been asked for wine and you’re trying to open your wallet…

Must leave. But it would be better, of course, on direct flights.

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