Русская версия During our Gonio beach getaway, we wanted not only to enjoy the sea, but also to be entertained; for the entertainment, we went every day by marshrutka to Batumi.
Marshrutkas between Gonio and Batumi are very frequent, so the transportation is not a problem. The rules of the resort apply though: the drivers forget to return the change, or do not give enough. Ask the locals about the prices and then pay. You won’t save much by that, but it is not very pleasant to be cheated, we think.
Being to Batumi for the first time, we started from the restaurant advised by our Gonio hosts – at the crossroads of Pushkin and Lermontov streets. They have excellent hachapuri, okroshka and shashlyk, and khinkali – their speciality – are totally divine.
Several workers here are employed especially to make khinkali:
The view of the сгеу kitten lying in the middle of the road at the restaurant was included into the price:
Having eaten, we walked in the city and also the sea-front:
To prove that Batumi itself is not so good for swimming and it is better to stay out of the city for that:
The next day we went to the Botanical Garden (one of the largest in the former USSR). One has to be a specialist to recognize how many species are there, we were just enjoying the fresh air and the sea view:
Nice city view from the Botanical Garden:
They also have a small Japanese garden arranged with the sign which is supposed to be mirrored in the lake.
Along the Batumi sea-front, there is a bicycle road, and it is also possible to rent the bicycles. You must buy special card at the main office and then you can take a bicycle from about 20 spots along the coast and in the city. Price is 20 lari for 10 hours. Of course, the conditions are not perfect: on some reason, in some places the path is covered with the paving tile, the pedestrians walk on the path is spite of the pedestrian road going parallel, and the drivers park their cars here.
But still the ride is pleasing, and the idea is good. The mayor of Batumi says he wants to make Barcelona out of it, this is one of the methods, we think.
Along the path, there are many facilities for training:
At the deck-chairs set along the pass, it is possible to have a rest and enjoy the sunset: 7125
On the third day, we went to the Dolphinarium. Some information about its prices and shows available while we were here (sometimes they also had a show at 21.00):
This Dolphinarium is relatively young: in 1990s, the dolphins of the Batumi Dolphinarium were poisoned, and the whole thing has been restored only recently. Do not expect unbelievable show from it, but try to visit it just to support. By the way, here you will not be allowed to come up to the water: they are too afraid of the repetition of the tragedy.
Before leaving Georgia, we also wanted to try Satsivi. Our favourite khinkali restaurant sold only a huge dish for 40 laris. We found another solution in the small place called «Pirosmani».
At first, they said they had satsivi, but then apologized, and promised that if we call the next day two hours in advance, they would cook it for us. The menu in this place:
As our hosts advised, we ordered only one portion, and that was the right decision: satsivi is made of chicken and walnuts, the whole thing is quite heavy, and we hardly finished one portion.
Also, before leaving we visited Batumi beer factory – a true back in USSR! Men, cigarettes, dried fish – Vitya was really happy.
On the same day, we took the night train to Tbilisi (ссылка), to get to our last Georgian destination – Kazbegi.