September 06, 2009 GMT
GEORGIA 06.09.09 - 02.10.09

No problems at the Georgian border. I don’t need any visa and Jane is getting it for 20 Euro without any troubles. We’re heading straight for the capitol Tbilisi.
Here we must endure much more bureaucracy and apply for the Turkish and European visas. The 15 days Turkish visa proves to be easy to get but the Schengen visa for EU requires many extra documents, the process takes up to 2-3 weeks and the possibility of being rejected is quite high. The European Union is very afraid of “tourists” who turn into immigrants and never leave…
Tbilisi is trying hard to be as stylish as Yerevan but it will take few more years until it reaches the same standards. It is a beautiful city though with its old town and its pleasant cafes.

welcome to georgia

georgias banner.JPG

Instead of waiting for the decision on Jane’s visa in Tbilisi, we’re exploring Georgia. Many more churches and monasteries in beautiful settings, mountains and towns are to visit. In Kazbegi we meet a lone Polish biker, Daniel on his Honda Transalp and decide to travel together for a while. We stay for few days in Gori, Stalin’s birthplace, and camping right in front of the Vardzia monastery. From here on Daniel is riding to Azerbaijan and we’re returning to Tbilisi with hopes and fears about the visa situation…

gori - stalin's birthplace

gori stalins birthplace.JPG

gori stalins birthplace (1).JPG

gori stalins birthplace (2).JPG

at the jvari pass

at the jvari pass.JPG

at the sameba monastery in kazbegi

at the sameba monastery in kazbegi.JPG

at the sameba monastery in kazbegi (1).JPG

with daniel at the ananuri monastery

with daniel at the ananuri monastery.JPG

ananuri monastery

ananuri monastery.JPG

georgia actual trip

at the vardzia monastery

at the vardzia monastery.JPG

bridge in southern georgia

bridge in southern georgia.JPG

anti russian graffiti in tbilisi

anti russian graffiti in tbilisi.JPG

art in tbilisi

art in tbilisi 1.JPG

art in tbilisi 2.JPG

fountain in tbilisi

fountain in tbilisi.JPG

kschmeruli - yummy georgian dish

kschmeruli yummy georgian dish.JPG

fresh georgian bread in the make

fresh georgian bread.JPG

market in tbilisi

market in tbilisi 1.JPG

market in tbilisi 2.JPG

market in tbilisi 3.JPG

market in tbilisi 4.JPG

We’re even more nervous when the Embassy tries to call us on our mobile phone. We are riding to another great sight in Georgia – the David Gereja Monastery and pick up the call too late. Trying to call back I have to realize that we’re not having enough load on our card to make a call… bugger!
Luckily for us, Mrs. Miranda calls again and gets the information the Embassy needs. Now, we only need to wait for few more days, which we’re spending in Georgia’s wine region: Telavi. Here, wine is served free with a room reservation – not too bad!
The 23rd of September will always stay in our memory. We’re due to show up at 4pm and receive Jane’s passport, with or without visa. It’s hard to imagine how nervous we are!
We just don’t want to think about the consequences of Jane not getting the visa to EU but this thought is always in our minds. Having the Turkish visa already, Turkey would be the last country on this trip for Jane so far. Then back to the Philippines where Jane would apply for the EU visa again, this time at the German Embassy in Manila. Dealing with the German Embassy in Manila is not a great pleasure and the visa application can take up to 1 year!!!!
The last 2 hours of waiting become almost unbearable, several coffees don’t help either.
4pm on the second the security guard at the Polish Embassy signals us to go in. We hardly can walk by now. We can’t see Mrs. Miranda, but it is good so, because hearing the news of the approval of the EU visa, Jane would love to embrace and squeeze her on the spot! Out of reach of the surveillance cameras, we’re jumping high. The trip around the World continues for both of us!!

Having the EU visa secured, we’re moving slowly towards the Turkish border. We are experiencing terrible weather in Georgia, 4 days of non stop raining and temperatures around 10 degrees Celsius. With this type of weather it’s best to stay in the room and to enjoy Georgian hospitality.

Batumi becomes our last stop in Georgia before entering Turkey. While looking for accommodation we spot 2 travel bikes beside the road. The owners of the 2 dirt bikes spot us at the same time, and invite us to join them for lunch. Rick and Stephen, both Americans, started their trip in Kabul, Afghanistan, and made it through the Stans, mostly Off-road, to Georgia. Due to pouring rain we’re forced to extend our stay in Batumi but enjoying the company of the 2 Americans.
As soon as the sky turns blue and the clouds disappear over night we’re ready for our next country: Turkey!
For now, we’re leaving Georgia, but we’ll come back for more – definitely!

david kereja monastery

david kereja monastery.JPG

mens talk in georgia, hehehe

mens talk in georgia.JPG

riding in georgia is a pleasure

riding in georgia is a pleasure.JPG

the famous telavi grapes

famous telavi grapes.JPG

at the sea again

at the sea again .JPG

batumi impressions

batumi impressions 1.JPG

batumi impressions 2.JPG

batumi impressions 3.JPG

Posted by Darius Skrzypiec at September 06, 2009 05:32 PM GMT

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