2000, Trabzon to Batumi
seems to be getting more endurance than speed now. In the morning we continue
to drive along the Black Sea through the last of the Turkish cities with
tea factories and lots of attention paid to us by schoolchildren and people
on the street. The Turkish newspaper "Milliyet" ran a story
about Team Busch today so we find time to buy and read the paper.
To cross into Georgia is slightly complicated with a few forms to fill
out but a lot easier than expected.
Coming into Georgia, one immediately notices how one is entering a different
country: The architecture is different, people are different, clothes
and cars are different, churches instead of mosques and even the vegetation
is slowly changing into something different. Georgia has strong natural
borders through its mountain ranges in the north and south. They are also
the cause of the almost subtropical climate in the coastal region of Georgia:
Palm trees, bamboo forests, many wild azaleas, etc.
The natural mountain and sea border must have done its bit but communism
must have been the main force of separation between the neighbouring Georgia
and Turkey. Still there is some Turkish influence in the south-west of
Georgia. Many petrol stations claim to be "Petrol Ofisi" with
a picture of a red dragon head - a popular Turkish petrol brand. Also
many goods are imported through Turkey and when we end up discussing with
a Georgian policeman, he uses some Turkish vocabulary (although we are
not sure whether that is part of the language or he was trying to make
We had accidentally filmed the police headquarters in Batumi and the policeman
asked us to erase those scenes: Obvious remains of the Soviet empire.
We obliged with his request and he was very polite about it, still they
should realize that if someone with bad intentions wanted to film police
headquarters, he could easily do so without being noticed.
Batumi is a nice old sea resort with old buildings, most of them run down
but some nicely renovated. It seems to be popular with the Georgian "high
society" as we see many big Mercedes or BMWs. Batumi is also the
capital of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara (part of Georgia), so this
night all rally participants were invited by the President of Adjara to
a cultural evening in our hotel. The evening provided us with Georgian
and Western dance and singing and we were honoured to be received by the
President. It was interesting to hear that our rally was the first ever
international motor sports event in Georgia. Team Busch also received
a price from the Republic of Adjara for the "most travelled family".
|TC 51: Trabzon OUT
|TC 52: Mahmutoglu
|TC 53: Batumi IN
Overall 37 minutes
official results can be looked up on this website
the Black Sea
An old Georgian
in front of Batumi
Many nice old
buildings in Batumi, some of them nicely renovated
The port of
its own language, its own religion and its own alphabet (see bottles).
This probably has to do with the fact that it is protected by mountain
ranges north and south.
On the route,
many rivers flow into the Black Sea
Our hotel, the
Casino Praha has probably seen better times
The car of choice
in Georgia: Lada in all colours
The colour of
choice for clothes in Georgia is definitely black