Georgia, land of massive mountains, wonderful wines, horrible wars. Kindergarten of Christianity (Georgia was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity as state religion, in 337 AD, second only to Armenia). Country of birth of Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, commonly known as Joseph Stalin.

Georgia, one of the main destinations of this trip. As mentioned yesterday, seeing the mountains in Batumi’s backyard made me nervous about my mode of transport. Then again, of course, the passes and valleys that roads and tracks go along are not as high as the peaks. I have only a faint idea of the quality of road surfaces here. I’ve been lured into trusting maps before; that’s not going to happen again. I’ll expect the worst and I’ll be full of joy if conditions turn out to be better. I’m looking forward to traveling here.

Georgia, land of unrivaled hospitality. Zoltán and I were sitting in the hostel chatting with Lasha and Nino, working here, and Bori, another Hungarian guest. I don’t know how it happened but all of a sudden there were salad and cheese on the table, and Lasha went to get vodka and beer. Not long thereafter we were having a supra, a traditional Georgian festive drinking ceremony. At one point two friends of Nino’s and Lasha’s joined us, Anna and Kati, who, eventually, turned out to be complete strangers who’d just walked past our open door and were invited like friends. They even sang and danced for us.

Georgia, land of chaotic traffic and hot-blooded men (and women). A guy just crashed his car into a brimmed marshrutka (mini-bus) right outside our window. People almost started a fight over this in the street, but helped the guy leave before the police arrived.


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