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Sunday, 3 May 2015

Day 7 of our Black Sea Cruise on the Minerva - Batumi, Georgia

No tours today, so a leisurely start. Up on deck, Batumi looked wonderful, especially since the weather was glorious. Bright sun in blue sky - warm enough for shorts.
Looking down on the Minerva and the harbour from the cable car
As I said, we'd given ourselves a leisurely start and made our way to the first thing we'd planned to see in Batumi, the cable car which runs from the port up to a small hill nearby. There's a hotel/restaurant at the top and absolutely fantastic views of the city, the bay and the surrounding hills. It only cost 5 GEL each for the trip up and back. Absolutely glorious, especially in all that sun.
Batumi from the top of the cable car. 
Despite the wealth at the city centre, you can see there is still work to be done.  Those aren't roads, they are well compacted dirt tracks. 
Back in the port, we had to walk past the ship to go to our next intended destination, so we thought we might as well go on board for lunch. We sat on the back deck, watching the many Harbour Porpoises rise out of the water around us (it's called breeching apparently), as we ate.
The Minerva in Batumi, Georgia
Then back onshore, we turned to go look at Miracle Park and wander through the city to see architecture and buildings on offer. 
I couldn't resist this rusty old boat in the marina.  Awesome.

I have to say that I really, really liked Batumi. The park, the city, the buildings, absolutely gorgeous.

So much to see and obviously a lot of money being invested.

This ferris wheel is in Miracle Park. 

Alphabet Tower (left), lights up green at night.  

I would definitely recommend this place. In fact, I even suggested to Peter that it would be somewhere nice to live.

Unfortunately the heat got the better of us.
Not a beach in the sandy sense of the word, but the sea certainly tempted a few locals to swim.

I'm was delighted to spot this female Red Backed Shrike, although it took me a while to identify it.  
The Astronomical Clock

The picture to the left is the astronomical clock.  There were so many wonderful buildings in the city.

I'd have liked that we'd have the energy to walk more, but by 4pm we'd found a bar near the ship to enjoy a cold drink, and after a little bit more wandering to spend the leftover Georgian currency, we were back on board ship by 5.15.

A beautiful city though. I'd be very happy to spend many more days in Miracle Park and the streets of Batumi. Somewhere to look forward to coming back to, if we ever got the chance.

The picture on the right is Piazza Square.  The bells play every three hours, and we just happened to be there at the right time. 

Tomorrow we arrive in Sochi in the afternoon. We've a tour to see a load of waterfalls, something I'm looking forward to. Maybe the weather will be as good as it's been today too.

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