Georgia 2012

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by Revenue, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Revenue

    Revenue Adventurer

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    I will be passing through Georgia from Turkey then into Russia in August 2012, has any one any recomendations for places to ride/ things to see on my short visit there??
    I will be spending one night in Batumi and 2 nights in Tbilisi, any ideas will be great.

    Eric
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  2. SeanF

    SeanF -

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    That's a pretty short stay. I thought Tbilisi was nice, and I'm not really into cities. There is a walkable, pretty, touristy part including and surrounding the old city. You could easily kill two days simply wandering, admiring the architecture, filling up on khachapuri, and taking in the general vibe of a city and people who are doing everything possible to leave behind the Soviet era. (In other former Republics, lots of signs are still in Russian -- in Georgia they are primarily in Georgian and English. And the border officials are carrying M4 carbines instead of AK-47s.) There is a pricey English language bookstore called Prospero's on Rustaveli (the main shopping/touristy area), which also has great espresso and pastries and a secluded courtyard for enjoying it all.

    North of town is a very cool old church called Mtskheta. Interesting frescoes inside include one depicting Jesus surrounded by the 12...zodiac signs. It's well worth a morning visit and is much more interesting than the recently-built national cathedral.

    If you're missing Turkish kebap and coffee, my favorite was at a tiny place at Marjanishvili and Uznadze on the east side of the river.

    If you can work it in, I highly recommend a visit to Kazbegi (also called Stepantsminda) in the north, on the Georgian Military Highway. Stunning, dramatic scenery and a neat old cathedral high on a mountaintop.

    Many of the backpackers and English teachers I met had an urge to visit the Stalin museum at Gori.

    Have fun.

    PS: I'm not sure the Georgia/Russia border is open.
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  3. Revenue

    Revenue Adventurer

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    Hi Sean
    Many thanks for the info, man do miss having a good Kebab been Thailand to long!
    The Georgia Military Highway wow! have seen many pictures, so we will end up in Kazbegi when we leave Georgia, all reports say its open??
    I think we will allow one more day here and one less on Europe
    Thanks for your reply

    Eric
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  4. Feeding Father

    Feeding Father From RU with love...

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    Everything is changing in our unstable world we are living in, but this moment the border open.
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  5. Revenue

    Revenue Adventurer

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    I totally agree, for my trip from the UK to Thailand, things can change overnight in all contries
    Thank you for the confirmation, i was going to ride to the border anyway

    Eric
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  6. Feeding Father

    Feeding Father From RU with love...

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    Be careful:

    If you will enter to Georgia from Abкhazia or South Ossetia (separated form Georgia regions), according the low in Georgia you can stay at prison for 2-4 years. This is what my friends told me. They also traveled on the moto from Russia to Turkey - they checked and finally decided to use the ferry. But some people tell that everything is quiet. Be prepared that in the border line you will be stopped at least.

    But If you are are coming from Turkey to Russia directly you miss these new country.

    USA do not accept the separation - if you will check the Google map you will not see separated from Georgia regions - it looks like a Georgia in the past. But in the fact, separated regions exist and there border line between them.

    Take a look here: http://www.200stran.ru/images/maps/1246653356_b96e28.jpg
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  7. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    I've ridden across Georgia twice, and am going back this summer. awesome place!

    the military hiway N from Tlibisi is the only open border to russia, and it only opened recently. (this is why I am going, as I can now circle the black sea)
    but... things can change, keep up with the info.

    from batumi-tlibisi is 2 routes. the north one from near Polti is paved, & has traffic.

    BUT... if you are on an enduro, take the southern route. its 200km of dirt over a mountain, and friggin AWESOME! people are nice, scenery is great, and no traffic!

    both routes look like the same type of road on the map, but the southern route is more fun.

    Gori & the Stalin museum is interesting, as is Vardzia, to the south with the old cave city & the still working monestary.

    Hope that helps
    Doug
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  8. Revenue

    Revenue Adventurer

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    Hi Doug

    Thanks for the info on the border, or planned route from Batumi to Tblisi is the A306 18 km past Akhalkalki turn left this road runs passed Lake Paravani at 2168m Lake Sanamer then the A303 which seems to have quite a few Castles and other scenic things onto Tbilisi for two nights, from there we will do a couple half day rides then we wil ride the Military highway to the border.

    Eric :D:D
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  9. stephenaki

    stephenaki Old Rider

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    concur with Doug, Gori is interesting especially the Stalin museum. I was part of a team evaluating the Georgian military after the conflict with Russia. I enjoyed Tblisi and Kazbegi wa quite scenic. Not sure what things are doing now but I enjoyed Georgia it is an interesting place.
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  10. rok1679

    rok1679 Adventurer

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    Greetings Everyone!

    So the only possible way to cross border with Russia is going from Vladikavkaz to Kazbegi - military highway? Crossing was long closed for foreigners, but now it is open?
    What about Turkey? Which borders can be used by foreigners? I know of Sarpi, but are there any else ?

    Are there any good spots along Black Sea coast to rest for a couple of days (hotels excluded)?
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  11. Revenue

    Revenue Adventurer

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    From the reports i have read on many forums it is open to all from Nov 2011, who knows in the future, i do hope it will be in August!! It is the only place for foreigners.
    Just been reading a european motorcyclist crossing Karcahi to Aktag in summer 2011 this will be better for us as we will be riding up from Erzurum staying overnight in Ardahan then just a short 70km ride in the morning to the border.
    Still waiting for a friend who lives in Rize to come back to me will post when i have any info, on cheapish Accom
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  12. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    theres a border crossing from GEO-TR thats just west of Armenia, near a town called Vale? (I think) that I crossed in 2010. its in the middle of nowhere, & there was about 10km of bad dirt/gravel on the GEO side to reach it.

    Doug



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  13. Revenue

    Revenue Adventurer

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    Hi Doug
    Yes i see that crossing at Vale, how was the crossing for a foreigner? it would be great to cross in this area rather than ride up to the black sea and cross there.

    Eric
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  14. rok1679

    rok1679 Adventurer

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    Thank you all for answers. So this is good news: It is posible for foreigner to ride from Vladikavkaz to Tbilisi via Military highway.

    Any ideas for Georgia where to stay and relax for a couple of days? I will be travelling in summer, so it would be good to be some kind of watter (sea, lake, river, pool) near for a swim?
    I suppose there aren't any official campings?

    Greetings,
    Vrho
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  15. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    crossing at Vale was easy. Vale is a small village with nothing there. and the pavement ends at Vale, after that, you go up a rocky road 10km to the border


    batumi has alot of resorts, and probably camping, right on the beach. Georgia isnt very expensive, altho I havent stayed at a beachfront hotel before

    Doug
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  16. GreeKKTiNoS

    GreeKKTiNoS Been here awhile

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    Any info for Sarpi ?

    (Georgia Turkey border)
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  17. vagelat

    vagelat Aris

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    Well... hallo everybody.
    I just found this thread and I am really glad !!!
    You see, we are preparing for a moto tour around black sea the end of May 2012.
    (http://aroundtheblacksea2012.wordpress.com/ - unfortunately in Greek....)
    So all information are most welcomed!
    Some friends that travel the same route 2 years ago took the ferry from Batumi for Trabzon, but we really try to find a way on the mainland!
    All the best
    Aris
    #17
  18. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    Sarpi is easy, nice paved road on both sides. Beware of tour bus induced chaos tho, and watch for the cows on the road as you near batumi
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  19. Revenue

    Revenue Adventurer

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    Hi
    Is there still no news on the Kazbegi / Vladikavkaz border crossing for EU people???

    Eric
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  20. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    last summer, a friend of mine from Romania crossed at Kazbegi. I will try it myself this July
    #20