Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Auf der anderen Seite

Eastern Anatolia, a name capable of sending chills down the spines of any CDU politican. To us, it is more like coming home after our brief foray into Georgia. Despite the fact that Georgia at least geographically belongs to Europe (and also mischievously flags the blue EU-flag at their border...), it is here on the streets of Rize that you truly could be anywhere on the European continent; the şiş kebabı tastes just like the one in Dalston Kingsland.

Georgia then. Departing Tbilisi we spent seven hours on a hot train passing through the most beautiful mountains before arriving in Batumi, a city which Lonely planet was correct in describing as more akin to the capital of a Caribbean banana republic than a provincial city on the fringes of the former Soviet Union. Hundreds of large SUVs with tinted windows, heavily armed guards and flamboyant casinos. Add to that an airport with the IATA-code BUS and the picture is complete.*

Unfortunately, even beyond the often antediluvian plumbing and other similar nuisances, I would say that Georgia has a long way to go before it becomes a popular tourist destination among Swedes in the sense that for instance Bulgaria has. But rest assure, for anyone feeling more adventurous, I can say that the Caucasus is definitely worth a visit!

(meanwhile in Sweden, the traditional media continues to ignore the spy-bill due for approval - if you are not already on the barricades, please take a minute and see for yourself what is at stake).

* "Bus" means "mischief" in Swedish



Blogger Nils said...

We shall overcome.

3:38 pm  

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