You know those things that work way better the second time around? Well this border was one of those. Having read the horror stories of 9hr+ wait time at the border turkey-georgia online and then seeing first hand the line up and correspondingly longer faces of the rallies further back, we decided to make the 2-3 hour drive to the mountain crossing. Although more treacherous we initially favored the windy roads to boiling stop and start of the lineup. That quickly changed as darkness set and the pavement at altitude proved treacherous, to say nothing of the highly questionable behavior of the local truck drivers on the skinny roads. Stopping for fuel we pulled the plug on the mountainous pass and decided over a lovely dinner at a restaurant with a wraparound outdoor patio fishtank to flow back at our leisure to the border and wait it out after dark. Turns out the border only took 90 minutes to cross at that time and we were on our merry way. Markus and me went our for Partying after arrived around 1am in the hostel. I went home at 4 and Markus around 9am.
The views of the city in Georgia were spectacular, unfortunately only one of our troop managed to take them in, as most of the team was recovering. Thanks Seth. That being said, down in the streets was pretty phenomenal as well. This whole region of the world is steeped in massive amounts of history that is still strongly flavors their culture and food. Mhmmm. After walking around the streets close to the riverside the first morning returning to the hostel was even more of a treat. The establishment Fabrika could be a post unto itself. Two partners years ago bought a derelict soviet textiles factory and the results of their efforts are impressive. It is now a active art installation that features half a dozen restaurants, massive lounge packed every night with both locals and foreigners enjoying the atmosphere that could only be the polar opposite of its industrial soviet origins. Street art covered every square meter of wall space, bright and vibrant in contrast to the drab concrete poured for the original factory. Other pluses were its own club, international food, VW van photo both, classic cars parked about and very impressive couches, some over 5 meters long. The cheap draft also a plus. All in all the three days spent there was a lovely necessity, so nice to stretch our legs and give Bulma her well deserved rest.