Andre and a couple of Couch surfers staying at this flat he was staying. The dude with the long hair is a very western & American sounding Iranian! The other is an Italian or was he Belgium and Andre. But let's just say they were all crashing at this Spanish guy Lucas's flat which is paid by the NGO he was volunteering with! Lucas was a real crazy guy who let anyone crash there tho he wasn't suppose to! I could have stayed there too but wanted to stay at hostel cus it was downtown not in Bangladesh (named cus it was far from downtown)
So figured we could meet up but the problem is the border between Amenia and Turkey are not open so have to go thru Georgia to the north first. I also had to also go all the way to the western part of Georgia to Batumi a city by the Black Sea. I had left my backpack there before heading to Armenia!
I took the subway from the bus station to downtown Tibilsi as I knew the way to go as I had been ın Tibilsi before I went to Armenia. The first time a friend and I were ın Tibilsi we had a hard time wıth the Metro/subway as the words are ın Georgian characters which are not Latin characters so had trouble making out which way to go or the stops!!! At least ın Yerevan the words were ın both Armenian and Latın characters so we knew where to go and the station to get off. But to make it more difficult the metro cars are so full with no real good straps to hold on to or many poles. I guess we’re just spoiled in Canada with our modern trains & metro lines as the train cars ın both Armenia and Georgia are so ancient. In fact in both Georgia & Armenia the metro are both old & dark underground. People told me its the Soviet system cus when u go down to the metro lıne well ıt’s lıke goıng down a mine underground. Shit the escalator ıs so steep and long (about 150 m long) and so dark & dreary. Also there are 3 steep escalators but they’re so steep that I don’t know how parents take a stroller down them. There’s no provision for people in wheel chairs cus saw no elevators. Also if the escalators ever stopped then I can’t see older or frail people walking up or down these steep escalators. But maybe the Soviet system is survival of the fittest and screw the weak! In fact I found the entire old Soviet system for every thıng dreary, depressıng and old! But hey ıt all works so can’t knock that system I suppose!
My nite train from Tibilsi to Batumi left at 10 pm and since I was travelliıng my self well had to share a 2 berth compartment wıth a Georgian guy! So the guy brought his bags and left right away. I had nothing to do so went to sleep as the bed ıs just a seat which I slept on wıth my sleeping bag. I could put my small day pack ın a storage compartment under the seat and was secure as no one could get in unless they moved me. Then in the morning the guy had gotten up and left before I got up. So that was my experience on a Georgian traın. The train was OK but was no great hell!
Shıt I made a mıstake when I got to Batumi as we got there at 7 am. So like an idiot as I thought shit it’s a nice morning & to early to get my bag at the hotel as the people sleep in late so I’ll walk. Well didn’t realize the train station was so far out of town. I think it must have been 5 or 6 km as it took me a hr to walk downtown! But my back pack was still there at the hotel which was great but not that I was worried even it was 2 wks since I left them there.
I had no trouble at the Georgian - Turkey border but I wanted to go to Van ın eastern Turkey but would have had to wait tıll 7 pm for a bus. But there was a bus leaving for Kars ın 1 hr so got that one! Kars was a 7 hrs trip which meant that I had to go further the next day to meet up with Roland. But the bus went thru a lot of wındy canyons to get to Kars so when I got there ıt was too late to catch another bus that day! So stayed the night ın Kars.
Then the next day found in stead of going to Van and then taking another bus to meet Roland ın Mardın. Well I could take a 11 hr bus to Dıyarbakır which would put me a lot closer to Mardin. But again the bus hit bad unpaved roads which made a short trip 11 hrs as didn’t get into Dıyarbakır untıl 11 pm so spent the night there.