Day 14 – Georgia V (indecisions)


I get up after a third night on the sofa at Tamo’s apartment. I take a showed and redo the backpack before she appears from her room. While she prepares the breakfast, I take again the dog for a walk, still using the stairs. On the way back the dog gets with full confidence in the building block door number 2. We climb the stairs and only at the top floor I realize we are in the wrong place. Go down again and climb the 8 floors up via the door number 1. Good morning exercise.


I say goodbye to Tamo. It was a really nice stay as I feel she is used to couchsurfers. I want to keep contact and look forward to having her visiting us in Switzerland.


I’m on the train direction Batumi. I go for the boat. A big uncertainty fills my spirit. Is this the best choice? Would not be better the night train to Yerevan and from there go home? When will the boat arrive Bulgaria? Will I have time to catch the last train Saturday afternoon to Sofia? I’ve already accepted that I will get home on Sunday morning, beyond the my self-imposed limit.

The train this time is half empty, I move to a place where I can see better outside and in the same direction as the train.


My calculations say that the boat will leave Batumi, the best case, tomorrow at 11:00 and will get to Burgas after 50 hours, midday Saturday. I hope disembarking will be fast to take the 14:30 train to Sofia.


I decide to get out of the train on the first stop, 3h away from Tbilisi. It is Kutaisi Airport. Using marine websites, I can see that the boat is stopped in front of Batumi and I don’t know when it will go inside the port. The risk to miss the train on Saturday is too big and I will be the whole boat trip full of stress.

Now I want to take the 20:20 train from Tbilisi to Yerevan.

I take the shuttle from the train station to the airport and there I see a bus to Tbilisi. The agent says it will leave in 25 minutes and trip time is 3h30, 4h max. I buy the ticket and get in. The bus leaves 35 minutes later. Google Maps says a trip time of 3h30. Little time after it stops for 20 minutes at a gas station. Again, I’m stressed and unpowerful. I know there will be crazy traffic getting in the city. After 3h30 travel time we are in the outskirts blocked in the traffic. The bus stops to let people out, but I see it is same time to walk to the metro or go to the centre. I was wrong. The last 20km take 2h.

Traffic to get into Tbilissi


The bus arrived to Liberty Square in the centre of Tbilisi. I run to the metro to get to the train station. The night train will leave in 40 minutes, and I still do not have a ticket neither food. Luckily the metro is very fast. At the ticket office they do not accept cards and I need to get money out. The next ATM does not allow to choose the amount, I’m obliged to get 100 Lari. With the ticket in the hand, I go down to the station’ supermarket looking for food. There is nothing that I could call dinner food. I get some biscuits and a can of beer. In front of the supermarket, I see a bakery kiosk and get a pastry and a hotdog. It will be my meal of the day. The train does not have a wagon-restaurant. I go back to the station, look for the platform – in the soviet countries the directions are always a problem.

I’m back to a Russian train. I’ve a 3rd class ticket: an open wagon. There are not so many passengers and I share my 6-person space only with an old Bulgarian tourist traveling to Yeveran to take a flight back home. I feel much better now, I’m back to my comfort zone.

Next Stop: Yeveran
Relatively new Russian train (Armenian Railways are subsidiary of Russian railways)
Third class in Russian trains
My sea, ready to prepare the bed


We stop at the Georgian border. We need to get out of the train. I should not forget that I’m travelling with the Swiss passport and cannot say that I’m from Portugal. People get confused when someone has two nationalities.


Armenian border. We don’t need to leave the train this time. Three police enter, check the passport first by hand and then on a computer with a reader. Later come the customs officers and they go directly to the people in the space next to mine. It looks like the ladies there have goods far beyond the allowed limits. The discussion in Armenian is quite loud and takes long. Only at 00:50 the train moves again and with the help of the wagon personnel it calms down. I fall asleep.

The smuggling into Armenia