Our journey from The Netherlands to The Republic of Georgia wasn’t without a few mishaps. On August 14th, we left Dordrecht, South Holland, on a train bound for Eindhoven. From there, getting to Dortmund, Germany, where we were to fly out of, would prove to be a bit of a trial. The problem started when we got to Eindhoven late and discovered that our next train connection to Dusseldorf was actually a bus, and we had nine minutes to get to the stop, that was blocks away. When we finally reached the stop, out of breath from running with our luggage, and without a moment to spare, the bus for Dusseldorf wasn’t even there yet. When the bus finally arrived, the driver wouldn’t accept our ticket. He told us that the ticket we had purchased, online, wasn’t from their company, and if we wanted to take this bus, it would cost us another 20 Euro a piece. We decided to take it after being assured by the driver that the bus would get us to Dusseldorf in time to make our train connection to Dortmund. As you’ve probably guessed, the bus was late and we missed our train to Dortmund. We had to wait an hour for the next train, but at least we were able to use the ticket we had bought online. When we got to Dortmund, we checked into our hotel, then went in search of a place to eat. We were exhausted and didn’t want to go far, so we got some fast food and took it back to our hotel room.
The next morning, at 6:30 am, we left for the airport, on an express bus, that cost us 8.50 Euro each, for a 25km ride. Our 9:00 am Wizz Air flight to Kutaisi, Georgia, was 50 minutes late taking off. It was a full flight, with a lot of kids that screamed for the full four hours. They were probably as tired as we were from having gotten up for such an early flight. When our flight finally arrived, we were able to breeze right through customs. We weren’t even asked how long we planned to stay. We found that a bit unusual. We were relieved when we came through the gate and Timor, our host from The Medea Guesthouse, was there to greet us. He didn’t speak English, but he was holding up a card with our last name on it. The drive to the guesthouse was a little nerve-wracking since Timor drove very fast, riding up on the bumpers of the cars in front of him, and passing other vehicles when it wasn’t safe. He turned out to be a very kind host, though, and once we got settled in our room, he brought out his homemade wine to share with us. He also asked us what we wanted to do while in Kutaisi, using his phone to translate, back and forth, between Georgian and English. The next day, after enjoying a breakfast of cheesy bread and coffee, we walked into the city to explore. It was about 95 degrees out, so eventually, we got out of the sun and sat in the shade at the city park. Kutaisi was just a short stop for us, before going to Batumi, but we will return to the area, at a later date, since the city does offer horseback riding excursions, and trips to the Prometheus Caves.
On Friday, August 17th, we took a train to Batumi. When we arrived in Batumi we realized we were quite a ways from the city center and would need to take a cab to our apartment. The cab driver didn’t speak any English and was not able to decipher where we wanted to go when he looked at the name of the street on the paper we gave him. He called someone on his phone who spoke English, and we spelled the name of the street to her. The driver dropped us off on the right street, but unbeknownst to any of us, the numbers on the buildings had been changed. The number for our building on the Airbnb ad was incorrect. Our train was early anyway, so we waited at the wrong building for two hours, until a Ukrainian man, who spoke English, came along and told us we were in the wrong building. At that point, we were going to be late meeting our host. The kind gentlemen from Ukraine tried to call our hosts, who were also from Ukraine, but they didn’t answer their phone. Fortunately, the kind man was able to give us general directions on how to get to our building, and though we were a half hour late, we made it. We were pleasantly surprised when we entered our apartment, which is clean, modern, and has a great view of the sea. We have a comfortable bed, a nice bathroom, and a small kitchen area with a gas stove top. The hot water tank is also run by natural gas. Unfortunately, four days after we got here the gas was cut off because our hosts neglected to pay their bill. We sent them a message on Airbnb the night it went out, but they didn’t respond. The next morning we knocked on their door several times before they finally answered. Alex, our host finally went down and paid the bill. Our hosts went back to Ukraine, after a week, and that’s when the internet was turned off. We had to walk to the gym to use the internet, to message our hosts, to get it turned back on. Once again, they had failed to pay a bill. We have since gotten our internet back and they have assured us that all the other bills have been paid. So why did we put ourselves through all that? Because although things don’t always go as planned, the rewarding experiences we have as Perpetual Travelers, are worth some minor setbacks.