First of all, we’ve decided no side dishes, concentrate on Georgia, even two cities Batu-mi & Tbilisi. Why Batu-mi ? Batu-mi has a special meaning to us the far relatives of my gf have been still living there a nearby holiday resort Kabuleti (former Turkish name Çürüksu). Her family is famous there and in Batumi as we would see a popular respect on it. So we limited our trip to main cities and Kobuleti.
Naturally we have not to prefer a package tour for the sake of free travelling. We chose to go there by plane as we found a direct flight from Ankara to Batumi. But the price of the trip was variable. What I mean ? Batumi airport has been being used for the national flights of Turkey with a special agreement. So you may buy a Ankara-Hopa ticket which is rated as national flight and gradually cheaper than Ankara-Batumi flight. Both these different destinations terminates at Batumi Airport. The ones who bought Hopa ticket are treated as national passenger and directly forwarded to the service buses without entering any passport or custom control which carry them to the Turkish side of the border ie, to Hopa. The international passengers however are to go the passport control. Some people who come to Batumi chose cheaper way and has to return from Hopa to the Border with carrying the burden of retransporting & time. We chose to go in directly as international passenger and bought our tickets from Anadolu Jet but later on has learned that Anadolu Jet which is one of sub-brands of Turkish Airlines are passing all Batumi passengers to another small Turkish company BoraJet which has a fleet of ATR 72-500 (ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop short-haul regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR).
Ok for the accommodation we tried booking.com and trip advisor but the hotels at Batumi seemed to full at mid-july. Our schedule is like that , go on to Batumi , stay there two nights, have a over-night train to Tbilisi spend that night at train, next night Tbilisi and return back to Batumi with again over-night train and spent next 2 nights at Batumi and return back to Ankara. The formula was B-B-Tr-Tbls-Tr-B-B. We booked a suit at Betsy Hotel Tbilisi to overcome the train tiringsome by using booking.com. But couldn’t find any international hotels at Batumi to book at. Sheraton, Radisson and Intourist hotels which were popular at booking sites all full. So I contacted a Tourism Agent at Trabzon which were making reservations to a Turkish Hotel in Batumi. So we fixed the accomodation issue to Batumi and Tbilisi reservations has been made. Just the train legs are need to be fixed on-site 🙂
You may be curious about the budget , let me give some info about that; Ankara-Batum-i round trip ticket at July ’11 is about 270 $. At Istanbul Hotel seasonal price per room for two persons was around 100$ with breakfast. and at Betsy Hotel suit room with wonderful breakfast was around 125 $.
So we were almost done in planning phase.
Lets’s move in..