Thursday – a birthday in Batumi

How clever not only to have a birthday at the only seaside resort on the trip, but also on a ‘free’ (ie no planned activities) and beautifully warm sunshiny day. Our only commitment for the day was for a group meal for supper. We took advantage! First of all our hotel did not serve breakfast until 9.00 – unheard of! So we sauntered down to find everyone there to sing Happy Birthday which was fun and a wonderfully good start. I then opened the cards that Keith had been tasked to bring with him and some very jolly ‘e’ cards. The ‘ girls’ gave me a lovely ceramic bowl in my favourite green tones. People are very kind. I am a very lucky girl.

We had planned to have a few birthday drinks before we set off for supper and I was pleased to discover that the hotel had a sort of sun terrace overlooking the beach where we could have our little ‘soirée’. Having discovered the venue, all that was required was a few nibbles and we would be ‘in business’ as they say. I did hope the drilling that was taking place underneath the said ‘terrace’ would stop before the designated 6.00 pm bottle opening time!

Barry was taking a taxi to town, so we joined him. Here I have to mention the statue of Jason and his Golden Fleece in the square where we got out of the taxi. One of our party thought that it was a woman holding her dog upside down instead of the much vaunted Jason…….. Easy mistake to make. I think art can get a bit too ‘avant grade’ myself. Anyway, back to the story, the first stop was a juice on the very nice piazza where we had listened to the jazz band the night before. Beautiful buildings, wonderful sunshine. Perfect. That worked well and Diane turned up to join us. We then set off on the nibbles hunt and before long found a supermarket where not only Camembert but a blue Auvergne cheese was to be had – incredible. Just to add that bit of ‘flair’ I am always searching for for my table I found lime green plastic cups and napkins to match, it made my day as only the discerning will understand…

We then wandered back, trying to find some humous. We thought we had cracked it when we found a Turkish store. In response to our enquiry the man offered us chick peas to make our own – not quite what we had in mind! Despite this set back, we were pleased with our purchases and set off back to the piazza for lunch and then back to the hotel for a bit of sunbathing (it really does sound like a holiday doesn’t it?!) and evening preparations.

What a lazy day. I took my book to the beach and watched the world go by for a bit. When this palled I adjourned to my diary and it was then time to don what I am referring to as my ‘stage 1 metamorphosis clothes’ to go out. I have now got real jeans and real boots to go with the birthday jacket. The only mar to my joy was the hairdryer not working – so the hair still looks a mess.

All this aside our soirée went well, there was a perfect sunset, the Georgian red wine was excellent and the nibbles and green detail worked out well. I was very touched that Zaza came and gave me a necklace made from shells and a Batumi fridge magnet (these Georgians are charmers!). Diane bought a bottle and another fridge magnet with a little set of bottles (what is she implying?!) All my favourites were there and we had a jolly time watching the sun go down. We then set off for a very nice Georgian meal overlooking one of the dancing fountains and then a stroll back along the promenade.

What a day and apologies to those purists who have missed out on the culture – a normal service will be back tomorrow…….

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