My trip to Batumi, and indeed my time in Georgia as a whole, was focused more on getting a visa to Azerbaijan than on enjoying Georgia for itself.
I was really surprised, then, to find in Batumi a great town to hang out in. Known as a somewhat popular Russian-world beach resort on the Black Sea, I expected the worst. Think big Russian guys in small speedos, walking down the street with ice cream in one hand and vodka in the other.
Perhaps I’ve just heard too many stories about Phukhet (Thailand), though, because Batumi wasn’t that at all. Instead I found a lively town with attractive architecture and people, dotted with cafes and pubs, and an old town less than a 10 minute walk from the beach.
So, no, the beaches weren’t pristine white sand (more pristine gray pebbles) and the town has a bit of a rough at the edges feeling. Compared to what I was expecting, though, it was downright delightful!
My time in town was quite short, though, as I eventually got a visa for Azerbaijan and hopped into a van with two Australian dudes who were on their way through from London to Mongolia.