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Written on: Thursday July 5th, 2012

A journal entry from: November 2011 until...

After returning to Batumi to pick up my visa for Azerbaijan I headed off to Tbilisi on the overnight train before popping over to Gori - birthplace of Stalin - for a day trip. Apt name for the town I guess - I can think of others. I'll be spending a bit of time in Tbilisi over the next week or so, so I won't put an entry for it yet.

Gori was memorable for Father Juan (I'm sure that is spelt in a more Georgian way) who I met on teh street while looking for the Ethnographic museum. The good padre was as kind as he was inebriated. Lacking any common language he led me around in small circles, feeding me boiled sweets until a lady asked what we were doing (I was asking myself the same question). Thankfully she spoke English and explain to Father J where I was trying to go. Leading me forcefully by the arm we marched off the the museum where he sat me down and asked the five staff to call in their English speaking guide and to get some coffee into me. 

The coffee was so thick and strong that blowing on it to cool is down left a dent in it.

I didn't go into the Stalin museum - I could not bring myself to pay money to enter something that by all accounts glossed over his 'misdemeanours', but his train and the house that he was born in were outside, so I had a gander at them.

I also dodged the contruction crews that seem to make up half of Georgia's population (the other half are mini-bus drivers) to make it up the the castle ruins in the middle of town which look a lot more impressive from afar.