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Off the Beach

Black and white image of a Ferris wheel behind a metal wall
Ferris Wheel, Batumi, Georgia

When Corie and I first visited Batumi in June, the city’s tourist season was just ramping up. Temporary bars and clubs sprouted along the beach and their more permanent counterparts across the boardwalk cranked out dance music through the night.

Our second time was different.

The crowds were gone. Before we went out to eat, we had to double check to make sure the restaurant we wanted hadn’t closed for the winter. It felt like being at a party, long after it was over.

I loved it. It was nice walking up and down the beach without crowds of people. When it rained or when the sun went down, the few people who milled about earlier, went away. I felt like I had many places to myself.

Those of you who have been following my newsletters and photography know I like an emotional sky, especially for my black and white photographs. In that regard, Batumi didn’t disappoint. Except for a couple evenings, rainstorms swept the sea and city in the late afternoons, providing me with some pretty amazing skies.

I arrived at our room several evenings a little drenched but happy (which might explain why I caught a cold when we got back to Tbilisi).

Everyone we meet seems to either love Batumi or hate it. There’s never a middle ground. Comparing Batumi with other cities in Georgia is very much comparing bananas and grapes.

Whereas Tbilisi feels very urban and very historic, Batumi, especially along the boardwalk, feels very modern. New hotels and apartments along the beach give the coast a Las Vegas vibe.

But peel away the mini-Dubai feel, and Batumi feels like an old beach town, laid back, easy to stroll, and unhurried, a perfect place for interesting photographs.

black and whit image of a lighthouse on a boardwalk
Lighthouse, Batumi, Georgia


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