That keeps Georgia on my mind! Yes, it is the 4th of July and yes it is time to leave Georgia. We are up quite early as we don’t want to be hornswaggled out of our Turkish Airlines flights again. The plan is to be picked up at 7:30 to reach the airport by 9:00 AM. Andrew kindly gets up early to carry our bags down. Janet is also up to wish us goodbye. We are early for our station and the driver is late. He shows up 15 minutes late and we say goodbye and head off. He is a very good driver and cuts 15 minutes off the trip so we get there at the targeted 9:00.
But Turkish Air is not ready for our check-in even though there are plenty of staff hanging around. Eventually they start to check-in but as inefficient as ever there is a single entry point with the attendant in an argument with the passenger and 4 check-in stations without customers. Eventually we get checked-in and there is still plenty of time left.
As we wait to board, I reflect on our visit to Georgia.
Definitely an interesting part about Georgia including his long history and maybe even the beginning of wine in human society. The making and ageing of the win in the Kvevris was also good. We had some very good wines and some home made wines that were not special. A special mention should be made about the Chacha, Bryn’s favourite.
Well, this is a tricky one. There were some interesting foods, the Green Plum sauce fro example. And there was plenty of it looking at all the photos of the food that we left behind. But this was not an exciting cuisine in general and frequently the food was over cooked e.g. the Seafood place in Batumi.
The roads ranged from a few good ones, to some OK ones, some not that swell ones and some absolutely terrible – see the Post called “Duane Eddy” for more detail. The drivers were a bit ordinary too. Many times we were travelling one direction and a car was overtaking another in the other direction effectively creating a third lane in the middle when there was not one there.
Given that this was summer it was not that great but then it is a mountainous country so I guess that could be expected. Some rain in the mountains did not help the roads situation.
A major plus, at least all the ones that we met that were serving us. Over generous to a fault, incredibly friendly, immediately accepted us just about everywhere we went.
I am certainly glad that we did this tour of Georgia, there were a number of good points and we got to see somewhere new, one steeped in history. Having said that, been there, done that.
We board the first leg to Lyon which stops in Istanbul. Smooth enough flight, food unexceptional, 25 minutes in a holding pattern then a wait through security after we land. A very busy airport but we have time for a drink, especially as they would not let us go to the boarding gate until later on.
The flight to Lyon is unexceptional. As usual, the food and drink service in Economy was inefficient. We were in the middle of the plane and by the time both trolleys got to us, only one food choice was available and a large part of the flight was over. The kebab was OK, just.
So comments about Turkish.
* I could never forgive them for the banning us from the flight to Georgia because of 10 minutes late of an artificially enforced deadline. Not only did we miss the first day of the tour, but also we got slugged for additional airfare and of course Hotel accommodation.
* Their inefficiencies at check-in and food and beverage service were annoying.
* Having said that, they had the best leg room in Economy that I can recall seeing.
For continuation see the next Post.