Rus Articles Journal

Travel to Abkhazia - edge of the sunk ships, orange lemons and freaky drivers. Part 1

In June, 2010 we all family - I, my husband Dima and two children (Timofey, 7 years and Ilya, 5 years), went for two weeks on rest to Abkhazia. Thanks to our friend Sergey, went not at random (as we usually do, finding housing on the place), and purposefully to his good acquaintance Vakhtang to the city of Sukhumi. At once I will make a reservation that sounds a little unusually - we everything for old time`s sake call the city of “Sukhumi“, but locals tell “Sukhumi“. In two weeks managed to look not so much as it would be desirable, but nevertheless received enough positive impressions.

24. 06

we Reached Sochi without adventures, except for that flight was delayed for three hours. We received the backpack and moved off in searches of a minibus or the bus to border. On the road it was necessary to squeeze way through a crowd of persuasive taxi drivers; and we and passed by, but the aunty with the child flying with us suggested to cooperate - so it turned out absolutely cheap, and we nevertheless took a taxi to border.

At first got to a terrible stopper. It also is clear: before the Olympic Games around continuous buildings - and here come every morning to work hundreds of workers, and part on houses in the evening.

But that struck me - it is continuous palm trees of various types and the sizes! I yet never saw palm trees on streets! Some shaggy, with fluffy trunks, and at some trunks narrow - firm, are also made narrower from top to bottom (the word of honor, I thought earlier that it just like that on pictures is drawn!) . Near restaurants and hotels of a palm tree well-groomed: old leaves are cut, and trunks are decorated with garlands. And yet I never observed so many the blossoming trees and bushes! To the shame, I identified nothing at all. Unless an oleander with brightly - red clusters of flowers. And still there were same bushes, but with pink and white flowers! And still I for the first time saw the blossoming magnolia, and each its flower was of the size of two of my the opened palms!

reached quickly border quickly. By the way, here from the road to check point still it is necessary to bypass a heap of houses. But owners of one lodge arranged pass through the court yard. Very originally: you pay a small money - and here you already in the right place!

By the way when we departed from Moscow, the heat was 32 degrees, and here it turned out 24 so breathed sigh of relief.

Long stood in a queue. Children plaid about, Timokh got all a question whether we will swim in the sea today, and we could not din into it in any way that we will arrive at night.

the Man in a white uniform shirt long checked our documents, verified our faces with photos, and then still asked children. To Ilyush asked, how old is he, with whom he goes and as call mother. On the last question of Ilyukh faltered and perplexed looked at me: “Mother, and what is your name?“ After Timokh uttered rapidly the necessary answers and we were passed, Dima with Ilyukhe`s offense uttered: “How so? Five years raised you, and you do not even know how our names are?“ “I know, - Ilyushka was confused, - just forgot.“

the Abkhazian point we passed

quickly, but from us tore off some collecting of 750 rubles so even the mood deteriorated a little (interestingly that the crossing borders by train, do not pay this money - that is pure extortion).

But was found at once avtobusik to Sukhumi, and chose to themselves seats on the right side - to look at the sea. To children we fed the “space“ sandwiches which remained from the plane, and to me was thought that somehow too we jumped to heart`s content today. It is so much changes of transport and so many turns! Perhaps, and the truth would be by train simpler: though 1,5 days, but go and have a rest. And we since the morning standing, now eight evening, and still to go two hours.

All road palm trees admired

the sea along which very tall cypresses grow, well both, of course, and still there are so much unknown, but beautiful plants!

Once we observed delightful park with huge trees, ponds and fountains, white arches and columns along the sea (then I learned that it was Gagra). In general, double impression: on the one hand all such festive, with another - is visible that all constructions awfully old: all this once reminded palaces (columns, ladders, parapets, ornaments on buildings, mosaic sculptures - fountains), and now fell into decay, and nobody restores anything.

When went uphill on the serpentine, surprised me that even there are accurate parapetik here, and even beds stand on pedestals!

Gradually began to darken, besides weather deteriorated: watered a rain, but in five minutes suddenly stopped. After a while watered again, and again ceased. I saw it only in the animated film therefore I guessed now whether it will be possible to reach dry. And here the rain began for the third time...

It is good that the aunty in the bus gave us for a while the phone, and we called Vakhtang - warned that we will be at the station in five minutes. Sim - cards we did not manage to buy and there were no place. On border even the bottle of Pepsi cost 140 rubles! That is is three times more expensive!

Us was landed at the station, and we ran on pools under a booth peak. Roads here the most terrible! In total in potholes - therefore pools exclusively dirty and deep.

When I called Vakhtang, began to describe how we look - all was afraid that he with someone will mix us. But the station in night was absolutely desert. Dima told that the only train comes here to one o`clock in the afternoon. But the line of taxi drivers queued up to us, and we asked everyone whether he is Vakhtang. Eventually, the car taxied up to us with squeal. So doubts could not be is precisely it.

In ten minutes we were already at home. Vakhtang was sociable and cheerful (actually, unless southerners are others?), his wife Inna - sincere and hospitable, and still we got acquainted with their adult daughter.

So far to us prepared for

the room, we were already ready to drop. Therefore not to waste time, I led children in a shower - to wash and brush teeth. Then took care of the own life... And when I returned to the house, found all at a table, with appetite eating a shish kebab.

“You brushed teeth!“ - I was indignant. “Nothing, clean once again!“ - Vakhtang waved a hand.

But on the second time lacked

us any more. We flopped in a bed and fell asleep.

25 - 26. 06

In Abkhazia in the summer very hot and if weather spoils, then absolutely for a while. Just in the very first day of our arrival poured a rain - small, strong, and did not stop at all. So we had time to accustom at home. However, to children in the room it was not sat, and they played in a court yard under a canopy. It turned out that in the yard there lives the cheerful doggie, and still a kitty - the teenager - a hybrid of a Siamese cat with domestic. Then we got acquainted with them closer and fed up something tasty. The kitty was very sociable, played with Timofey in hunting for a blade, and at times in passion could run into a leg and bite slightly. Already then, when the cat grew bolder and began to come without demand for kitchen, Timokh found out that she is afraid of a broom - and showed the door the uninvited guest.

At Vakhtang an accurate two-storeyed lodge and not less cozy and accurate site. Here besides cucumbers, tomatoes grapes, and still laurel bushes grow and that most of all we surprised - a kiwi! It appears, they ripen even in December!

the First time we went to the sea, without waiting for good weather. Still the drizzle drizzled, it was cool.

to Describe Sukhumi briefly it is difficult. On the central streets there are a lot of three here - five - and multi-storey buildings. Some since the military conflict with Georgia are still destroyed: somewhere glasses are beaten out, and somewhere there are not enough even fragments of walls.

the Most interesting small streets of Sukhumi - on what private lodges, generally dvukhtazhny are located. It is a lot of new, but the constructions shaking on the beauty meet: openwork terraces with east ornaments, ancient stone ladders, moss-grown... And if still to add to it a thicket of an ivy which clings practically to naked walls, and palm trees of various types then the picture turns out just fantastic.

One more interesting detail: in the city there are practically no sidewalks (except for the center) and traffic regulations. And if on main roads drivers still pass pedestrians, then on small streets it is always necessary to look around.

Asphalt here the most terrible - continuous potholes, but it does not prevent “Dzhigits“ to rush through holes, without feeling sorry for the cars. Therefore, going to the sea to a rain, we diligently ran all over pools, being afraid to be slung mud.

By the way, it is very difficult to find a wastebasket in Sukhumi. On the central streets they which - where come across, but it is very rare! And in other places it is even possible not to look for - the garbage rolls along roads; the market after trade represents a heart-breaking show: the area, is filled up with boxes, dirty packages, beaten glass. By the way, Inna regularly changes to us in kitchen a package for garbage, but where it puts it - so far for us a riddle.

the Coast in Sukhumi very beautiful: pebble beaches with piers, along the coast the avenue with ancient lamps (too the remains of former luxury, from Soviet period), thickets of maples, cedars (we gathered cones with nutlets) and immense eucalyptuses extends.

When we the first time reached the sea, the rain amplified, but all (except me) all the same wished to bathe. Children very much missed the sea. Home we went absolutely wet, though put on finally windbreakers. But the fact that so far we on the way back went shopping is surprising, looked out and began to burn the sun - and all our clothes practically dried on us. It is very interesting to p to read to

names of local streets. They are duplicated by the second line in Russian, and we with amazement tried to pronounce the words consisting practically of one vowels. For example, Agumaa Street, or is even more difficult - Aiaaira (Pobedy St). However, Abkhazians say them very quickly and harmoniously. And as I liked the sign “Alauash“ (unleavened wheat cake)! Observant Dima paid attention that in general very many words begin on “And“, even names of local telephone operators - “And - mobayl“ and “Akvafon“. And, by the way, many words are formed from Russians by simple addition “and“ at the beginning of the word - for example to “akafa“. We long giggled about it, guessing whether Pushkin as “Apushkin“ will sound?

Still here amusing situation with lighting. The working lamps are present only at the center (in other places a darkness), but as then it became clear, behind them nobody looks, and they burn even in the afternoon at bright light.

People here very different: is cheerful, sincere, quiet, and is quite sharp and loud. By the way, statistically, here very big percent of theft what even locals warn about. Therefore it is possible to bathe only in turn not to leave a thing unguarded.

Having visited the beach several times, I sang of the anthem to the pigs who are not cleaning up a bottle, so many the fragments of glass rolled by the sea I saw never before in life! Directly - even all passion was gone: to find such fragments of glass in the Crimea, it is necessary to try very much, and here they continually!

Though weather after a rain was also restored by

quickly enough, but at the sea was still restless and to float with a mask to look something interesting, it was not represented possible. But I incidentally caught on the bank of a tiny krabik (about 2 cm) and when we with children solemnly released it, he promptly ran sidewise to water and disappeared in waves.

From our house to the sea about 20 minutes of walking, but on a heat it very long, especially if still has to buy something on the road. After festivities on the sun strongly drives in a dream, but it is not always possible to fall asleep: at Vakhtang very noisy rooster who shouts always lives while light-, and on a pipe of the neighboring house the thrush diligently sings the songs. And the cheerful doggie cannot keep silent when neighbour`s dogs bark.

in the Morning of the second day Vakhtang took for a drive us on the city and showed sights. We included an apery and a botanical garden in obligatory plans at once, but so far children only - only seized upon the sea, we decided to postpone the rest.

Visited a cafe at local beer factory. And on the one hand boxes - kafeshny little tables, with another - stoyechka. The friendly aunt pours draft beer in a glass mug which you can leave though on the other side of the street. It is just amazing - we do not have it for a long time. Dima drank beer with a vobla, and we with children tasted local lemonade in glass bottles - very tasty! By the way, walking then on the market, we tried to find everything some interesting local delicacies, but did not find anything special. Tried some strange and expensive nuts - but to taste they appeared exactly - in - exactly walnut - probably, these are related plants. Later with Vakhtang amusing dialogue took place.

- Something you well do not have anything the in the market, except tangerines!

- What tangerines?

- There now such! (we show on an orange small group of fruit in kitchen)

is not tangerine! It is a lemon!

- Oh well! They are orange.

- Yes? (with amazement) And what, in your opinion, has to be a lemon?!

It is amazing, but it turned out that here really orange lemons, besides very tasty!


In general, here it is necessary to be surprised continually: when you meet on the street the various flowers and plants seen earlier only in tubs and pots when you find (and you cannot but pick up) strange leaves, pods and strange boxes with seeds when you lift up the head, admiring huge trees, and involuntarily you try to keep step with the camera...

In the first day on the way to the sea we found blackberry thickets (children by do not pass now!) and Timoshka gathered directly on the street near someone`s house of wild strawberry!

A still here in what party you will look, you will surely see either dogs, or cats. Dogs usually go the companies, and cats in itself - and all of them are such amusing: either wash, or dig in garbage, or send each other. By the way, we partially solved secret of disposal of garbage - it simply - naprosto I burn. And when we reconnoitered new streets and passed via the bridge over some strange mutno - the green small river, besides huge pack of whitebaits, saw in water of snakes! It turned out that it is vipers - they get on floating garbage and are heated to themselves on the sun.

, How many impressions in two days!

declared Ilyushk

A by the evening that already wants to Moscow.

- Yes you that, Ilyush! - I speak. - And how sea?

- Well and that, - he answered. - I can bathe also in a bathroom.

27. 06 Any sights it is always more correct to h2 to watch

on weekdays - so we did not begin to hurry and all days off carried out at the sea.

However, Vakhtang gave a ride to us by car also showed that we surely should look then at. Among other passed the destroyed government building once occupied by Georgians and burned by Abkhazians (“So do not get you to anybody!“ ). Now it is local sight. They say that the building is protected by nobody, and the local youth on holidays climbs ladders on a roof to watch from above salute.

It is very curious

that in Sukhumi guest workers work too (the same Tajiks and Kyrgyz, as in Moscow): are engaged in repair of buildings, spread a tile squares, and, about a miracle - even collect on beaches garbage in big bags (the first time we became witnesses of cleaning of garbage, and very much were surprised). By the way, saw for the first time in three days the big garbage container - from a reverse side of the market.

Visited local cafe. Children leaned on sweet (a usual cake), and here I tasted chicken pie - awfully tasty! And not with some unclear forcemeat, and with a piece of the fried fillet!

A still we sat down on local orange limona. In general, we had an impression that it is a hybrid of a lemon and tangerine - such they fragrant and not strongly sour.

That upsets a little - total absence in shops of soy sauce, but it also is clear: there are so much spices and seasonings what a sin to complain - it is only necessary to pick up something tasty (it is necessary to try and how still?) .

Tasted cheese in the market, but both grades were terribly salty. But churchkhela world - is with a filbert, is with a walnut - and in a different fruit candy. From local bread we passed to bagels - ruddy and the softest, vyvalyanny in sesame on both sides. By the way, sesame and a coriander in the market are on sale and cost not much - it makes sense to stock up on the future.

were Bought to children by rubber bedroom-slippers for the sea and I replaced sandals on the Vietnamese. After festivities through dust and pools it is necessary not only to be rinsed in soul, but also to wash footwear, and for leather sandals it is not useful. In general, I already stopped trying to look womanly and is graceful - here it very difficult. Giggled, having seen salon of wedding dresses - in a long dress it is possible unless only to sit in the car.

It is ridiculous: saw few times procession of Krishnaites. Last time it were loud songs and dances in the market. The girl with a flower garland treated children with coconut sweet balls. And asked Ilyukh with surprise: “It that - the Gipsy dances?“ Roma, by the way, really were present, but as the audience. And before we several times observed how the old Gipsy suggests passersby to tell fortunes - the truth, quite dishonest way: the wavy popugaychik attached to her hand by a string pulls out from a note glass. It is necessary: the real Roma - chiromantists were really translated now?

to our kitty in three days was bothered by game in a blade, and I made it a new toy - a candy wrapper on a string. It long played with Ilyusha, but, having come from the sea, we saw that the cat thought up to herself more perfect game: caught a big locust and an otgryzl to it legs - so that could only creep then hardly. Well to tell - the real hunter!

Be continued.