(Photographed in Tbilisi, Georgia.)
Those were the reactions when I announced my plan to travel to Abkhazia:
- “Oh, isn’t that dangerous?” (seventeen times)
- “Be careful, it’s very dangerous there!” (eight times)
- “But what would you want to do there?” (five times)
- “You have to be very careful! Under no circumstances should you speak to a girl. As soon as you just look at a girl, four of her brothers with guns will be there to protect her. It’s like Chechnya.” (once)
- “The Department of State strongly cautions U.S. citizens against travel to the Russian occupied regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. A number of attacks, criminal incidents, and kidnappings have occurred in and around the area.” (US State Department)
My first visit to Abkhazia only lasted four days. But as I was out exploring every day and crossed almost the whole country twice, I dare say I got enough of a first impression to tell you about it.
And this is what Abkhazia looks like:
So, how dangerous was Abkhazia really?
Quite dangerous indeed! Dangerously beautiful and dangerously interesting. It is particularly dangerous for people who don’t want to lose the prejudice about anywhere east of Italy being dangerous, evil and poor.
Seriously, the most dangerous thing was this cat who tried to eat my shoelaces.
By the way, while I was gone exploring the Caucasus, Germany looked like this:
Lesson: Most travel warnings are useless and wrong because they are issued by people who have never visited the relevant country, or their last visit was 10 years ago, or who are sitting in an office all day and are generally scared as soon as they venture outside.
(Zur deutschen Fassung.)
Tbilisi is formed by so many different architectural styles, that it’s difficult to take a photo of just one. Here, the tower of a brick mosque and a wonderful wooden balcony are squeezing themselves into the picture.
The building with the blue facade, reminiscent of mosques in Isfahan, is the Orbeliani bathhouse. When I was in Tbilisi, it was unfortunately closed for renovation.
You can either have a big car and a live in a run-down house
or stick to the old car and live in a mansion.
As you know, I have neither and travel the world instead.
(Photos taken in Tbilisi, Georgia, and in Ganja, Azerbaijan.)
It was my last bottle.
But when you meet a bear,
He drank it full throttle.
(Photographed in Novy Afon, Abkhazia. – But it’s nicer to meet bears who live in freedom.)
The argument about who is the best James Bond is rather moot because no actor could work forever. Also, times have changed since 1962 (when Dr No was released) and it’s unfair to blame Roger Moore now for his clothing style. Your (and my) parents wore the same silly pants and jackets in the 1970s.
My personal favorite is Pierce Brosnan, though, which might just confirm my theory that most people like the actor who was playing James Bond during the time they grew up.
Fellow fans of Pierce Brosnan will like this video:
Fans of Daniel Craig, don’t take it too serious, please. I do like the seamless editing between the scenes from different movies though.