I breakfasted on some of the chicken and khachapuri while Vasantha contented himself with cherries, and then we set out in search of a taxi to take us to the Gorio fortress, which dated it seemed from Medea’s time. My Dean at Oxford, who had visited the place on a cruise, had told me the place was in ruins, but that had now changed and the walls had been restored, and there was still a great deal of work going on within.

The fortress is supposed to have been built up in the 1st century AD by the Romans and was a stronghold of the eastern Roman Byzantine Empire before being taken over by the Turks. There was a dinky little museum inside, and I walked all round, to look at new excavations too and talk to the laid back workmen, though Vasantha soon retreated to the car.

Back in Batumi I decided I should get into the Black Sea myself, and actually immersed myself, finding the water very pleasant though that could not be said of the beach which had no sand at all, just painful pebbles. But I could not loll in the sun for too long for I had agreed to meet Vasantha, who had had no intention of getting into the sea again, – for lunch at our café at noon. There another glass of wine and a snack were followed by the most delicious sweet, a larger and tastier version of the Turkish baklava.

All that set me up for a long nap after which I read Walter Scott in my sun-filled room, perhaps the first time ‘Woodstock’ got to Batumi. Then after tea on the balcony we were back at our café for another lovely dinner. Vasantha was tempted by the sweets at the next door place, which proved disappointing, but my baklava was again quite delicious.

Next morning I had a wonderful sunrise for my coffee, even though the milk was by now undrinkable. And I finished our dinner from Kutaisi and the last of the cherries. Vasantha had only coffee, but we got an early bus to Telavi and he was able to get some food at the bakery attached to our restaurant.

We were back there since I had left my jacket at the hotel, but fortunately I had realized this the day we left, and called, and they had kept it out for me though the not very competent receptionist took ages to find it.

From Kutaisi we took another bus to Tbilisi, but when we took a taxi to the other bus station where buses left for our next destination, Telavi, the driver suggested we take a shared taxi instead, and took us to the place from where these left.

That option proved surprisingly inexpensive, and relatively quick, and though the hotel I had booked in Telavi proved a dump I was able to cancel well before the 6 pm deadline and we found a lovely place round the corner with a balcony shaded by plane trees.

The pictures are of coffee on the balcony and then several of the fortress and its musuem and work there and a silly costumed picture, then the park outside the hotel and the beach beyond it, followed by a drink at lunchtime, sunrise from the hotel next morning and the landscape we passed through