Saturday - Kutaisi

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The afternoon was a free afternoon for us. Nino and Clare went off to do their own things. First we had a picnic in the park. Us Brits sitting next to the fountain where in for a surprise when the power cut ended. Suddenly the fountain started and we all got wet.

We wondered around the market, many hat shops, numerous watch menders, and flower stalls. Again all congregated in areas.

We had a wonder around the Kutaisi State Museum, every thing was written in Georgian or Russian, so difficult to see what was on display. I think it was telling us the story of man kind in the Georgian area, first there were the flint arrow heads, through to early telephone systems, weighing scales (one just like ours we use every day), Georgian waistcoats with cartridge holders. Problem with electricity here, they would not let us in, until the power cut was ended. But it was so dark anyway even when there was power.

We also found the Sport Museum. It was closed, tried again when the door was open, but the man said it was closed. We found some of the other tour members including Clare Eaton, the tour rep, and Ian White who could speak Russian, and Stuart Buckingham who was a Cricketer, and back we went to the museum.

Ian found out the place was closed until Monday. He explained we would not be around then. After much argument, we found the magic words, George Best's shirt. Like magic this let us in. Yes there was a shirt from the 1969 Soviet Union - Ireland game from 1969 in Belfast. The museum was fill of pictures and objects from Georgians sporting past. Georgia provided, (and especially Kutaisi), many of the team members for the Soviet teams. For example in 1971 nine out of eleven team members of the Soviet team were Georgian, mostly from Kutaisi. Five out of eleven of the 1981 Dinamo Tibilisi team were from Kutaisi. There were skier and wrestling champions.

The snag with this tour was it was dark, with no light other than one inch of candle. The curator spoke rapid Russian, and Ian was able to translate a few words for us. Actually it was quite a high light, and hopefully has been put on the Explore Itinerary for the future.

After that we went back to the coach, when the heavens opened and there was torrential rain and hale. Now on to the guest house, with the usual expensive looking parquet flooring. Tiny kiosk outside to buy some beers. The Electricity was on and off all evening. For supper we had: Vodka and home made wine, along with the usual Georgian dishes.

Their six year old daughter came out to sing for us with a backing tape. very pretty and delicate green dress. We went to bed early, to be kept awake by the evening dog chorus, and woken early by the cockerels. Despite this being suburbia, we could see the odd cow being led through the gardens.