OK, so the pass linking Akhaltsikhe and Batuumi was indeed closed, so the only option was to cross into Turkey via the much less used Vale Town border 15km south west of Akhaltsikhe. This leads me into fairly snowy and high altitude mountains in the far east of Turkey, but apparently there is less snow in this part of Turkey than there is in Georgia…hard to believe since it’s all very close to each other, but I guess I had no other choice.
So I now find myself in Posof, a small town of 2,200 people, and a town that has a restaurant owned by Seljuk Demirci. I mention this restaurant because he does not charge foriegn tourists for their meals. He absolutely loves them, and I guess since he has only had five or six visit his restaurant in the last two or three years, he can afford the hospitality. Ah the joys of visiting small towns.
That rocket-looking thing in the middle of the picture is a minaret. It has loud speakers at the top that blast out the call to prayer at least at 5:30am. If not for the sheer middle eastern muslim islamic beauty of the melodic call, it would be all very annoying. But there is something about the “Allah akbar” call that gives me shivers down my spine when I hear it.