Zugdidi is more or less the meeting point of TLG group 2 (the best group by the way), so this post is entirely dedicated to Zugdidi. Hence the kind of not creative title. Zugdidi is where around 30 people (rough estimation) of TLG and European Volunteer Service are stationed. Zugdidi is where TLG and European Monitoring Mission (EUMM) play Volleyball from time to time. Zugdidi is the home of FC Baia Zugdidi, the local “Umaglesi League” (Georgian first football (AmEn: soccer) division) team whose website domain you can buy if you want. Also, Zugdidi is the Paris of Samegrelo! Vibrant metropole of north-east Georgia.
Zugdidi, in the language of the region, Mingrelian, means ‘big hill’. It is located by the Abkhaz border. No reason to worry though, the only kind of dangerous thing that happened there was some crazy guy firing 30 AK-74 rounds in the air one Sunday morning, he got detained for that. So it is and feels save in general. Also, Georgia overall actually feels saver then home when it comes down to violence on the streets, especially while being outside in the night. That might be a subjective observation, but people seem less aggressive over here or their inhibition threshold to get violent is higher. Anyway, Zugdidi has around 75.000 inhabitants and besides lack of real night life, has some bars and cafe’s to go to too. I am going there pretty often over the weekend to see group 2 and it only is a convenient 2h Marshutka ride.
One weekend I already came in Thursday night and hence had the whole Friday to explore and take photos in the city. I went to Dadiani’s palace and then down to the river before walking the the train station.
After exploring a bit, Tony from Chkaduashi called me up and told me that he organized a German class for me in his school. So I hopped on a taxi and took the 45 minute ride out in the village. When I arrived, the class already gathered and awaited me. We did some chit-chat, they asked me a few questions and I asked them a few things too. It was really nice. Some of them were really good in the language already and students and especially the teacher certainly appreciated me as a native speaker coming over and talking to them while I entirely appreciated that some of the students actually came back from home to have that class with me!
More photos as usual in the slideshow below. If you want to have some of them in higher resolution, let me know! Oh and by the way, this was last November, when the weather over here has still been nice. 🙂