Saturday, May 12, 2012

Svaneti, Part 1: Planning

Svaneti, Georgia

You can't get to Svaneti from here. 

Well, you can, but it requires some planning. Do you take the overnight train from Tbilisi to Zugdidi and then the marshrutka? One marshrutka from Tbilisi to Mestia (in Svaneti)? Or one marshrutka to Zugdidi and then a second to Mestia? Or do you fly? Both ways? One way? In the summer, do you take the retro Soviet plane? Or do you stick with the allegedly more reliable plane via Pegasus?

Kate, Sandy, Sparrow, and I decided on this plan
  • Kate, Sandy, and I would take the overnight train from Tbilisi to Zugdidi. We'd buy all four tickets (11 lari each, or ~ $6.50 USD) for a four-bed sleeper cabin (called a kupay in Georgian) so we could have it to ourselves. 
  • Sandy and I would meet Friday evening (Sandy from Gori; me from Rustavi) at Marina's guesthouse, where Kate was staying, then we'd go to the train station about 10:30 p.m. or so. 
  • Upon arrival in Zugdidi at 7:30 the next morning, Sparrow, who's based there, would join us and we'd all take a marshrutka to Mestia.  
  • For the return, Kate, Sandy, and I would fly back to Tbilisi in the Pegasus plane (75 lari each, or ~ $46 USD), and Sparrow would take a marshrutka back to Zugdidi. 

All of us helped with the planning and execution in some way. Kate devoted a goodly part of a day acquiring train tickets at Station Square and flight tickets at the Pegasus airline office in Saburtalo. Sandy did the preliminary research on the plane situation and also checked out the lodging options in Mestia. Sparrow found us a marshrutka in Zugdidi and met us at the train. Come to think of it, I'm not sure what I did to contribute to this little adventure!

There are some quotes about planning I like:

The plan is nothing; planning is everything. (Eisenhower)

No plan survives contact with the enemy. (Moltke the Elder)

So true.

1 comment:

Jen2010 said...

Love the quotes!