Some features of rest in Abkhazia
My story, first of all, is addressed to tourists planning to spend their holidays in Abkhazia. Before my trip there, in order to roughly imagine the situation, I read a lot of reviews from Abkhazia. But, honestly, I could not imagine that a vacation would be just that. And don’t expect that in a good way.
But it’s better to start the story from the beginning. We drove a car. Since there were no direction signs to the border on the highway, we drove just at random. But at the border we were lucky, we stood for only about an hour. During this time, they managed to inquire of those returning to Russia from Abkhazia whether they liked it. All unanimously enthusiastically praised the time spent (they rested, by the way, in Sukhumi). When passing through customs, we met a woman who offered us to stay with her in Sukhumi. She told how wonderful it was there, her fruits, not that in Pitsunda, Gagra, they were brought there. And she rents out housing inexpensively, and the city has many cafes and other benefits. But we wanted to try to choose a house ourselves and for a start we went to Gagra. Pensions offer accommodation at a price of about one and a half thousand rubles per day per person, and we decided to try our luck in the private sector. Local prices for rooms are different: from 2 to 3.5 thousand rubles, while the rooms may not have basic amenities (the owners could not understand why this does not suit us lack of a toilet and shower in the room). In general, the service here clearly leaves much to be desired. And the concept of the right of the client to choose from the locals is somewhat peculiar, if something did not suit you in the proposed housing, and you are going to go looking further, then you have insulted the owners. And then they follow you in your further searches and discourage new owners from renting you a room, they say, these Muscovites are too businessmen. So, for better or worse, we didn’t rent a room, especially since it was scary to leave the car unattended for the night.
The next place we searched was Pitsunda. There were few possible options, they were far from the sea, and you won’t have a rest especially with your child. And we were going to go to Sukhumi, and this is almost 90 km. Seeing the city, we were simply shocked: people live in dilapidated shelling houses, everything falls apart. Three cafes were counted on the coast, and prices are as in other cities of the coast: Pitsunda, Gagra. You can hardly find a beautiful background even for memory photography. I had to return to Pitsunda.
After spending all day wandering along the coast, we reached Pitsunda only at sunset. They looked for housing through intermediaries who, it seemed, had no idea about the housing that they so praise. It was just some kind of nightmare. We were told about good conditions: all the amenities and stuff, it was worth coming to look at the rooms, it turned out that the dwelling either stands like a palace, or is completely without conditions, or is located somewhere from the sea, somewhere in the mountains.
We continued our search for housing, breaking out of our last strength until almost eleven o’clock in the morning. When we refused the next apartment with an absent entrance door and a terrible stench, which we had to get into through some back streets, we were offered a three-room apartment (for our three families) near Pitsunda, near the fish factory. Our five-story building stood by the sea, opposite it there was a cafe with resort-high prices and shops evoking pictures from a past life. Bread and milk are only here in the morning, later you don’t even have to worry – they are no longer in the store. Separate conversation about prices. A liter of milk in a store costs 50 rubles, tea bags – 70. Prices for all products (including fruit) are higher by an order of magnitude. In order to eat, you had to go by car, far away on foot. The prices are also impressive: salads from 60 rubles, soups – about 70, barbecue – for 200, so you won’t be able to leave less than 500 rubles in the cafe, while you will be half-starved.
Pitsunda actually looks like a big village – on the streets of cows, horses peacefully resting right on the road, they are basking on the asphalt, or something. They simply ignore cars; honking does not help. Local drivers do not seem to be aware of the existence of traffic rules, everyone drives as he wants, only manage to dodge.