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Archive for March, 2010

In Tbilisi

Tbilisi, part of town above the Freedom Square

Tbilisi, part of town above the Freedom Square

We did arrive in Tbilisi last Monday in the evening. After Istanbul we stopped in Samsun and Rize on the Turkish Black Sea Coast. We were happy to enter Georgia. In the beginning we thought that we might have problems with our special number plate on the car, but all went fine. Lavrenti and Natia expected us in our apartment, the same we had last year in Tbilisi. It is near the metro station “Delisi”. In the night it was snowing in Georgia – and I thought we would drive into a warm region.

In the next five weeks we will be mainly in the capital organising our stay in Kvemo Kartli and besides this working on our language skills. We plan weekly team meetings to discuss our research approaches and organise our joint expeditions, conferences and workshops.

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In the Hagia Sophia

In the Hagia Sophia

Second and last day in Istanbul. Tomorrow we will leave to the East. Elke and I, we did some sightseeing. Each of us did their individual Istanbul ‘tour de force’. There was not much time. Definitely a city to come back.

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Mosque Selimiye in Edirne

Mosque Selimiye in Edirne

Hungary and Serbia was no problem. The passport controls were almost non-existent. At the begin of our journey, we were a little afraid because of the special number plate I have on my car. This is a number plate for the exportation of cars: I want to leave my old car in Georgia after field work. People told us before our trip that the border polices might be suspicious because I could sell the car in their country perhaps without paying taxes. But there was no problem. The border control in Bulgaria consisted of three different stages and three more controls in the country. The policemen were in general not very friendly (apart from one exception). Then came Turkey, and we were afraid because of the car and our entire luggage in the car. There is nothing special inside, but I did not wanted to unpack all the stuff in this cold and snowy weather. But the Turkish police was nice: Their first word was “welcome”, and their always had a smile on their face. They did check all the papers and look in the car, sure, but friendly. Our Bulgarian friends treated us more like intruders.

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Niš, Serbia

View of Nis from the balcony of our hotel

View of Niš from the balcony of our hotel (10-03-10)

Yesterday, Elke and I left with a car from Marburg to Tbilisi. On Monday, we drove to Vienna and today via Budapest and Belgrade to  Niš. The first 1,700 km were a long but easy trip without any problems. Tomorrow we will cross Bulgaria and arrive in Turkey.

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