The Trump Tower and Other Rising Structures in Batumi

The planned Trump Tower Batumi (Source: SkiGeorgia)

I got excited when I saw the above image showing the Trump Tower that will soon rise in the Republic of Georgia‘s Black Sea coast of Batumi (for more details about this image, click this link).  I was in Georgia in April 2011 and was fortunate to have visited Batumi.  I have photographed almost the whole area and have witnessed the massive development that was underway to boost the tourism industry in this part of the world.  I was also made aware that the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been personally leading the campaign to attract foreign investors into the country and had recently succeeded in convincing Donald Trump to build the two tallest towers in Georgia (see this story Trump Signs Deal to Develop Two Towers in Georgia, the Former Soviet State), one of which will be in Batumi.  But since construction of the Trump Tower Batumi was still to start in 2013, there was no trace of this tower yet when I was there.

What got me excited was visualizing what I have seen and photographed and imagining these images in relation to the Trump Tower and Batumi’s rapidly-changing landscape. Here’s a photo essay of what I saw.

I took this photo at the highest point of a ferris wheel at Batumi Boulevard (notice the shadow?). The towering structure in the middle is Batumi Sheraton, behind it are the rising structures of Radisson Blu and Batumi Hyatt. Further down the coast, to the right of the photo is the Batumi Bay Seaport. The Trump Tower is expected to rise somewhere in this area.

The Sheraton was already completed and operational when we visited. Its tower-like structure dominates the background of the parks in Batumi Boulevard.

Radisson Blu Batumi was recently inaugurated but construction was still in its final stages when I visited in April. The Rustavelli Avenue at the foreground is one of the major streets of Batumi.

Following closely in the construction race is the Batumi Hyatt which is also located between the Rustavelli Avenue and Batumi Beach and soon to be integrated into the landscape of Batumi Boulevard.

Other interesting structures were either being constructed or completed along Batumi Boulevard. This one is said to be a government building.

Several construction activities were likewise on-going at the main sections of the city. At the foreground is a man-made lake built as part of the Batumi Boulevard landscape.

The tower clock of a newly-completed building dominates another section while more construction works can be seen at the background.

A glorious early morning scene at the Batumi Seaport

The ships at Batumi Seaport serve various destinations along the Black Sea coast.

To me, there's enough reason for all these structures to rise in Batumi. There is a vast, lovely beach where a line of bars and international restaurants (aside from all these hotels), blend with beautifully landscaped trees, palms and gardens that occupy the whole stretch of the boulevard.

The boulevard is spacious, well-lighted and well-paved. (It was early spring when I took the photos so the beach was still relatively empty.)

Another attraction, a 'dolfinarium' is just a stone's throw from the rest of Batumi Boulevard.

The sparkling blue waters of the Black Sea is largely inviting. Adding color and liveliness to the seaside ambiance are colorfully-painted buildings in the background.

There are also other areas to explore. In the village of Sarpi, just a few minutes drive from Batumi Boulevard towards the border with Turkey is a small but beautiful stretch of pristine beach punctuated by some rock formations. I captured a lone tourist sunbathing on the rocks in this photo.

Sunset at Batumi Beach is breathtaking. We waited several hours to capture sunset photos but it was very rewarding and definitely worth all the wait.

Photographing Batumi

Taking photos of Batumi was exciting and definitely one of my most memorable experiences in Georgia.  We were blessed with a pleasant weather during our visit, literally the first day of spring with a good deal of sunlight and not a drop of rain, so we managed to gather photos of almost the whole city in one day.

Of course, the first thing I did was to savor the moment. The quiet beach and fantastic scenery by the Black Sea was  almost like a divine experience. Then we explored miles and miles of the boulevard on foot and on bicycles, stopping to take photos of anything that caught our attention.  At one point we took a ferris wheel not so much for the ride but for the chance to get a better view and photo opportunity of the surroundings.  Luckily, my Georgian colleague, Amiran Chanchibadze, brought a point-and-shoot camera and took photos of me as I tried to capture the moment. 🙂