My Regent Moment: top ten photos of Abkhazia, by Alice Kaerast

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My Regent Moment: top ten photos of Abkhazia, by Alice Kaerast

My Regent Moment: top ten photos of Abkhazia, by Alice Kaerast : Section 1

Sukhumi train station with a Russian train from Moscow

It takes about 24 hours for the express train to travel all the way from Moscow, slowing down across the infrequently used tracks across Abkhazia. Most people instead fly to Sochi in just two hours.

 

My Regent Moment: top ten photos of Abkhazia, by Alice Kaerast : Section 2

The Palace of Culture and Science in Tkvarcheli

This room has most recently been used as a disco, but the impressive Soviet building also has a sombre museum about the siege of Tkvarcheli and a theatre.

 

My Regent Moment: top ten photos of Abkhazia, by Alice Kaerast : Section 3

Bedia Cathedral

Bedia Cathedral is a medieval cathedral in remote Abkhazia built in the 10th century. Getting there involves a long drive across rough roads, but it's well worth the journey. Our arrival led to a few locals turning up on horseback to greet us, so we shared some champagne in this beautiful setting.

 

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Sukhum airport

Sukhum airport had one of the longest runways in Soviet times. It was designed for their space program in order to land the shuttle. These days there are no international flights, and the only domestic flights aren't scheduled ones. The old terminal building was incredibly modern in its heyday.

 

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Antonov-2 biplane charter flight

One of the most memorable parts of our time in Abkhazia was when we flew out to the mountains near the Russian border. We flew out of Sukhumi airport on an Antonov-2 biplane that we'd chartered and spent the day hiking in the mountains and eating locally grown food. While we were hiking back to the plane the clouds descended, so we ended up having to spend the night in a local guesthouse drinking chacha and eating with the locals. In the morning we had a few extra passengers join us on the flight back to Sukhumi.

 

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Sukhumi

Sukhumi, capital of Abkhazia. Population 63000.

 

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The Black Sea

Sukhumi is on the Black Sea, and a popular summer resort for Russians who don't need a visa to visit.

 

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Tkvarcheli

Tkvarcheli was the first town in Abkhazia that we visited on this trip. Close to the border of Georgia the town has been mostly abandoned since the war and popular with urban explorers. Locals are rebuilding and repopulating, and are ready to take more tourists.

 

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Abkhazian vineyards

The Gagra area of Abkhazia is very close to the Russian border and has a number of sanatoriums, so sees a lot of Russian tourists. There's a nice beach which has some beautiful sunsets over the Black Sea.

 

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Gagra

The Gagra area of Abkhazia is very close to the Russian border and has a number of sanatoriums, so sees a lot of Russian tourists. There's a nice beach which has some beautiful sunsets over the Black Sea.

 

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Behind the lens: Alice

Alice is a frequent traveller, and particularly enjoys Soviet and post-Soviet architecture so has been spending a lot of time in Eastern Europe recently. Alice has recently travelled with Regent Holidays to Abkhazia, Kiev & Chernobyl and spent Christmas in North Korea. Future travel plans include Afghanistan, Bali and Disneyland Shanghai. When they're not travelling or dreaming of travelling they are working as a platform architect on big data projects.

This photo was taken at the abandoned train station in Tkvarcheli. You can see more of Alice's photos on their instagram account @princen_alice

      

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