Remember the stamp in the passport before crossing the border into Abkhazia
Visiting Abkhazia was a rather spontaneous idea that arose during my long journey along the Silk Road. And the visit to this strange little breakaway state became a very curious experience. Take to a place where the greatness of the past has fallen into disrepair and the future has not yet arrived.
I traveled from the Caucasus Mountains in Swanetia to the city of Zukdidi near Abkhazia, and from there I took a taxi to the so-called border. On the Georgian side, there was only one military post, as as such there is no official border crossing from Georgia.
Some large truck tires blocked the road for car traffic. On the other hand, there were some horse-drawn carriages transporting passengers with their large quantity of luggage, carrier bags and large boxes of goods purchased in Georgia.
The road went over a bridge by a river that marked the border itself. On the other side of the bridge, there was a passport controller who was looking at my passport and the entry permit that I had received by email from the Abkhazian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The condition for obtaining permission to enter Abkhazia was that I had to show up at the immigration office in the capital Sukhumi within two days and pick up my visa. It came on a separate piece of paper. This visa had to be handed in to the passport controller at departure.
I did not get any stamps in my passport, and thus I did not have any problems when leaving Georgia. Because you only get into trouble if you travel into Abkhazia from Russia and continue on to Georgia. If you do that, you will fall into the trap.
At the border crossing between Russia and Abkhazia does not get a Georgian entry stamp in the passport, and one has thus stayed illegally.
Lene Kohlhoff Rasmussen travels to meet new people and learn about other countries' culture, history and religion, but also to get some great personal challenges. Therefore, she travels on her own to places that are far away from the usual destinations. She will experience some of the few places in the world where mystery and adventure still exist. Read more about her adventures at www.kohlhoff.dk.