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Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

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  • Re: Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

    Map of Yerevan; this one is from the First Republic (1920).
    Attached Files

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    • Re: Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

      Every time i go to Armenia my stomach gets all messed up for weeks. The only thing i have found to be helpful is pepto bismol. Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to deal with this issue?
      Hayastan or Bust.

      Comment


      • Re: Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

        Well i am back from my trip to Armenian and am trying to adjust to the changes in the time zones. I have not seen the city look this good since the soviet days and the women of Armenia look hotter then ever. The old buildings looked clean and people told me the whole city had been washed recently. There was lots of new construction with modern buildings any westerner would want to live in. I even dared to do some driving there and it was not that bad once you got used to it. The traffic was pretty bad during the rush-hour but not too bad otherwise, Transportation was cheap and always available. You can get to anywhere in the city for about 500 to 700 drams which is like $1.05 to $1.70 depending on where you want to go. I found a good deal of comradery among the people which i am sure is at least partly born out of necessity. Seeing my family and friends is always the best part of my trip there but there is a lot to do and see in Yerevan. There are lots of cool restaurants and bars along with nice cafes. Even my stomache did great for a few days until i took a bite out of a beautiful peach that proved to be irressistible. I even got to see a Armenian Hard rock band "Dorians" perform live in a club (great guitar playing!!!). We went to a restaurant in the city suare that had a band playing jazz using traditional Armenian instruments and this was amazing to witness because the quality was so very good (talk about creativity). I will try to write about some more cool and not so cool things later but im gonna go back to bed now and try to get rid of this jetlaag.
        Hayastan or Bust.

        Comment


        • Re: Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

          Wow Haykakan seems you had a blast ) im happy for you .
          You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

          Comment


          • Re: Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

            Thanks UrMistake. I did indeed have a blast and there were plenty of positive things to be happy about. Gone are the days when cops pull you over to collect a few cents and waist your time. In are the cameras along the streets which record everything all the time. It seems the surveillance state has arrived in Armenia as well. I had no issues with power nor water being shut off anywhere in the city while i was there. While there were many new sculptures like the ones in Tamanian's courtyard.. they seemed to be out of place with the city and with each other. Even the new grand church built by Dodi Gago seems to be out of place with its environment even though it has traditional Armenian khachkars etc.. There are many pleasant cafes, coffee houses, restaurants... you will be comfortable anywhere in the city so long as you have some money. There are restaurants for every taste. Friends took me to a place called Kavkas which serves dishes indigenous to the caucases. There were dishes here found no where else like a salad made from a plant which only grows in Kharabagh. I usually stay with friends and family to save money but i did stay in a motel/hotel for a night and it was very comfortable with AC, big screen TV, Cable channels, clean and comfortable beds,...there is no reason for you not to feel comfortable in the city. We arrived in late August and it was very hot but once September rolled around it got more comfortable. I would think arriving in Armenia during the second week of September would probably be ideal because you will miss most of the scorching heat and enjoy the fall harvest of the best fruits you will ever eat (unless your stomach is sensitive like mine). I drank . ate, and drank, and ate...way too much. There are some great domestic wines in Armenia now many are made by restaurants themselves from grapes grown in Armenia. One of the new things i tried and really enjoyed was apple oxxi which is vodka made from green apples. Like other Armenian made vodkas it has very high alcohol content but what made this one so great was the smooth and flavorful finish in the end which got rid of any harsh bitterness and made drinking very enjoyable. The apple version of the oxxi proved hard to find but i got some appricotte and other flavors which i brought back with me along with some nice cognacs. One thing i noticed that was surprising was that some of the places we went to like Tsaghkadzor were now considered to be out of season and getting good food and service in these places at this time was not easy. I went to Garni/Ghexarts and i suggest you have someone who knows this road to take you there instead of driving yourself or hiring someone unexperienced. The roads here are built on top of active landslides and the safe road today will swallow your whole car tomorrow. They sell a lot of ghatas at these tourist destinations but they are not worth eating. Buy souvenirs at these places but leave the Ghata alone since they do not put any fillers in it and it tastes like plain bread here. I also visited and stayed at Sevan a couple of days. The ciga (whitefish) which was a common fish is now relatively rare while the eshghan is everywhere. Here kiabab made from the meat of crawfish is very tasty and popular, i also tried something new and just as tasty called dziki ghata which is flattened and deepfried head of a trout(isghan) and it was very delicious. Another fish i enjoyed eating very much was a miniature version of the sturgeon. I have eaten sturgeon before but this smaller variety was much tastier with the meat having great texture and a bit of very tasty oiliness to it. A friend of mine invited me to go eat khash and i was surprised cause it was still hot (khash is eaten during cold weather) but he explained this place was on mount Aragats and there was snow outside the restaurant even during the hot day we were experiencing in the city. There were lots of bars and nightclubs but i am getting too old for such things and did not do much exploring along these lines. I really enjoyed walking in the city at all hours of the day and night and just observing the people and their interactions. One of the coolest things i saw was when a young woman offered to help an old man carrying groceries up the hill. The old man was so very grateful as if she had just made his day and the young woman was also very happy to have been of help. I am afraid words cannot describe the emotions that were at play here and i felt so very fortunate to have witnessed such moments which still exist in this wonderful city. Sure there were not so great moments to like beggars (some of whome were quite ungrateful), garbage pickers and the likes that you find in all capitalist societies. One overwhelming theme which always existed and still very much exists in this society is interdependence. People depend on each other very much in Yerevan and i saw this over and over again in various settings including business, social, family,..and many others. I had many conversations with various people from all sorts of social classes and it amazed me how knowledgeable some of these people in the lower classes were and how uninformed some the wealthier citizens are. The second day i was there i was up at 6 am wondering the streets when i met a guy cleaning the street, he was educated during soviet days and we had a long and interesting conversation which you would very much be unlikely to have with a janitor here in USA because janitors in USA are not educated generally. I will very much miss Yerevan until the next time i go there. I plan on visiting some of the remote regions of Armenia on my next trip.
            Hayastan or Bust.

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            • Re: Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

              3 GREAT HIKES IN ARMENIA

              Paste Magazine
              Feb 26 2015

              By Anna Callaghan
              February 26, 2015 | 12:17pm

              Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is both a magnificent place to visit
              and the nation's liveliest spot. But it would be a shame to visit
              this country--in the South Caucasus sandwiched between Turkey, Iran,
              Georgia and Azerbaijan--without heading into the countryside.

              Outside Yerevan, Armenia is much more sparsely populated and relatively
              untouched by tourism. Expect authenticity, friendly smiles, and
              many opportunities for picking up a roadside bottle of moonshine
              after a long day on the trails. From bucolic hillside meanderings
              to snowy summit pursuits, these hikes offer a range of options for
              human-powered adventures.

              The best time for hiking is when the weather is warm and dry, so plan
              a visit between July and September.

              Lastiver Caves

              Hop a marshrutka, or taxi bus, from Yerevan to Dilijan, a very small
              town 60 miles from Yerevan and just north of Lake Sevan. It's sometimes
              called "little Switzerland" because the region is lush and the air
              is fresh. If you overnight, the Hotel Dilijan has reasonably priced
              rooms and the Nina B&B has comfortable beds and homemade meals.

              >From there, take a roughly 30-mile cab ride northeast to the Yenokavan
              resort, which sits on a hill above a canyon. The hotel there, Agapa
              Homer Yenokavan, has cottages as well (from $41). The resort offers
              horseback riding and mountain bike rentals. The Lastiver Caves are only
              a few miles from the resort and situated in the Khachakhpyur Canyon.

              Start your hike from Agapa for two miles on an out-and-back trail to
              reach the caves. The path winds through a dense forest of oak and
              hornbeam. The caves are are two stories high and some are 100 feet
              deep. A series of ladders (that resemble a dam) were built in order
              to access the caves, which is how they got their name. Lastiver means
              "up the river." Just below the caves, a set of waterfalls cascades
              into the river, where you can take a swim.

              Parz Lake

              Use Dilijan as a jump-off point for the hike to Parz Lake, which
              is located just north of town in the Dilijan National Park. DNP,
              established in 2002, has more than 1,000 species of plants and some
              45 species of mammals from brown bears to bobcats and wolves. This
              alpine lake, at more than 4,000 feet above sea level, is filled by
              mountain springs so the water of Parz Lake is clean and cool. There
              are opportunities at the lake to take a boat out, go fishing, or camp
              for the night on the shores.

              >From the lake, hike through dense forest via narrow paths to the
              Goshavank Monastery, which features medieval Armenian architecture
              dating back to the late 12th century. The hike from the lake to the
              monastery is roughly five miles. It's not a heavily trafficked route
              so it would be wise to use a guide in order to take advantage of both
              historical and navigational knowledge.

              Mount Aragats

              About an hour northwest of Yerevan, Mount Aragats is the country's
              highest point at 13,418 feet. A taxi from the city will cost around
              15,000 AMD ($32). Aragats has four different summits with the south
              summit, 12,727 feet, the closest and the easiest to reach.

              Hikes begin from Kari Lake, or Stone Lake, which sits at around 9,500
              feet. While there are no set trails, the summit is visible from your
              starting point, which makes navigation to the south summit fairly
              simple. Scramble over scree and see ruins of the medieval fortress of
              Anberd along your way. According to Arara Tours, it will take about
              two hours to get to the south summit and another two hours or so to
              get to the north summit. Expect snow and colder temperatures higher
              up and enjoy hundreds of cool springs and alpine meadows as you go.

              >From the top of Aragats views of the Caucasus Range are possible in
              clear weather, and on some days you can even see as far as Europe's
              highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, at 18,513 feet. Camping is allowed
              if you want to spend the night in the mountains, and many choose to
              do so at the mountain's base around Kari Lake.

              Anna Callaghan is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She's written
              about things like selling her kidney on Facebook (pretty easy),
              Instagram yoga celebrities, and is an authoritative voice on camping
              hammocks.

              http://www.pastemagazine.com/article...n-armenia.html
              Hayastan or Bust.

              Comment


              • Re: Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

                Thanks for posting this info. I want to go hiking this summer, I hope I don't accidentally cross into Azerbaijan. Think of how happy Mher will be if I do LOL

                Comment


                • Re: Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

                  Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                  3 GREAT HIKES IN ARMENIA

                  Paste Magazine
                  Feb 26 2015

                  By Anna Callaghan
                  February 26, 2015 | 12:17pm
                  "An authoritative voice on camping hammocks" - Is there is enough interest in camping hammocks in the whole world to justify there being even one such "authority"?

                  I doubt she has actually done the Aragats climb. There is no way a 2 hour hike from Kari lake to the summit could include a visit to Ambert castle - it is a 4 hour one way hike in the opposite direction according to the book Adventure Armenia. The Parz lake hike is also in this book.
                  Last edited by bell-the-cat; 03-12-2015, 08:27 AM.
                  Plenipotentiary meow!

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                  • Re: Trip to Armenia (including pictures)

                    This app sounds like it would be very helpful.
                    “Qartez” to help tourists find locations they need with just one touch


                    YEREVAN, February 6. /ARKA/. What a first-time visitor to a city is doing before anything else? He is definitely looking for a reliable, easy-to-understand and comprehensive travel guide in order to get information about city attractions, sights, service infrastructure and options of routes to those places.

                    From now on, visitors of Yerevan and city inhabitants will be able to make most of their time in Yerevan with the new “QARTEZ” application, providing full access to the detailed map of the capital, VivaCell-MTS telecom operator said.

                    It said “QARTEZ” will help get oriented around the city, check out one’s actual location and get contacts of organizations working in different spheres of service: government bodies, banks, medical and educational institutions, stores, food points, WCs, entertainment centers, pharmacies, small booths, a and other locations in Yerevan, directly via the mobile device, with just one touch.x

                    “QARTEZ application is a useful tool made available to the visitors of Yerevan to help them explore the history of one of the ancient cities of the world, to feel its pulse, and to discover the life style of its inhabitants. The application adds to the convenience and attractiveness of the city for the visitors, and is a serious step toward making Yerevan one of the best and desired touristic destinations. The largest in Armenia 3G and 4G networks of VivaCell-MTS will help fully utilize the capacity of the application,” VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian commented. x
                    x x
                    The application is also an advertising platform for all companies wishing to make promotions of their products, adding information or simply posting videos/banners about their companies in the respective personal pages. “QARTEZ” application gives an opportunity to make calls, write an e-mail message, leave a comment, watch a video material, get acquainted with sales offers and discounts, and use many other functions.

                    The mobile application is available for smartphones with Android and iOS operating systems.x The application is free. Charges for data usage apply. In the near future, the maps of Dilijan and Tsaghkadzor will be included in “QARTEZ” application. The application is the cooperative effort of VivaCell-MTS and “Locator” -0-.x
                    http://telecom.arka.am/en/news/telec...st_one_touch_/
                    Hayastan or Bust.

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