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A trip to Armenia ~ Your knowledge and advice is needed

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  • A trip to Armenia ~ Your knowledge and advice is needed

    I am a US-diaspora-Armenian and planing my first visit to Armenia. However, the impetus behind my visitation is a little deeper in meaning (to me) than the average tourist who is happy to hang on to the coattails of tourist-guides by following them everywhere the industry has devised for them beforehand ( and that is perfectly OK,by the way). Having said that, I don't mind doing my perfunctory share of touristic functions and enjoy them in the process. However, that's where our similarities must end. For I am interested in leaving the glitz, glamor and comfort behind and go to the villages and talk to the forgotten, to the poor and lend an ear to their stories; listen to their concerns and pain. I would like to get first hand knowledge and perspective uttered through their lips. I also like to go to Artsakh and do the same there. My question: What is the best way to achieve this? Are there any like-minded people who do this sort of thing? Is finding lodging in remote areas a problem? Would I be able to find families that would take us in? What would be an efficient mode of transportation while there? and any other helpful hints that you can think of is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: A trip to Armenia ~ Your knowledge and advice is needed

    I travel there often, best way to move around is to hire a taxi for a full day. This is how I used to do it, I've bought a mercedes now tho so no more taxi

    The good thing about getting the taxi is the fact that the driver is a local and that he can help you to find things or translate, speak russian etc.

    For Artsakh I don't know, I think going by bus.

    If you're going to find a place to stay bring cash, I was recently in Yerevan and it's all going downhill and getting close to a depression. Cash will get you all things such as a place to stay in a village.
    Last edited by TheGreat; 04-17-2009, 02:20 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: A trip to Armenia ~ Your knowledge and advice is needed

      Yerevan is not going into depression. Look at Yerevan now and in the 90's. There is a very big difference. Anyways, if you want to go the villages in Armenia, make sure to go to Dilijan, Shorzha (Tufenkian hotel there), Abaran, just to name few. It's important that you know Armenian in order to communicate in non-Yerevan places since English in rural places is not as much known. Also, it is always better to speak Eastern Armenian dialect because some people may not understand the western/american dialect and you will stand out (which is not always good).
      Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
      ---
      "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

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      • #4
        Re: A trip to Armenia ~ Your knowledge and advice is needed

        Comparing Yerevan in the 90's with almost 20 years later is ridiculous. There is a depression, the DRAM is useless and foreign investors with projects in their pockets have been scared away because of the economical situation in the world.

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        • #5
          Re: A trip to Armenia ~ Your knowledge and advice is needed

          Originally posted by TheGreat View Post
          Comparing Yerevan in the 90's with almost 20 years later is ridiculous. There is a depression, the DRAM is useless and foreign investors with projects in their pockets have been scared away because of the economical situation in the world.
          Not twenty years, but since the end of Ter-Petrossyan and beginning of Kocharian, Armenia has improved immensely, go walk around kentron these days and it pretty much looks a well developing European city. Of course now Armenia is at a low point as many other countries are, but that will change.
          Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
          ---
          "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

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          • #6
            Re: A trip to Armenia ~ Your knowledge and advice is needed

            In the spirit of "Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ" no matter where any fellow Armenian might happen to be from, I do appreciate your feedback. FYI, I do speak W. Armenian dialect and my comprehension of E. Armenian is quite decent too. So, communicating in either dialects won't be a huge stumbling point unless Russian is thrown into the mix. But hey, that's when I'll employ the good ole universal "sign language" of the hands,the feet, and the eyes. I am wondering though if it's better to make detailed arrangements beforehand in the US or just try to be a "real adventurer" and let things progressively develop as time go by?
            Last edited by Anton; 04-21-2009, 11:45 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: A trip to Armenia ~ Your knowledge and advice is needed

              Barev Anton jan. Good to hear that you'll be coming home . My families been a big traveller ever since I was born but we've settled down here in Yerevan for the past three years already. Feels great being back.

              Thought I might give you a tip or two.

              First off, I think you should only plan where you want to go (the major places) beforehand, but not the ENTIRE trip. Mostly because that's, frankly speaking, impossible. My family made a lot of plans in the past but most of the time, we ended up doing something completely different.

              My second tip is that when you come to Yerevan, never sit in a taxi if it doesn't have a meter. The drivers might cheat you. Just use the good ole meter.

              I wanted to ask you if you know Armenian but seeing as you do I think your all set .

              Good luck and all the best!
              THE ROAD TO FREEDOM AND JUSTICE IS A LONG ONE!

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              • #8
                Re: A trip to Armenia ~ Your knowledge and advice is needed

                Whatever you do don't stay at the Ani Hotel in Yerevan. My brother was just there and said it was a pit.
                You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star... Nietzsche

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