Journey among ancient cave monasteries and Christian churches; majestic lakes and a capital alive with a vibrant energy

Tell me what comes to mind when I say Armenia? Only orthodox churches on a hilltop and landscapes of hills and mounds?

Well that's what I had in mind too before going there.

And as far as the Orthodox churches are concerned, I really saw them on the way between the Georgia and Armenia and I thought that the landscape would continue like this also in the capital. Instead, as soon as we arrived in Yerevan we were amazed: a lively city, full of places to have a drink in the evening, trendy restaurants, traditional taverns, lounge bars where you can sip tea and smoke a hookah in total relaxation.

This trip to the Caucasus has often left me speechless. It is really true that until you experience a place you cannot fully understand it.

What better excuse than to transform these experiences into indelible memories with a personalized travel photo album? 

Anyway, here we are!

We choose to stay in one of the coolest hotels in the area; we are 200 meters from Piazza della Repubblica, very central and super recommended. The young and helpful staff will make your stay practically perfect. Then a really plus point is the breakfast, rich, varied and plentiful just the way we like it. Then when you get tired from all day walking around the city you can relax by the pool with a spectacular cocktail, delicious and very colorful, my friend and I rushed to enjoy this moment, while our husbands drank a nice glass of wine in the room dedicated to the nectar of the Gods. When travelling, especially when you have children, it is essential to choose a comfortable, clean place close to the main attractions. Well, we in Yerevan have no doubts! Best Western Plus Congress Hotel is the right choice!

We dedicate the first day to the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, ideal for contemporary art lovers. You will find yourself in front of a large staircase.

Numerous sculptures in the square below (some by Botero) embellish the large gardens. For those who don't like climbing stairs or for those who can't, don't worry, inside, there is an escalator (on each floor, beautiful sculptures to see) that takes you to the top without effort, where you will have a beautiful view on the city'.

Yerevan is a city that can be easily explored on foot. From there, in fact, in half an hour we arrived at the G.U.M. of fruit and vegetables.

The main entrance opens directly into the area dedicated to traditional products, sweets, dried fruit, pomegranate extracts. All arranged with incredible perfection. Nothing is left to chance. It goes without saying that even here you will feast on every single product, in fact they will compete to offer you things. And if you have had enough of sweets, continuing on you will find the spices and cheese stalls. Among other things, you cannot fail to try the civil or chechil, they may look like spaghetti to you, but it is a soft and salty pickled string cheese made with skimmed cow's milk.
Having been at the end of spring, the stalls were overloaded with delicious strawberries. Big sacks of coffee, vine leaves, fresh eggs and no end of vegetables.

Walking around the city is really super pleasant. After sunset, go to Republic Square, known in the past as Lenin Square due to the presence of a huge statue of him, it represents the beating heart of the city where prestigious buildings are gathered and where the main streets of Yerevan converge.

The well-known State Historical Museum overlooks the square, together with the headquarters of the most important foreign banks, the post office and many shops that color the square with their illuminated windows, making it the main shopping area. Here you can enjoy the light and music show at the central fountain. Perhaps one of the most beautiful shows of this kind seen around the world.

In the evening choose a traditional restaurant, we have been to Tun Lahmajo several times because we loved it. Eat something typical such as the Lahmacun or lamajo, also called Armenian pizza: it is a snack of thin bread with meat, usually sheep or beef, finely chopped vegetables and spices and is offered in spicy and normal variants then a splash of lemon is his death! The most common dish of Armenian cuisine is khorovats: grilled lamb (or other meat) skewers.

On the last day we go to the Armenian carpet museum (Megerian Carpets factory), a very interesting tour organized by Starling Travel Club, where we enjoyed the stories told about these true works of art as we watched the women making these “wool paintings”.
For lunch we were lucky enough to see a great chef at work, Sedrak Mamulyan who prepared the national dish for us: Ghapama, a pumpkin filled with rice, butter, walnuts, honey and apricots.  

On the way back we go to the Armenian Genocide Monument. The term Armenian genocide, sometimes holocaust of Armenians or massacre of Armenians, refers to the deportations and eliminations of Armenians perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1919, which caused about 1.5 million deaths.

Under the perpetual burning torch is the free museum where you can read information and watch videos about this terrible human massacre.

This genocide is commemorated by Armenians on April 24th.

And today we leave again but first let's take a trip to the Vernissage market, where they really sell everything. Difficult to bargain here! Some elders play checkers, others backgammon. A lady with a basket of bread puts it on the floor to rest. A man pours hot tea into the chipped blue ceramic cups. The child of a street vendor offers us a candy…

The memory of these places will remain forever in our hearts. But what we will take with us will surely be that sensation of not feeling like a foreigner, but of being welcomed in every place visited.
The hugs to the children, the puffs on the cheeks. Those complicit looks speaking different languages. But how beautiful is the world?

Also evaluate the very interesting route we traveled from Tbilisi to Yerevan through places of ancient charm as well as breathtaking beauty and I am referring to: Haghpat (complex of monasteries from the 10th century and is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites together with Sanahin monastery); Diljian (an area, surrounded by forests, and called by Armenians "Little Switzerland"), Lake Sevan ("black lake", is the largest lake in Armenia and one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world.)

2 Responses

    1. Yes, it’s been really interesting… a real surprise for us!
      We can’t wait to come back again

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