Monday, April 26, 2010

The Adventure Continues - In Armenia


Well we made it to Yerevan and have been enjoying the local sites for the last two days.

We flew from Istanbul to Trabzon on the Black Sea near the Georgian boarder and spent the night there.

Next morning ( 4/23) we got a bus to the boarder and on to Batumi where we would get a bus for Tiblisi. Only problem was that the bus driver didn’t wait for us on the Georgian side! Not to worry we shared a taxi with a Brit and a German into Batumi. There we picked up a mini-bus for the 6 hour cramped drive to Tiblisi, arriving about 9 PM. Arriving in a new city at night and in the rain is not a lot of fun. After a couple of false starts we found the “home stay” we were looking for. Home stays are basically older couples who have space in their apartments and take in travelers like us for the night or a few days. An empty room gets a couple of bunk beds. Ours was clean and we had kitchen privileges and cost about $14.00 each a night.

On the 24th we set off for Yerevan on another cramped mini-bus. This time we didn’t get left at the boarder! A young Economics professor from Yerevan made sure that the bus didn’t leave us. Edward was a great help in getting us to our Yerevan home stay (about $12.00 each a night)

Yerevan is fantastic. It is clean, friendly and easy to get around. Yesterday we wondered around a flea market for a couple of yours and then caught a bus to Vagarshapat to see an important church to the Armenian orthodox religion. It was nice but the most amazing part was seeing Mt Ararat! I’ve seen a couple of big name mountains, Mt Cook in New Zealand, the Matterhorn, Mt Rainer, Mt Olympus, Annapurna and Mt Kearsarge but Mt Ararat is something way beyond all of them. I’m sure that none of the many pictures I took will do it justice.

Today we took an old broken down Russian bus to Khor-Virup Church and fortress. It looks out on Mt Ararat and is where the Armenian Orthodox religion – the start of Christianity - began. The bus dropped us off near the town and we started walking with an Armenian gentleman. After about a quarter mile a car stopped and took the three of us to the turn off for the Church. Dan and I walked on and our companion waved us good by and went the other way down a gravel path. It was a great day to spend looking at what to me is my new favorite mountain. No offence Mt Kearsarge.

Tomorrow we are off to Jermuk and then start making our way north to Georgia.

ARMENIA IS FANTASTIC - friendly, clean and cheap!

1 comment:

  1. Norm, I'm absoultely hooked on reading about your adventures! You're an outstanding writer and I can't wait for the next chapter - reminds me of being a kid at school where the teacher would read aloud only one chapter at a time. It sure kept our attention!

    Safe travels,
    Joyce Catrambone