My last days in Armenia were spent in the Debed canyon, close to the Georgian border. Rows and rows of grey Soviet blocks welcomed me to Alaverdi as the marshrutka drove down a seemingly endless winding road to the bottom of the gorge. The sun was setting and the last hour of the journey had been beautiful; slowly wobbling over a barren plateau and through tiny villages. Continue reading Throwback to Soviet times: the Debed canyon
My last day trip from Yerevan was a group tour (again with One Way Tours) to the Dilijan region, yet this time it wasn’t a winner. Sure enough, it was really cheap… and in retrospect I’m happy that I didn’t waste a day or two rushing around the area by public transport, as I found that it wasn’t worth that hassle at all.
The day started with a drive out to the Sevan Lake and equally named monastery. Continue reading Not recommended in winter: the Sevan and Dilijan region
Let’s get straight to the point: when it comes to Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank, it’s all about the location.
These two monasteries North West of Yerevan are build next to an impressive gorge and overlook the plains above it, as well as the depths beneath. One might think that nothing can beat the mountainous location of Tatev, but think again. For me, the Kasagh gorge was by far the most inspiring location of any monastery I’ve seen in Armenia. Continue reading The jaw-dropping scenery around Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank
Since I was in an emotional hurry when travelling from Tehran to Yerevan, I passed by both Tatev and Noravank on my long bus journey north. Indeed, my initial plan had been to break the journey up – but when the time came I didn’t feel like it. I wanted to get to the capital and rest before I continued my sightseeing. That’s why, about a week later, I ended up taking a tour to these monasteries. Continue reading The big guns: Tatev and Noravank monasteries
Armenia is undoubtedly famous for its monasteries. There are dozens, of not hundreds, of them dotted around the country, plenty are Unesco listed and the majority is put up in splendid locations. Before I learned about the delicious food, the undeniable flair and the kind people of Armenia, these monasteries were my main reason to visit the country. And so I visited many!
Geghard is an obvious, and perhaps the most popular, day trip fro Yerevan. Damn sure, if you have time for only one, short trip, I recommend this over any other. Continue reading An autumn stroll between heritage: daytrip to Geghart & Garni
Where do I even start?
As I wrote before, my love for Yerevan was instant and because I stayed in the city so long, my sightseeing there went at a very leisure pace. I spent a lot of time just walking through the streets and sitting on benches in the many parks. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get any real sightseeing done, either. Continue reading So many reasons to love Yerevan
It was cold and well past midnight when I crossed the border between Iran and Armenia. Everything went smooth: I didn’t get any questions, just a bunch of stares from a dozen Iranian soldiers, as one of them kept aimlessly flipping through my passport’s pages. Then I was on my way, walking across the bridge that separates the two countries. Iranian flags adorned one side, the other was bare as paint had weathered.
To be honest, I was quite relieved when I noticed I had reached the Armenian side of the river and was now, officially, free from the Iranian rules. For the first time in three weeks, I was allowed by law to – as a woman – sing out loud in public. And I did. I sang Tailor Swift’s “Look what you made me do” and didn’t give the slightest fuck about the stares I got. Continue reading Dropping the act: recharging in Yerevan