What, apart from coffee and booze should you expect when choosing Armenia for your next destination?
Monasteries. Many monasteries and beautiful monasteries. When you ask somebody who’s from here about their favourite, everybody will name a different one. You just need to find your own beloved one.
Mountains, gorges, valleys, crystal rivers, transparent lakes. The landscape may be monotonous and you may always know what’s waiting round the corner, but there is no denying its beauty.
Poverty. Life is modest and simple. Yerevan is the only city where a bathroom inside the house is a standard. That’s why it melts my heart even more when the hostess is pushing a jar of jam into my backpack, because she’ll be worried if we’re eating well.
Flexible approach to time. An Armenian is ready to leave either immediately or in 6 hours. You should never make fixed arrangements without having an alternative option. It may well happen that two hours later your local friend will not even remember having promised you something. This is not ill-will, you should just accept it like it is. Nevertheless, it will constantly piss you off.
The Ararat mountain looking down on Yerevan. Majestic, monumental, in a snow cap, along with its little brother, the Small Ararat, standing by its side. For the best views go to the Khor Virap monastery. Not necessarily in November, though.
Bitterness and hatred. Everyone will tell you that the Turks stole Ararat from Armenia. Generally, the Turks, together with the Azeri, are pure evil. 101 years later and Armenia is still living the tragedy, the Turkish genocide from 1915. I remember, I demand is the motto of the many sad commemorations and celebrations, but also the Yerevan posters and murals.
Why do events from such remote past still arouse such heated emotions? The Turkish government states that annihilation of around one million Armenians (which equals 1/3 of Armenia’s population and 1/10 of all Armenians in the world) was an accident during their relocation. Accidents happen, so get off my back and stop being petty, Armenia…