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Published: August 31st 2014
Armenia is the kind of place your friends have heard of, but can't tell you much about - like lots of our holiday destinations! So, when in Georgia, it was obvious that we needed to take a trip south to its neighbour and discover what Armenia had to offer.
In the space of a few days we managed to travel around the country and visit quite a few sights. First stop was the Debed Canyon, just across the Georgian border. The canyon provides some nice scenery but more importantly is home to a very nice hotel - one of the Tufenkian chain - which we enjoyed very much, both for its tasty Armenian food and nice indoor pool. We enjoyed a few visits in the local area, in particular to some very cool churches and monasteries. Our favourite was the Haghpat monastery which had lots of cool buildings to explore and some interesting stone carvings.
After a couple of days we continued our journey south and took a detour up the slopes of Mt Aragats, the highest in Armenia. We didn't reach the summit, but did enjoy a rather bumpy ride up to Lake Kari high on its slopes
where we stopped off for a picnic and to take in the views. This marked Amy's first foray above 3,200 metres. She managed well with the altitude, so we reckon that Everest should be on the itinerary soon...
Next stop was the capital city, Yerevan. We stayed at another Tufenkian hotel here and really loved it, with its very comfy room and great central location. We enjoyed Yerevan, it has a nice modern feel to it and some very nice restaurants and cafes - we could easily have stayed longer. A particular highlight was a good Lebanese meal, where Amy enjoyed the mezze on offer as well as the spiced trout. Yum!
The famous Mt Ararat is visible from Yerevan on a clear day, but we wanted to take a closer look so headed out to the monastery complex at Khor Virap. This provides a stunning view of the mountain (which is actually in Turkey) and made for a very interesting morning excursion from the capital. There's also a cafe there serving local ice-cream which went down a treat on another hot summer day.
Our final stop in Armenia was Lake Sevan, a massive stretch of water
and very popular as a place to escape the heat of the city. We stopped off at Sevan for a couple of hours, saw some churches and enjoyed a nice lunch with lovely lake views.
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