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Published: September 30th 2017
Geo: 40.1793, 44.5102
Organizing tours in Armenia has been a bust so far - rather than spend a lot of time and effort moving from place to place in the country, the strategy was pretty much basing myself out of Yerevan and do tours around Armenia. But there was one problem - Envoy's tours are contingent on minimum numbers, and today's planned tour fell through. It sounded great when I tried to make the booking, with tonight supposed to be a home stay in a village, followed by some time at Lake Sevan tomorrow, before returning to Yerevan in the evening.
So this all meant that I had an extra day to kill in Yerevan - not the worst thing, as there are more than enough cafes around town to keep me busy, as well as a couple of museums I wanted to check out. Beyond Yerevan's unique architecture, it really does have some very interesting art installations and museums - definitely a surprise, as whatever preconceptions I may have had certainly didn't involve Yerevan having a cosmopolitan cafe culture, or a cool art and museum scene.
The Sergei Parajanov Museum was recommended to me by a couple of other guests staying at
the hostel, who described it as being funky, and almost Dali-esque. Anything even remotely reminiscent of Dali is more than intriguing to me, and made the museum a priority today, despite not even knowing the smallest fact about the man. While he was firstly known as an avant-garde film director, it's his artworks that he produced after being wrongfully imprisoned, that are the stars of the museum.
Collages and dioramas seem to be his preferred mediums, and there are definitely some bizarre and surrealistic elements to what he does. Though he doesn't seem to be into painting, there definitely are some hints of Dali's creativity in Parajanov's art. Pieces range from the whimsical to the strange, down to the somewhat disturbing, and it was quite impressive that he had generated such a vast amount of art in a relatively short amount of time.
So today didn't turn out per the original plan, but it wasn't so bad - instead of meeting and staying with an Armenian family in a little village, I ended up meeting Mr. Parajanov, instead. The rest of the day also played itself out in a rather entertaining way as well, bouncing from cafe to restaurant to cafe
to restaurant, eating way too much food and drinking way too much Turkish coffee in the process. Not a bad day's work in Yerevan!
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