BL #51: Do Battle With GI Joe


Advertisement
Armenia's flag
Asia » Armenia
August 22nd 2014
Published: September 30th 2017
Edit Blog Post

Upgraded Brandy Tasting ...Upgraded Brandy Tasting ...Upgraded Brandy Tasting ...

... there are two tastings on offer at the factory and since I was stuck in Yerevan so many extra days, I blew some of the money that was earmarked for tours on this selection of brandies - a 10-year, a 20-year, and a premium 10-year. A very nice experience, but I really wish that Lil Buddha would've washed his face before joining me for this luxurious experience - really, you can't take him anywhere!
Geo: 40.1847, 44.5101

GI Joe is known for doing good, constantly battling the evil forces of Cobra to prevent them from taking over and enslaving the World. So why would I want to do battle with him? Well, I didn't really want to, but today I got sucked into a conflict with his evil Armenian stepbrother, GI Ardia, AKA Giardia. Where GI Joe has morals and stands for all that is good in the World, GI Ardia is one mean, sick mofo who will kick your ass at the drop of a single speck of water from Armenia's countless water fountains.

Though you see Armenians drinking from these fountains all the time, the guide book warned against following suit, as quite often the water is unfiltered and can contain GI Ardia. I've completely avoided the water fountains, but also steered clear of tap water, just to be safe. So if it is GI Ardia that started a war with me (and I use the term war quite loosely, since it was a really one-sided conflict), he must have slipped behind my defences via the odd ice cube I've had, or perhaps through some water I might have ingested while rinsing after brushing my teeth.

How it happened is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is that I've continued my rather dubious and unwanted streak of gastrointestinal distress on the past few trips! Luckily, there is a little bit of wisdom in the Lonely Planet suggesting sufferers to fire a few missiles back at GI Ardia, in the form of a box Tindamax, which can be found at any local pharmacy. I'm still not sure if it was actually GI Ardia, but I'm assuming it was, given that shortly after the Tindamax, I felt much better.

While it's always bad luck to get sick while traveling, I'm grateful that GI Ardia's far more powerful ally, the super-evil Campy and Gang that mercilessly attacked me while in Phuket this past winter, stayed out of the fray. Given the choice between battling the two, I'd take GI Ardia any day, as he seemed to roll over quite easily once the correct weapons were fired at him, unlike Campy, who kept relentlessly counter attacking!

So unfortunately, my last evening in Armenia didn't quite finish off on a high note, but instead ended on a rather low one. You could even say that my last night in Yerevan was so bad,
The Peace Barrel ...The Peace Barrel ...The Peace Barrel ...

... the plan is to open this barrel of brandy once Armenia and Azerbaijan resolve their issues over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Based on what I've read about this conflict, hell is more likely to freeze over first.
I simply flushed it down the toilet ...


Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


Advertisement

Lucky Boris Yeltsin ...Lucky Boris Yeltsin ...
Lucky Boris Yeltsin ...

... VIP guests are given their weight in brandy, measured using this giant scale. Boris Yeltsin received the most ever, upwards of 300 lbs.
12% Alcohol In the Room ...12% Alcohol In the Room ...
12% Alcohol In the Room ...

... there is a significant amount of product lost while the brandy is aged in barrels. This room is sealed, and they say that the air contains up to 12% alcohol due to barrel leakage - so if you want to get drunk quickly, just run in here and take a few deep breaths.
Lesson Learned ...Lesson Learned ...
Lesson Learned ...

... apparently, this ugly carving was made out of a tree where people dumped their leftover brandy. The lesson is that while drinking brandy is good, don't drink so much that you end up looking like this unfortunate mofo.
70 Year Old Brandy For a Bargain Price ...70 Year Old Brandy For a Bargain Price ...
70 Year Old Brandy For a Bargain Price ...

... of $4,000. There was a French guy on the tour who told me that 70 year old Cognac back home would be something like four or five times the price of this.
For Fans of Family Guy ...For Fans of Family Guy ...
For Fans of Family Guy ...

... do you remember the "Minstrel Cycle" episode? Well, these guys look like people that would ride that cycle. Yerevan actuall has a pretty good modern art museum - and the best part is that it's free!
Inspired By Breaking Bad ...Inspired By Breaking Bad ...
Inspired By Breaking Bad ...

... quite a few people mentioned this pub to me, asking if I watched Breaking Bad. I must be the only tourist in Armenia that does not watch the show, as I seemed to be the only one who didn't get what the fuss was all about.
Giardia Missiles ...Giardia Missiles ...
Giardia Missiles ...

... in the form of Tindamax!
Louis Charden ...Louis Charden ...
Louis Charden ...

... a fancy French-style patisserie that turned out a shockingly-good rendition of a pain au chocolat, especially good because it was still warm, with the chocolate slightly melted. Perhaps a tad too buttery, but they almost perfectly nailed the flaky texture typical of a good pain au chocolat you find in France. The simple breakfast wasn't a bad deal, including a pastry, juice, and decent americano.
So Good I Wanted More ...So Good I Wanted More ...
So Good I Wanted More ...

... and ordered this apricot danish. Not as good as the pain au chocolat, is was a little bit too cakey and not flaky, and didn't have a whole lot of fruit.
Rose Hip Drink ...Rose Hip Drink ...
Rose Hip Drink ...

... made from the fruit of the rose plant. Kind of gross, unfortunately - too sweet and syrupy, with a bit of an odd taste to it.
Lunch at the Green Bean ...Lunch at the Green Bean ...
Lunch at the Green Bean ...

... sandwich with smoked beef, peppers, tomato, mayo (a bit too much), and cheese, on some excellent bread.
Reminiscing ...Reminiscing ...
Reminiscing ...

... about the excellent carrot cake we had in Denmark, I had to try the Green Bean's offering. The cake was a bit dry, but the icing was very nice and creamy, and surprisingly light.
The Champagne Room ...The Champagne Room ...
The Champagne Room ...

... the restaurant was packed, so we ended up in this private room. It was so exclusive that we felt like we were going to be scammed, joking that we would end up with a $10,000 bill, accompanied by a couple of 300 lb enforcers to ensure we paid up.
Another Good Dinner ...Another Good Dinner ...
Another Good Dinner ...

... being in Yerevan for nearly a week means returning to some of the excellent restaurants. To start, some salad, assorted cheese, and a couple of pitchers of compote - a regional specialty, drinks made with preserved fruit. In this case, strawberry and raspberry.
Oops ...Oops ...
Oops ...

... we had ordered pork and veal ribs, but ended up with only veal ribs and chunks of pork. No matter, as the veal ribs were fantastic. The chunks of pork, not so much, tasting a bit off.


Tot: 0.058s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 7; qc: 24; dbt: 0.011s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb