Bye bye Armenia

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May 21st 2012
Published: June 21st 2017
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Geo: 41.72, 44.79

Monday, my last day in Armenia, and quite uneventful. Gregor had two monasteries for me to see en route to Tbilisi. Both big monastery complexes close to each other, Sanahin which means older than the other and Haghpat which means the one with the big wall, all very unoriginal - to get to the first one we had to drive through a Soviet era housing estate of crumbling apartment blocks. One odd thing I haven't mentioned is the gas pipes, I know I know, what can be interesting about them! Well all our gas pipes are underground, the ones in Armenia, and Georgia it seems, were underground but they had problems with leaks and explosions so they moved them all above ground and painted them yellow. So there is this warren of yellow pipes running along the side of the streets about three feet off the ground and where they cross a driveway they go up to form an arch. Bizarre.
We also visited a museum that celebrates the lives of two brothers, the Mikoyan brothers, one was the longest serving member of the Soviet politburo, they called him The Fox because he survived several presidents from Stalin on
Me pretending to be a trainee monk Me pretending to be a trainee monk Me pretending to be a trainee monk

This was the lecture room and the students sat in those niches while the lecturer walked back and forth
and didn't get caught in any of the internal coups. His brother was one of the two principal designers of the MIG fighter aircraft and it is named after them. Mikoyan and Gurevich.

So on to Tbilisi, another hassle at the border because for some reason the number on my visa doesn't match the number on their computer. I had that hassle on the way in and having failed to communicate, them no English me no armenian or Russian, they just stamped me in. Now I had another couple of guys with something to fret about, but the language barrier defeated them too!
And the only other problem was finding the hotel, partly because it is in the middle of '' old '' Tbilisi where every street, nay every building, is in the throes of being torn down, renovated, reconstructed and generally causing chaos,partly because Gregor proved to be hopeless both at cities and taking directions, I had the map, could see where we were and where to go but he either ignored me completely or wad always in the wrong lane. In the end the only thing to do was park and walk to it then send him back for the car.
Hotel in a converted 18th century palace thing and they seem to think I'm a vip because they have given me a room big enough for ballroom dancing which has about 6 windows on three sides of the building including a little balcony over the front door from which I could address the nation!

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