Cath Greig


Cath Greig

My brother and I are off to Armenia for three weeks, exploring the country, visiting Karabagh and hanging out in the capital, Yerevan. We are 50% Armenian and want to reconnect with this half do our heritage. And we are fortunate enough to share our journey with Saro, the best driver in Armenia.

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan October 22nd 2012

Monday 1 October 2012 Despite being right in the busy centre of the city, we are both sleeping really well. I thought the traffic might disturb us but I think we are so tired from walking in the heat, by night time we are flat out. Our plan for the day was to visit the Parajanov Museum. Each time we walk somewhere, we take a slightly different route so that we get to see different parts of the city. The museum is close to the gorge - opposite the football ground. It was built for Parajanov but he died of lung cancer before he had a chance to live in it. Although, principally a film maker, he was someone who could turn his hand to anything - drawing, collage, installations. Personally, out of all the museums ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan October 21st 2012

Tuesday 2 October 2012 We had arranged to meet Hasmik after breakfast. We took the circular road route to Vernissage - Moskovan which turns into Kanjian Street. It was turning into another hot day so we tended to hug the shade. Apparently, we have been really lucky with the weather. The temperatures in this Armenian autumn have been higher than a typical English summer. Vernissage was a very scaled down version of the weekend market. Probably, a tenth of the size. Despite that, we managed to get what we came for which was an achievement. It really helps to have a local person with you to help with the negotiations. A quick drink at Smokey Ribs - good wifi here, we made our way to the metro. I never managed to go on the metro on ... read more

Asia » Armenia October 21st 2012

Sunday 30 September 2012 Our plans for the day involved buying gifts from Vernissage and then visiting the Parajanov Museum in the afternoon. After breakfast we went for coffee at Artbridge hoping to use their wifi. Unfortunately, it was rather erratic which was disappointing. We seem to be doomed on this front. We have found one reliable wifi source but it does mean sitting in the park to use it and it isn't secure. Vernissage was busy and hot but we successfully managed to buy what we needed. Both Rod and I had local people with us last time we had negotiated the market who helped us identify the best stuff to buy. I didn't think we did too badly on our own. Rod even remembered one of the women who he had bought a tablecloth ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan October 21st 2012

Friday 28 September 2012 An early start today as we had a few things to see en route to Yerevan, the most important being, the cable car to Tatev. This was being built when I visited two years ago. The drive to Tatev had been one of the scariest of my life and nothing would have induced me to do it again. Rod had a similar experience. Going by cable car was a different story. It is the longest cable car in the world and costs 300 AMD one way. The road has improved and Saro persuaded us that we should come back in the car. The car we were in was completely full and it was like being on a fairground ride. The ride over the gorge is spectacular and only takes 10 minutes. I'm ... read more

Asia » Armenia » South » Kapan October 14th 2012

27 September 2012 Our last day in Artsakh. It's been good staying in one place for three nights. Once we had breakfast we set off, our first destination - the post office. Easier said than done. It took as a while to find it. A very insignificant looking place considering we were in a capital city. It turned out that we had to wait for someone to arrive before we could get the stamps. The 'stamp fairy' arrived 10 minutes later, nonchalantly walking in. She proceeded to try to persuade us to buy commemorative stamps - she had millions of them! We succumbed and bought a couple. We then set off to Shushi, visit the carpet museum/showroom first. We had a little guide to the stories within the carpets. Apparently, as the people weren't allowed to ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan October 5th 2012

Saturday 29 September 2012 Our first day in Yerevan. We started with a bit of housekeeping, washing clothes etc before heading to the shops to get some breakfast stuff, bread, butter and honey. Our plan was a visit to Vernissage the outdoor market that sells a variety of stuff- jewellery, second hand goods, paintings, clothes etc. On our way we went to the tourist information office but it wasn't there anymore. We have no idea where it's gone. Some of the people selling at Vernissage are artists with their own handmade wares. We saw a lovely stall with handmade jewellery made from leather. We return there tomorrow. Our aim was to scope the market out and return to buy what we want. Vernissage is only open on Saturday and Sundays so this was our only chance. ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan October 4th 2012

Wednesday 3 October 2012 We'd arranged to meet Hasmik at 9am - early for Armenian standards - to go for a swim and sauna at the Business Centre Health club. We got there but found that it was closed for maintenance. A bit disappointing but we had a coffee in the cafe before deciding to go to the best place to buy good Armenian coffee. This was a metro ride away to the end of the line in the north of the city. Again, it is so good to have someone to advise us. I also bought a Jazzve - the coffee pot used to make Armenian coffee. It's different from the one I have at home and slightly bigger. We also popped into Grand Candy - Armenian's main sweet outlet. I managed to come out ... read more

Asia » Armenia » East September 26th 2012

Our last full day in Artsakh. We had a slow start which probably wasn't a good idea in retrospect as one of our destinations was a very long way away and on very difficult roads. While Saro got gas for the car, we visited the iconic Karabagh statues - Tatik-Papik. We then went to buy a SIM card which involved passports and a lot of red tape. We then visited the museum about the fallen fighters in the war. We are now in possession of a book which weighs a ton which was given to Rod for our mother, by the woman who founded the museum and wrote the book. After a little stroll we had coffee and then back to the market for Jingalov Hats and a fried potato bread thing plus fruit for our ... read more

Asia » Armenia » East September 25th 2012

We had a big day ahead of us with three different places to visit. But first we had to go to the Foreign ministry to sort out our visas, then we were off to the market to get some lunch as there wouldn't be anywhere to eat in the area where we were heading. A speciality of the area is Jingalov Hats, a flat bread cooked with seven herbs - one of which is compulsory - no idea which one. We also bought tomatoes, cucumber and fruit. Perfect. Saro also bought himself a head torch for the cave that we would be visiting later. The roads in Karabakh are pretty good. Lots of money has been donated by the Armenian diaspora who are living all over the world. The All Hayastan fund have also donated a ... read more

Asia » Armenia » East September 24th 2012

Another leisurely start with the usual breakfast of bread, sour cream, apricot preserve, cheese and boiled egg. In addition we had cake which we decided to take to have with our first coffee of the day. The Mirhav Hotel is tastefully decorated with comfortable rooms with friendly staff. Shame we were there for only one night. We started by going to see Goris old town which was a series of caves just on the edge of the new town. Saro drove us around the sights of Goris before heading off to Khonderesk - the cave village. I went there on my last visit but Rod hadn't been there before. The road to Khonderesk is pretty bumpy - no change there. What is new is a suspension bridge which crosses the gorge and takes visitors straight to ... read more
The Mirhav hotel
Old Goris

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