After spending the week in Armenia, all I can tell you is that I’ll be coming back soon. Land of beauty, greenery and breathtaking sceneries, Armenia made me fall in love with its food and great people.
It started on the road...
For the last six days, I was roaming around a beautiful country called Armenia where people are so generous and loving, where food is delicious and where sceneries are breathtaking. New discoveries, interesting people and homey food but two learnings remain...
On Wednesday second of May, Armenia was preparing for a revolution. The country gathered on Republic square and all roads were closed. It was my second day in this beautiful country ready to discover it inside out, yet roads were closed!
I had two choices; “nag”, show the world on my social media accounts a negative side of Armenia and plan my trip back to Lebanon. Or smile, enjoy the moment, be happy to live the change of a country and turn this situation into an adventure... believe me, it turned out to be one of the most memorable adventures ever!
Arriving at the first barricade, I stopped and started taking photos, while trying to ask for an exception: “would you open the road for me, I’m filming an episode about Armenia.” A man approached me, took me aside and started speaking in English that English not everyone understands; “I can’t open the roads, it’s a national day and exceptions are not part of the plan, but I have a solution, would you accept that we take you to your final destination?” And here is where a movie-like adventure started.
Three road-blocks, three different cars changed, people I never met in my life, happy and satisfied people having only one aim in mind... so I asked; “why are you so excited and so dedicated to help?”. Dear sir, the driver replied, -while offering me candies and a drink,- this is Armenia, my country, my land, we don’t want you to think negatively about us, we are only getting our voices heard in peace and you have a mission to fulfill. Excuse us, but this day will be remembered for long and you are part of it: we want to be sure that you will talk about it positively.”
For the record, I was offered lunch, coffee and drinks. Riots were so peaceful and everyone was smiling. I asked to pay for transportation which was refused; it was considered a national duty.
For the next five days, the positive discoveries didn’t seem to have an end. I woke up every day saying “this is the best day so far”, until I was proven wrong. The food, the villages, the people, the touristic sites... OMG! I fell in love with a culture and its amazing people.
Two hours from Beirut, Armenia is a peaceful land you have to visit.
The full program:
- Yerevan City Tour
- Cooking at Ararat Hall with chef Sedaka Mamluyan
- Lunch at Flying Ostrich by Dolmama
- Dilijan city tour
- Lake Sevan
- Wings of Tatev
- Geghard monastery
- Megerian carpet factory
- Gyumri city
- Etchmyadzin cathedral
- Yerevan gum food market
- Khor virap monastery
- Goris city
- Areni winery
- Victory Park, statue of Mother Armenia
- Noi brandy factory
- Vernissage open market
Some details I will remember for long:
- The wings of Tatev
- Drone videos
- The village carved under the mountain
- Dolma at Dolmama
- Jengyalov Hats
- The gum food market
- Drinking with Arthur and vodka masterclass
- Lavash bread
- White cheese
- Garni temple choir
- Baklava at Mirhav hotel
- The amazing fish at Areni Kharandzav restaurant