While we were driving, it happened that we decided to pick up a random hitchhiker. Our guest was a 90-year-old Armenian man, who explained that hitchhiking is the usual way to go from village to village. We asked him, how often does the train or bus goes by. He replied that the train goes only at night and the bus can take hours to show up. Coupled with the fact that there is no bus schedule, most people just offer some change for short lifts. To be honest, we didn't mind driving him because we wanted to hear his stories, but due to his age and the language barrier, it was difficult to understand everything. After 7 hours of driving on bad roads, we finally arrived to Yerevan. Our first night, we walked around Republic Square and found a place to eat dinner. To be honest, I normally plan my trips so that I know what I want to see and do before I get to the city. But this time, I decided to not do any research, and just find whatever came via recommendation by the locals.
Our next morning, we went to the Matenadaran museum, where we saw ancient manuscripts and books. I don't think we paid any fees. Afterward, our taxi driver offered to drive us to the Temple of Garni. It was quite interesting to see this Greco-Roman building from the 1st century AD, which collapsed during an earthquake in 1679, only being rebuilt in the 20th century. We then continued to Geghard monastery. I have seen so many monasteries in Georgia and in other countries, so I thought that Geghard would be on par with the others I've seen. I was pleasantly surprised that this place is very unique and the entrance is totally free. The main chapel was built in the 12th century and is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a long drive back to the city, my husband wanted to visit the Armenian Genocide memorial complex. It was very emotional to visit. The museum is very well made, and you will see a lot of pictures of the darkest chapter in Armenia's history. If you've never heard about it, it is definitely important to learn that 1.5 million of Armenians were killed by the Ottoman government. From there, we went to the Cascade, from atop you can see the entire city. This was a long day, but we still weren't done. We were ready to try some famous cognac from "Ararat." There is some lingering regret that we didn't buy the 20 year old cognac bottle, because it had quite a unique taste. The taxi ride for entire day didn't cost too much money (around $50). In general, traveling in Armenia is very cheap. So if you are a budget traveller, you should visit this beautiful country!
Temple of Garni
the Armenian Genocide memorial complex
Ararat Cognac Tasting