Day 1: Yerevan – A City Frozen in Time

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This is the view from my hotel’s window

Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia and is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Its buildings and streets speak about how old their civilization is and how proud they are to maintain the history of this place.

YEREVAN AIRPORT

The moment I peeped into the airplane’s window three (3) hours after the airplane has took off, I told myself that this is definitely not Dubai. Instead of skyscrapers that I usually see everyday, the scenery are the mountains that are covered with melting snow.

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Now we are talking ICE and not SAND!

When we landed at the Yerevan International Airport, the difference between the UAE and Armenia is very evident. Their airport is very quite and it seems that our airplane was the only airplane that had landed on that day! This observation had led me a conversation with a Filipino couple who were also flight passengers of the FlyDubai (spoiler: this couple will eventually be on the same tour with me for the next two (2) days).

We were directed to the Departure Area where you have to purchase a visa before you will pass through the Passport Control Department. The airport officials who processed our visas were not very nice as they seemed to be very intimidating. However, their behavior do not represent the Armenians at all.

As soon as I have my passport stamped, we went directly to the departure lounge area where the Holiday Factory representative, Lilit, was waiting for me for hotel transfers.

YEREVAN CITY AT NIGHT

Although I purchased my travel voucher with Holiday Factory, I did not avail their daily tours as my colleague had introduced me to a Filipino tour guide named Johann, who is now based in Armenia. Johann was very willing to tour me around Yerevan City for free. Yes, for free and he even treat me dinner! Since my hotel (Europe Hotel) is just meters away from the Republic Square, we roamed around this place and he took me to Artashi Mot – a cute restaurant that offers the most delicious pork BBQ that I’d tasted in my entire life! Seriously, the pork was so fresh and you can really tell that it’s organic.

Yerevan at night is very lively as the music is playing everywhere and many people are walking around the Republic Square – some are taking pictures and others are just enjoying the place with family, friends, and loved ones. You will feel like you were taken back in time as this city is surrounded with old buildings and the sight of high skyscrapers, like I usually see in Dubai, is nowhere in sight.

THE STARES

I don’t know if it’s me but one thing I noticed is the stares that I got from Armenians. Maybe they are not very used to seeing Asians and maybe they are just curious of why I was in their place. I find it not offensive though and I am far from complaining, it is just an observation.

GOOD NIGHT YEREVAN

It was 11:30PM when we ended our one and half hours city tour, it’s time to say good bye to Johann and officially say “good night Yerevan”.

UP NEXT…

Johann took us to monasteries and lakes and told us something about apricots!

#armenia #travel #yerevan #republicsquare #solotravel

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