20 reasons to marvel at Armenia
You will meet very few people who do not want to return to Armenia. This country of friendly people and convulsive history leaves no visitor indifferent. Surrounded by spectacular mountains, its streets are filled with Colombian art, top quality chocolate and Soviet-style cars. If you still don't know this Caucasian country, we give you 20 reasons to buy the ticket.
1. IT IS A COUNTRY FULL OF HISTORY
From its biblical past to the current conflicts, Armenia is a country that gives many stories. Its citizens were the first to welcome Christianity in 301, and this is where Noah posed the ark after the Universal Flood.
2. A STONEHENGE TO ARMENIA
The enigmatic observatory of Carahunge, in the mountainous region of Sisian, collects more than two hundred prehistoric tombs. The name of the place is translated by "Army stones", and date from 7500 a. C. The collision of the wind with the holes of the tombs produces a characteristic sound of the place.
Carahunge, the Armenian Stonehenge © Corbis
3. THE OMNIPRESENCE OF ARARAT
This 5,137 meter mountain appears in all kinds of objects: t-shirts, cognac bottles, chocolates and graffiti are dressed in one of the most spectacular mountains in the Caucasus. Although technically it is not in Armenia, but in Turkey, the mountain can be seen from all corners of Yerevan.
4. HAS A GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
Caucasian countries have something special. They balance a Soviet past with strong national roots, combining two poles that are not always found. Armenia maintains many references to the Soviet era.
Ararat: the omnipresence of a mountain © Corbis
5. YOUR AIRPORT IS STRANGE MODERN
The Zvartnots International Airport is so up to date that, instead of showing the passport, some machines read your fingerprint. Those who arrive in time to catch the flight can sit in the fantastic ergonomic chairs in front of the runway.
6. TAXIS HAVE WIFI
As you have begun to suspect, Armenia offers many contrasts, and cars are no exception. From the latest model taxis that include Wi-Fi to marshrutkas (minibuses) and Soviet Ladas, there is a transport for all tastes.
7. CONTEMPORARY ART LOVERS
The Armenian capital is an authentic open-air museum. The statues of listed international artists, such as Fernando Botero and Jaume Plensa, they fill the center of the city with rounded figures and intermittent colors. The unmissable museum in the Cascade collects pieces of the most representative artists of our century.
Waterfall Museum © Corbis
8. THE BALLET IS SUITABLE FOR ALL POCKETS
It's something that happens in many former Soviet republics: going to the opera is extremely cheap. Yerevan It is the perfect place to see a Russian ballet for about two euros the entrance, or to dare with an opera in an unknown language for three euros.
The Erevan Opera © Corbis
9. MONASTERIES AS YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE
Possibly Geghard is one of the most magical places in the worldor. It reminds us of a Petra without tourists, but more intimate and silent. Founded in the fourth century, it is formed of various churches partially excavated in the mountain.
Geghard remembers a Petra without tourists © Corbis
10. AUTONOMOUS PRODUCTS
If what we want is to know Armenian day to day, there is nothing like walking through the Central Market of Yerevan, full of spices and all kinds of nuts. Built in the Persian style, the market facade deserves a visit by itself.
11. THE GREAT GASTRONOMIC LOVE: THE CILANTRO
If you do not tolerate cilantro, we will get it wrong. They put it in soups, salads, meats and even in pastries. His adoration for this aromatic herb makes even the kebab taste different.
12. BUY COFFEE AND COMPOTE FOR THE STREET
Coffee beans scent the narrow streets of villages like Vanadzor It is also common to find ladies in the middle of the road that sell strawberry, apricot or blackberry jams.
Yerevan Central Market © Corbis
13. TEST THE JUST BREAD
They call it lavash and is the typical Armenian bread. In the market, a dozen women prepare it as if they were ironing a thin and wide sheet. Another typical bread is the Matnakash, which means "finger drawn" by the peculiar shape it has.
This is how the 'lavash' or traditional Armenian bread is made © Anna Torrents
14. GRANDMOTHER'S CRAFTS
Market antiques Vernissage in the Hanrapetutyan street deserve a visit. Here you will find all kinds of jewelry, matrioskas and handmade tops. Don't be afraid to bargain the price.
15. TIE BOTH BETWEEN FAMOUS
Surely you know many more Armenians than you think. Cher, Kim Kardashian, Andre Agassi or Seymour Skinner (Yes, the college director at The Simpsons) has Armenian roots. Actually, it is considered that the Armenian diaspora reaches eight million people.
16. VISIT THE BLUE MOSQUE
Its graceful dome with Arab motifs fills the center of Yerevan with color. It is not just a mosque: It is also a center of learning and dissemination of Muslim culture. During the Soviet era, this 1766 building became a planetarium.
The Yerevan Blue Mosque © Anna Torrents
17. A PAST CONVULSE
To learn about the country's most recent past, we can visit the Armenian Genocide Museum or Dzidzernagapert, which is translated by "the fortress of small swallows" and offers good views over the Armenian capital.
18. FILM OUTDOORS
A trip to this Caucasian country deserves a detour until the Sevan lake. Intense blue, it is located within a national park and offers several beaches for bathing. He sevanavank monastery It was founded in 874 and stands on a hill overlooking the lake.
Sevan Lake © Corbis
19. THE MOST TRADITIONAL ARMENIA
To learn about the reality of the country, we can visit some of the northern towns. Vanadzor and Gyumrí, For example, they have been rebuilding throughout history without losing the Armenian essence. Along the way, we may have to stop the car on more than one occasion to let the cows cross the road.
20. FESTIVITIES PASSED BY WATER
Without doubt, one of the most unique days in the country is the Water Festival or Vartavar, in which everyone goes out to throw buckets of water. Held during the month of July, commemorates a religious festival in which elders, children, workers and students have a free way to wet others.
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The interior of the Geghar monastery © Anna Torrents