20.07.2007 -17 °C
Yerevan, just a little north of the Turkish border, and a hop, skip, and a jump north of Iran, is the capital of Armenia. Sure you knew that. With slightly more than a million people, Yerevan is dotted with cafes, an impressive Republic Square (Hanrapetutyan Hraparak), and a majestic Opera House. Several Soviet structures abound but not worthy any discussion. Ok, Yerevan has nothing really to offer! Except - the people are such fine human beings - you would never believe they served 70 years under Soviet rule!! Beauty abounds (oh those proud noses, sharp features, dark eyebrows, and piercing dark eyes).
Other than the people - the beauty of Armenia lies in its rural villages, mountains (notably snow capped Mount Ararat, where Noah's Ark docked), and the ancient monasteries. The land here is dotted with extremely well preserved monasteries dating from between the 6th and 13th centuries. Most of them are located in spectacular settings - atop mountains, some surrounded by oak plantations, some by the shores of a lake, and others in quaint corners of little villages.
The country has a very old and rich history - packed with horror such as the Turkish genocide - the forcible deportation and massacring of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the government of the Young Turks from 1915 to 1917 - yip, the gruesome era of the Ottoman Empire! More than two million Armenians perished!
Welcome to Armenia! I'm in for a treat.