Monday, 17 August 2015

Tblisi - Yerevan

In retrospect, getting around Georgia proved to be really easy. I can't believe I ever thought it was going to be difficult. Having the car made things really simple. GPS was invaluable in Tbilisi but out of the city, the roadsigns weren't that bad and they were all in both Georgian and Roman letters, presumably having all be renewed when they removed the Cyrilic signs.

I was staying at Envoy hostel in Tbilisi and they have another hostel in Yerevan. The do a one way, one day tour between the two cities and you stop at 3 monasteries in northern Armenia on the way as well as a stop for lunch, so it's a good way of getting to see stuff as you travel between the two.

The Armenian church is one of the oldest Christian churches and unlike the Orthodox church, they don't require women to cover their heads in church and shorts are fine. The monasteries are all really old. They were started in the 10th century and construction then done over the next couple of hundred years which is pretty impressive when I imagine what my ancestors were doing back then.

I have to say that 3 monasteries was overdoing it a bit. By the third one, I'd had enough. It was a full day and we got into Yerevan at 8pm. The Envoy hostel there is modern and clean and right in the centre. There are quite a few bars around. I went to one for a drink, but it was pretty quiet.

Getting money proved surprisingly difficult. I have a Caxton FX currency card which you preload and normally works in most ATMs. It's a Mastercard. The first 4 banks I tried, including Credit Agricole and HSBC gave me nothing. Eventually I had success with a Gazprombank machine. Obviously I had backup cards, but it was a pain.

I went to visit the Armenian Genocide museum the next day. It was quite a long walk there. The museum relates the events in the dying days of the Ottoman empire when the Armenians were killed in their hundreds of thousands. Getting back, I took the Metro. The stations are traditionally Soviet, all ornate with marble and statues. The signs are all in Armenian and whilst there is an English announcement onboard, it was drowned out by the noise of the train pulling away, so make sure you know how many stops you need to go before getting on the train.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Allan Whicker!

    I can just picture your ancestors back in the 10th century, cursing the short comings in the latest version of the plough.