Yerevan is the capital of Armenia with a population of 1.2 million. We stayed in a soviet era hotel, somewhat down at heel, about 20 minutes from the centre of the city. It had a view of the Presidential Palace from some windows. These windows had signs stating ‘No Photographs’. Our window had a view of Mount Ararat, a symbol of Armenian nationalism that just happens to be in Turkey.
We mostly visited historic sites outside the city but we did have a great guided tour of the History Museum and a much too long tour of the Museum of Ancient Manuscripts.
Malkhas Jazz Club
I went to the Malkhas Jazz Club and heard the terrific Levon Malkhasyan play.
We also attended the Opera and saw a performance of the Armenian opera Anush.
Altar built near the Yerevan Cathedral for the Mass said by the Armenian Patriarch and Pope John Paul II
We visited the Roman ruins which date back to the 3rd century AD.
After the Roman temple a demonstration of traditional bread making.
Kneeding the dough
Placing dough against wall of the oven in the floor
Preparing dough to go into the oven in the floor
Then lunch in the garden.
Lunch in a garden
A visit to a ruin of 7th century church with Mount Ararat in the background.
Zvartnots 7th century church with Mount Ararat
One of the less pleasant sites of Yerevan, and other cities of Armenia, Georgia, and Uzbekistan are the large number of Soviet blocks of flats.
Soviet built flats in Yerevan
These were built in Khrushchev time as a temporary measure to cope with a housing shortage. They are still very much a part of many cities, many are very run down and some look very unsafe.
I really liked being in Armenia perhaps because it was more familiar to me than the other countries we had visited. I could cope with the traffic which seemed to travel at reasonable speed and generally obey the road rules, there were no police checks, there was open access to the internet and I knew a little of its history.