Armenia was my 3rd stop from the trip that took me to Azerbaijan first and then to Georgia. I always wanted to visit this country since I heard many amazing stories about the people and the gorgeous landscapes...and this country didn't disappoint me! I fell in love with Armenia since day one. LEss touristy than Georgia and more friendly people.
Yerevan was a good surprise and a very pleasant city to visit. I mostly walked to see all the sights and I only took one the metro to see a couple of stations. Yerevan has numerous soviet architectures to explore and a couple of semi-abandoned theme parks. So, all in all, it was great to spend a couple of days in this city.
These are the things that I have enjoyed the most including the exact map location in case you want to visit them.
This is a great place to see and I decided to climb all the way the stairs to then reach Victory Park. There is a nice view of the city from the top and there are some nice pieces of art and sculptures to see (some nice Botero statues too!)
You can reach Victory Park by climbing all the stairs from the Cascade Complex. It is a nice public park with a semi-abandoned theme park. Some rides are working but others are just left unused. In the park, there is also the eternal flame with a nice tank parked next to it!
A super nice soviet architecture but sadly converted in a not-so-nice shopping mall! Still great to visit (from the outside)
YEREVAN CITY MALL
Opposite the Blue Mosque, there is a very interesting architecture which sadly is a shopping mall, but you can still visit the outside without going inside.
YEREVAN CHILDREN'S RAILWAY
This was definitely my favorite place in Yerevan. In many soviet cities, you can find children's railway used mostly to teach how the train system works; these are a smaller scale railway but with functioning trains and stations. This one in Yerevan, although supposed to be operating, looked very abandoned to me. The actual station is very beautiful with nice stained glasses decorations on top of the doorways.
Sadly this was the only Lenin statue I managed to see in the whole Armenia. This statue is placed in a very odd place: a courtyard of a building! Finding it is not super easy but not impossible. I had a not so accurate GPS location but I managed to find it after looking around for 10 minutes. The location on my map is not 100% the location of the statue but it is around that spot, it is very easy to find together with the below pictures.
Karen Demirchyan Complex
YERITASARDAKAN METRO STATION
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION OF ARMENIA
From Yerevan, I traveled to Goris that I used as a base to do day-trips ( including Tatev) and to then continue my journey into Nagorno Karabakh. Getting To Goris was easier than I expected. Just head to Yerevan main train station and at the back of the building, there are many Marshrutkas. I went there around 7 AM and the van left around 8 AM. The journey took around 6 hours with 2 stops and the cost was AMD2500. It is a very scenic drive so get a window seat if you can!
Goris is a very small town so I wouldn't recommend spending more than a day there. I spent 2 days but during one day I did a day trip to Tatev and the surrounding areas. In Goris, there are not many restaurant or places to eat, except one place that served very weird tacos!
I went to Tatev from Goris. I had organized a driver with the hotel I stayed to take me to the station where the cable car departs. You could also ask the many taxi drivers in Goris and they will be more than happy to take you. I paid 8000 AMD for the whole day and I visited also some areas around Goris too. The 8000 AMD do not include the price of the cable car which will have to be paid separately.
The Day after visiting Tatev I made my way to Nagorno Karabakh…But I will tell you more on how to get there in the next blog