Best of Armenia
January 1, 1970
by Lada Satková
Even nobody knows nothing about this country not even that it exists I had a chance to visit it thanks to Erasmus+ project with Armenians. This country is located in the Caucasus in Southwest Asia and the capital city Yerevan is located about 12 kilometers from Turkey. First thing that I would like to mention is that there were lot of things that I was surprised almost shocked because there is a much different culture than I expected, but lot of these things which surprised me I consider for typical sings of Armenia.
I´ve already mentioned that I got there through Erasmus+ project so almost everything was paid for me. Like food, accommodation and transport. But if you would like to visit this country, only expensive thing what you will pay for will be a ticket which costs about 450 Euros from Czech Republic, then when you get to Armenia you will pay like nothing for everything because in Armenia there is everything cheap. I would say that the prices are three or four times lower than anywhere in Europe.
WHAT I DISCOVERED ABOUT THE CULTURE
Let´s start with food which everybody loves. If you will be in Armenia don´t even dare to not to try Lavash. It is lightweight thin bread that reminds me of tortillas. Me and my friends we made a fun all the time that they have a rule which is: “No life without lavash.” Everywhere in Armenia people eat this “bread” everyday to everything with everything. They have it even for breakfast, lunch and also for dinner. I think that there wasn’t a case when somebody wouldn’t eat lavash. Also they drink here a “kompot” which is very sweet drink mostly made of apricot with a lot of sugar.
Next thing fact what I discovered here is that everybody in this country is so much loving, kind and friendly. Whatever you need to ask or if you need a help, even they don´t understand you they try to help you somehow. Armenians are incredibly proud and hospitable nation. Although they have almost nothing they would do anything for the visit. So if you plan to visit Armenia you don’t need to be afraid of anything, also I would like to emphasize hitch-hiking. One day we were divided into little groups and our goal was to get to an agreed place and we had to hitch-hike. To be honest, in the begging I was afraid because I didn’t have any experiences with hitch-hiking in the Czech Republic and not even anywhere in Europe. But when we started with hitch-hiking my fears disappeared. During our trip we relieved seven totally different cars. We went by luxurious car, delivery truck and by some car for animals. It was fun and for me it was a perfect experience to try something new. But if we would talk about women in this country it might be quite long dis. I think that women here have no rights and their opinions are not respected. According to the Armenians women should stay home and take care of the household. However regarding courteousness there is no problem because the men are very polite and observant.
Now I get to another experience and it is with taxis. There are taxis on every corner wherever you go. Each person use taxies all the time and the prices are too low, for a drive you pay 700 AMD which is about 1 or 2 euro. Actually these low prices don’t apply only in the case of taxis but also for example in buses or in a metro in Yerevan which was my biggest shock in terms of transport. Metro in Yerevan works on the way that you buy a token which costs 100 AMD (20 cents) after that you throw the token into the turnstile which will let you go into the underground. Before you will go into the underground you should know that taking photos there is forbidden and it is guarded by police so don’t even try it.
Speaking of prices, there is another thing that will definitely delight smokers, because you can buy cigarettes here like for nothing. Nearly worldwide, the government is trying to prevent people to smoke and for that reason cigarettes are expensive, but in this country they don’t have needs to prevent it. Therefore there are very cheap cigarettes and almost everyone smokes here. It seem more that they have deeply in themselves written that every man have to smoke.
Now, let´s move to sights and breathtaking views from mountains. In Armenia I had a great opportunity to visit two different cities, Yerevan and Dilijan.
Dillijan is surrounded by mountains and hills. Near this city are beautiful monasteries Goshavank and Haghartsin where you can find typical Armenian architecture. When I was at Goshavank I climbed the hill next to it and the view from the top was magnificent. I could see just mountains and hills with stones and trees. It was a perfect scene of a wonderful nature. Also I could just stay there and breathe a clean air. The feeling at the moment was indescribable.
Also I would like to mention Lake Sevan, which is a mountain located approximately 40 kilometres from Dilijan. It is so stunning place. If you will reach a little hill where is located the Monastery Sevanavank you will se the whole lake around.
Whereas I climbed the hills and see the mountains, in Yerevan I discovered the city. I visited Opera, Republic square, Victory park and I saw dancing fountains at night. My best experience in Yerevan was the visit of Cascade. The Cascade is a giant stairway which is full of arts. There are fountains and sculptures in whole area of this monument. If you climb the Cascade you won´t see just whole city with the monuments and sights but also a mountain Ararat which is the highest mountain in the territory of Turkey, but throughout the world is considered to be a sign of Armenia.