Society 10:22 22/07/2015

Travel Weekly: Armenia breaking stereotypes – rich cultural heritage, prosperity, safety and fun-loving people await tourists

Although small in size, Armenia boasts a big reputation: In 301, it was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, and many of its hundreds of churches and monasteries date back more than 1,000 years. Commonly built in high, breathtaking locations where they were less vulnerable to attacks, they stand as visual reminders of the nation's religious heritage, Patricia Schultz – author of travel guides – writes for Travel Weekly.

“Don't even try to decipher Armenia's unique Indo-European language, spoken only by its 3 million inhabitants and some of the vast diaspora of 7 million (or more) scattered across the globe. Its spikey and impenetrable alphabet was introduced in the 5th century to translate the Bible. Both religion and language are twin pillars of Armenia's national identity,” Schultz notes.

Looming large in the nation's present is its tragic past, the inescapable account of the 1915 genocide when 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman government. The hilltop genocide memorial with sweeping views of the million-strong city pays silent tribute to a people and religion that have survived the millennia, Schultz writes.

“Yerevan was not what I expected. In contrast to predeparture research about historic massacres, a struggling economy and high unemployment rates, the impression awaiting travelers today is one of a modernizing capital and country of spectacular beauty, a helpful, friendly and fun-loving people and warm hospitality,” the author points.

Shultz writes about how she enjoyed the Armenian cuisine with delicious dishes of fresh vegetables, a variety of yogurts and salty cheeses, grape-leaf dolma and barbecue (pork is a favorite) with frequent toasts made with local organic wines. Armenian brandy, loved by Churchill, boasts a potency barely masked with the flavors of pomegranate, apricot or cherry.

Schultz notes that nighttime in Yerevan is lively, and the entire world takes to the streets and fills the outdoor cafes and shaded squares. Young families with gelato-eating children join strolling couples and small groups of bar-hopping friends. Everyone winds up at the colored Bellagio-like dancing fountains in Republic Square that infuse the city with a holiday air. Schultz highlights that the city (and beyond) felt very safe.

To Schultz, one-of-a-kind highlights were the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the first built in Armenia and the oldest in the world. Begun in the 4th century, it is the headquarters of the Armenian Church. She also saw Geghard Monastery, a remarkable complex of three interconnected cave churches, also begun in the 4th century. In that same period, St. Gregory the Illuminator, responsible for bringing Christianity to Armenia, was imprisoned in a dank well for 13 years, and Khor Virap monastery was built on that spot, against a breathtaking backdrop of the snow-capped Mount Ararat.

That mountain, which dominates the skyline of Yerevan, serves as a potent national symbol of Armenia. It lies just 28 miles away in what is now Turkey. Called Mount Masis in the Book of Genesis, it is the alleged resting place of Noah's ark, and Armenians pride themselves on tracing their lineage back to that moment, the author writes.

Armenia has a surprisingly good road system, and exploring small agricultural towns and remote corners appeared to be safe for solo travelers. The author explored more monasteries and churches, visited Silk Road caravanserais and ancient cemeteries, had lunch at a small restaurant whose owner regularly wins national barbecue contests, and tasted wine and brandy, all amid pristine forested mountains, rocky gorges and rushing rivers.

Schultz also had a visit to the lovely Lake Sevan, one of the largest and highest freshwater lakes in the world, and an idyllic overnight stay in the nearby mountain town of Dilijan, before leaving Armenia.

Related:
The Daily Beast: Every schoolboy in NKR knows that after graduation he will go to defend his state

British Journal: Nagorno Karabakh populated with Armenians could become the new wonder of world



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

20:00
Air temperature to reach +12°C in Yerevan tomorrow
No precipitation is predicted in the territory of Armenia in the daytime of February 23-24 and 26-27, Hydromet meteorological service reported....
19:40
New research shows Earth formed much faster than previously thought
The precursor of our planet, the proto-Earth, formed within a time span of approximately five million years, shows a new study from the Centre...
19:20
Armenia’s ice cream production up in 2019
A total of 13 million 253.6 liters of ice cream were produced in Armenia in January-December 2019, up by 9.1% over the previous year, the...
19:00
Air pollution exceeds safety limits in two Armenian cities
The concentration of pollutants in the air of two Armenian cities – Vanadzor and Hrazdan - exceeds the limits of air-quality standards,...
18:40
Turkish-backed counterattack fails in Idlib
Syria’s official state news agency SANA has shared video footage of what appeared to be Russian jets repelling a rebel counterattack in...
18:15
Renowned director and documentarian Artavazd Peleshyan marks birthday anniversary
Today marks the birthday anniversary of one of renowned directors of film-essays, documentarians of the world cinematography Artavazd Peleshyan....
17:53
Yerevan to host festive procession dedicated to Great Barekendan
The Armenian Apostolic Church will mark the eve of Great Barekendan with a festive programme, the Ararat Patriarchal Diocese reported in a press...
16:46
Three injured as a passenger vehicle rolled over into the gorge on Gyumri-Ashotsk roadway
"Mercedes-Benz C180" car (driver Sargis Gh., born in 1978) ran off the roadway and about 25 meters rolled over into the gorge on...
16:31
France and Germany urge Syria summit amid fears of 'bloodbath' in Idlib
French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a summit on Syria with Germany, Russia and Turkey to take place "as soon as possible"...
15:39
Artsakh and Azerbaijan cannot exist in a common political area- Pashinyan
The elections held in the Artsakh Republic throughout its history are incomparable in terms of democracy with those held Azerbaijan and come to...
15:25
Armenian public bids last farewell to prominent actor Yervand Manaryan
“Yervand Manaryan’s name is inseparable from the 50-year old history of Armenian cinematography. Our film industry is a national...
15:14
Artsakh reports around 190 Azerbaijani ceasefire violations in one week
Azerbaijani military breached the ceasefire along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact around 190 times in the past week. In the period...
13:19
Armenian Church commemorates the memory of 150 Patriarchs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople
The Armenian Apostolic Church commemorates today the 150 Pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, Qahana.am reports....
12:57
Armenian embassy urges its citizens to provide information about the place of residence in Iran
Due to the situation with the novel coronavirus in Iran and the possible surge of new cases, the Armenian Embassy in the Islamic Republic of...
12:54
Joint meeting of the Security Councils of Armenia and Artsakh held in Stepanakert
Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan together with Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan partook today at the joint...
11:54
Nikol Pashinyan offers condolences to Angela Merkel on the tragic incident in the city of Hanau
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sent a condolence message to Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany over the twin shootings...
11:23
First case of coronavirus reported in Lebanon
The first case of the coronavirus has been reported in Lebanon, according to MTV Lebanon. With the addition of the individual diagnosed early...
10:57
Putin expresses concern over extremists’ aggressive actions in Syria’s Idlib
Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that Russia is seriously concerned over extremists’...
10:36
656 trucks accumulated on Russian side of Lars checkpoint
Some roads are closed or difficult to pass in the territory of Armenia as of February 22 at 09.55, the ministry of emergency situations...
21:46
Armenia, EU to sign the Agreement on Common Aviation Area in 2020
Armenia will sign the Agreement on Common Aviation Area with the European Union in 2020, Chairwoman of the Civil Aviation Committee Tatevik...
20:05
Trump complains about ‘Parasite’ Oscar win
In the middle of a rant during a rally in Colorado Springs on Thursday, US President Trump took a detour into the movie business in order to...
19:27
State commission set up for Yervand Manaryan’s funeral
A state commission was set up by the decision of PM Nikola Pashinyan to organize the funeral of renowned Armenian actor, director and...
18:26
19 new makeship hospitals to open in Wuhan next week
Wuhan, Hubei province – the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak – will have 19 new makeshift hospitals by next Tuesday to...
18:06
Government commission on constitutional changes holds its first meeting
An ad hoc government commission tasked with drafting amendments to Armenia’s constitution held its first session on Friday chaired by...
17:25
Kremlin spokesman declines to talk about ‘worst-case scenarios’ for Syria’s Idlib
Moscow is deeply concerned about the situation in Syria’s Idlib province and continues consultations on the issue with Ankara, Russian...
17:16
Clear ice formed on roadways of Syunik province
Some roads are closed or difficult to pass in the territory of Armenia as of February 21 at 15.30, the ministry of emergency situations...
16:28
Armenia to mark Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with a special festival
The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra will open the 2020 season with a concert dedicated to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven. In 2020,...
16:12
Armenian football team maintains 102nd spot in FIFA ranking
The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) has released the updated ranking for national football teams on Thursday, with the...
16:06
Armenian wrestler Artur Aleksanyan says will do his best to win his second Olympic gold
Greco-Roman wrestler Artur Aleksanyan, an Olympic gold medalist and five-time European champion, claims the Armenian people’s support...
15:27
Putin urges respect for Ukrainians’ identity, highlights mutual roots
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes it is important to respect Ukrainians’ national identity, but at the same time never lose sight...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}