Winter taste of Armenia & Georgia
About the journey
I was having both Georgia and Armenia on my travel list for quite some time already. I had one week free for travelling at the end of 2010, which was really not enough, but i decided to go and see as much as possible with focus on northern and central Armenia. Luckily no visa arrangements were needed as Georgia is visa free country for EU citizens and Armenia issues visas on border.

Countries visited: Georgia, Armenia
Travelperiod: 12/2010 - 1/2011

Photoblog
just landed in Tbilisi
just landed in Tbilisi
early morning Freedom Square
early morning Freedom Square

I arrived to Tbilisi early in the morning, made a short stroll around the central part of the city and at noon continued by minibus to Yerevan.

border Georgia - Armenia... walking to Armenia
border Georgia - Armenia... walking to Armenia
on the way to Yerevan
on the way to Yerevan

Leaving Georgia and entering Armenia was straighforward - armenian visa was issued in few minutes for 3000 AMD. Further ride was a horror, we were virtually flying over bad roads and when we finally reached Yerevan, i was happy, that i survived.

Mount Aragats (4090m)
Mount Aragats (4090m)
outskirts of city Sevan
outskirts of city Sevan

I was dropped in front of Yerevan Railway Station, took subway to Republic Square and checked into one of the only three hostels in city - Envoy Hostel.

Lake Sevan
Lake Sevan
Sevanavank (Sevan Monastery)
Sevanavank (Sevan Monastery)

On the last day of the 2010 year i made a trip to Lake Sevan (nicknamed as Armenian Sea) and visited the small, but nice Sevanavank Monastery on it's shore.

Republic Square in Yerevan
Republic Square in Yerevan
Mayr Tachar (Echmiadzin) Cathedral
Mayr Tachar (Echmiadzin) Cathedral

It's first day of 2011 and i'm making a short trip to Echmiadzin, which is probably the holiest place in Armenia and also a seat of Armenian Apostolic Church.

main street in Echmiadzin
main street in Echmiadzin
Sasuntsi David statue and Yerevan train station
Sasuntsi David statue and Yerevan train station

Back in Yerevan i'm heading to the train station to buy ticket to Tbilisi for the next day, but being sold nothing, because tickets are simply not on sale today and i have to come next day after 10 AM.

Garni Temple
Garni Temple
my taxi from Garni to Geghard
my taxi from Garni to Geghard

Next day i had a visit of Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery on the plan. Both are close from Yerevan and in an hour marshrutka takes me to Garni village. Further to Geghard Monastery i had to hire a taxi for 2000 drams.

Geghard monastery...
Geghard monastery...
...and inside of it
...and inside of it

Geghard Monastery is settled on a wonderful place, in a narrow mountain gorge and mystical atmosphere rules inside of the church.
First thing i did after getting back to Yerevan was finally buying a train ticket to Tbilisi - second class (kupejnyj) for 9500 Dram.

Mount Ararat (5165m) in the far
Mount Ararat (5165m) in the far
after 12 hours, the train Yerevan - Tbilisi reached it's destination
after 12 hours, the train Yerevan - Tbilisi reached it's destination

Train starts moving sharp on schedule and shortly after departure the passports and tickets were collected by the conductor. In the middle of the night we were woken up for passport and customs check, but it went smoothly and without hassle. Next day morning at 9 AM we arrived to Tbilisi.

view of the old Tbilisi and Narikala Fortress
view of the old Tbilisi and Narikala Fortress
near Avlabari metro station
near Avlabari metro station

I filled up next two days with sightseeing around Tbilisi and a small to trip to historical town Mtskheta.

Tbilisi seen from Narikala Fortress
Tbilisi seen from Narikala Fortress

Departure from Tbilisi is at torturous 5AM and time on my watch remains unchanged as we land in Istanbul (Turkey is 2 hours behind and that's also the length of the flight). At 10AM i'm in Prague and heading from the airport directly to the office.

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