On our way to Yerevan, capital city of Armenia.
The night train trip itself was such a great experience that a blog post is not enough, and it’s something that my English can’t express that well.
Now in a group of five, we are experiencing how all the travelling should be. People from different countries, on the night train, tasting some regional alcohol drinks (Celsius vodka in our case), talking about random stuff, culture, travelling, places, passions, politics, religion, etc. and disturbing everybody else with their laughter.
Luckily Robin managed to convince some other travellers on the train to exchange seats, so now we were all seating in the same compartment.
The train was quite comfortable, even though it was old, but we had a table, we had beds over our heads, smoking areas between the waggons, and our waggon was packed with diapers. Yup…diapers. Everywhere diapers. Under the bench, in the luggage area, in the empty compartments of the waggon, just about everywhere, hundreds of packs of diapers. Imagine that, or even better, here is a picture with the view. On every topic we had we were able to fit in a diaper joke. The inspiration was everywhere around us.
3-4 AM. After getting our passports stamped by the border controls both of Georgia and Armenia, we agreed that we should have some rest.
Shortly before arriving at our destination we woke up and shared some laughs watching how some individuals were managing their stash of diapers.
Robin works in Tbilisi, but, in fact, he is from Yerevan so we were more than lucky to have him in the group. The city was deserted at that early hour of the morning, it was freezing cold outside, much colder than in Tbilisi and, for the next two hours, we tried to find a place to grab something to eat and warm up until the whole city would wake up.
At a certain point, we managed to crash in a nice cafe that just opened its doors for the day. We had some sandwiches, coffee, and I think that now everybody was trying to plan the day. On our search from the train station to find such a place, we walked all the way to the city centre.
From here we went in different ways. Eerika joined me and John for a couple of hours on a walk around the city.
The first pictures I took in Yerevan are with the National Gallery.
Once again I got very excited from the very start because one of the pictures I took. For me, everything else that I was about to see or experience in Yerevan I considered a nice bonus to this picture. From a photographic point of view, after this shot nothing could make this day go wrong, and nothing did.
Here it is.
I don’t know what’s the name or function of this building. The ground floors were empty, and I think that it still had some parts in construction phase.
Next, we walked around the Republic Square, where there are a bunch of institutions, including The Armenian Government.
John, passionate about history, politics, and all that, recommended to go and visit the Blue Mosque. I think I will ask John to tell me more about this Mosque, probably he read some stuff about it while I was busy taking pictures.
We had lunch soon after that and continued our tour of Yerevan, with The Armenian Opera Theater. Here we had an architectural discussion over the looks of the building. We agreed on the same thing. I mean, look at it. Doesn’t it look like a building landed on another building? Why would you have that darker finishing on the top?
Our last landmark of the day was The Cascade Complex. Lots and lots of stairs. After a long night on the train, just 2-3 hours of sleep, all the walking around the city, we were quite tired, but John still wanted to climb on stuff and help me with my photography by becoming the “human element”.
After climbing all the stairs, and passing by various modern sculptures you reach the top. The monument was still under construction but the effort still worths it because from there you have a really nice view of The Alexander Tamanyan Park, The Opera Theater, and the rest of the city.
Eerika’s train was about to leave soon and we had to take tickets for the same night train back to Tbilisi, so we took the metro and joined her to the train station.
There was still plenty of time to kill before our train left, so we went to something like a souvenir market, then for dinner we found a nice restaurant called Vinograd, and we spent the last amount of time we had in an underground pub, close to the metro station.
I’m pretty sure that we left plenty of interesting things to do and see next time we will be here.
The return train for Tbilisi was exactly the same one as the one we took for Armenia but, this time, no diapers were transported. We even had the same seats, but this time instead of our three new friends, we met a Russian student couple.
Unfortunately, we had only one bottle of vodka.
To be continued…
Until my next post on this topic see other updates at the links below: