Day 49 – 25th May 2014 Yerevan

The Czech guys woke before me at about 9 as they were off to the airport, I said goodbye to them as they headed off with a can of beer for company. I estimate of the 40 hours they were here they’ve slept 32 of them! I’m not sure they left the hostel for anything other than their trip to the cognac factory and the local shop for beer, wine and cigarettes.

I went to brunch with my new American friends, how relaxing sitting in the sun talking and eating. At 3pm Nelly the Armenian girl I met through ‘couchsurfing’ turned up at the hotel to show me the city. We walked around and talked for hours, what an amazing girl.

Armenia was part of the Soviet Union for 70 years and I thought there would be more evidence of it in the architecture but Yerevan is a developing city. There are a few Soviet building left but many have been demolished and new impressive buildings in their place, the old and new work well together. Nelly was concerned that lots of the green parks are being covered with concrete but generally liked the progress. One major development in the centre could have been Canary Wharf in London, the problem here is that the apartments are so expensive nobody can afford to live in them other than rich Armenians who live outside the country and have them as a second home, the result, empty buildings.

Walking around Yerevan in the sun is great, the traffic like the people moves slowly and calmly, this isn’t a manic city.

The city has a good mix of tradition and progression both in the buildings and culture, art and music are important with statues everywhere both of famous people and modern art.

Visit now as in 20 years it might look very different?

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