September 2006


Final Armenian Planning Update

So, I am leaving Weimar today, headed for Armenia and its beautiful scenery.

Naturally, I am packing—using a friend’s backpack since I’ve heard its not a wise idea to use a suitcase since the minibuses (aka minivans) that one takes from city to city does not have storage, so I might need to keep it on my lap.

Today started with a trip to the hair salon where I got my ears lowered and left feeling much better about my head—I last got my hair cut back at the beginning of August in Bloomington. I’m happy to report that Wendy did a fantastic job because it wasn’t until earlier this week that I started thinking my hair needed attention.

I also stopped by Edeka to pick up a bunch of Ritter Sport candy bars—I hope that they will be useful in Armenia, if not for saving me from starvation, greasing wheels where needed (They work wonders in America!). I was distracted in Edeka for two reasons: first I ran into my downstairs neighbor with whom I attempted to have a brief conversation. I think I was able to understand everything she said. I also shared a brief bit of misery with her as I found that Edeka has suddenly put Christmas on sale. Christmas Gummi Bears, Christmas Cookies, and other assorted Christmas-themed items were jamming the aisles as I sought out the best in inexpensive chocolate.

Meanwhile, if you wish to keep track of me, here is the basic outline of my trip:

My first stop in Armenia is Kapan, a city in southern Armenia, near Iran. I’ll be staying in the Hotel Lernagordz, which has “a timeless Soviet atmosphere,” according to Lonely Planet, and located at the town center.

After that, I will go north to Yerevan, the capital city. In Yerevan I’m staying at the Bass Hotel, which is located, as far as I can tell, on embassy row. In Yerevan, beyond my take on museums, memorials, and other “touristy” things, I will watch the Independence Day Parade and enjoy watching Armenians celebrating their independence from the Soviet Union.

Finally, I am going to spend three nights in Vanzador at the Bed and Breakfast Lori. Vanzador is supposed to be a jumping off point to see the Debad Canyon. Hopefully I will be able to negotiate a taxi, otherwise I may get to see a lot of this little city.

From Vanzador, I’ll catch a minibus back to Yerevan and then find my way to the airport. Once there I’ll fly back arriving in Frankfurt late in the evening and spending the night before making my way home the following morning.

I might post once or twice while in Yerevan.

In the meantime, Just Jay will be taking center stage on the blog.

Happy Trails!

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