It’s always been my dream to experience winter, and finally, it became a reality! It was freezing but I could not care less, I was like a kid again. I even went out with my PJ that’s how excited I was… to be in Narnia… I mean Armenia. ☺️
Armenia became known to me just recently. It was not in my list of countries to visit because I was so focus to those big countries. But when the budget is at stake and your itchy feet is getting itchier, then you have to check other options. I always see a promotion deals to Armenia, so I started checking this country and guess what, it snows there, the more I got so thrilled and excited. Then my friend just came back from her short visit to Armenia with all the beautiful and interesting stories, then I am so set to go and spend my birthday there.
We arrived the day after the snowfall, so the place was covered with white pixie dusts. It’s so beautiful, I can’t believe how snow changes the place. Just like I imagine, magical and the air is so fresh. We rented an apartment thru booking.com, My Apartment Yerevan, though they also have their website. The place is cute, cozy and newly renovated, and fully furnished. Plus, it is few meters away from the famous landmarks in the city… groceries and restaurants nearby.
We spent our day one relaxing, checking the neighborhood and buying groceries for the next days. We started our big adventure on day two. It happens that my colleague is also in town with her family and so we agreed to do the tour together. We met in the Republic Square where most of the tour operators are. We approached one of the tour guide that’s standing and waiting there. One of the things that I appreciate the most, is the respect of Armenian tour guides to the tourist. They will just approach you once, give you the flyers or tour card, then leave and wait, they won’t bother you at all. In our few days of stay there, I felt safe, walking everywhere just like a local.
Here’s what we visited and do in Armenia:
For the whole day tour from 9:00AM to 6:00PM, a seven-sitter for 40,000.oo AMD (83.oo USD). Some of the tour guides, drivers could not speak or understand English, but they have an app, so communication was not an issue.
1st Stop: As we are driving on our way to Temple of Garni we passed by to this beautiful overlooking and mountain view, so we requested Ararat (our driver) to stop and just quickly take photos. Winter in Armenia is really really beautiful, no doubt. This place is just few minutes away for Yerevan and it’s already like this.
2nd Stop: Temple of Garni – A small structure that is overlooking the valley, and mountain behind. According to wikipedia, this is a tomb built on 1st century AD. The place is so huge for this one structure and the snow, it looks more beautiful.
Entrance Fee: 1000.oo AMD (2.oo USD)
3rd Stop: Geghard Monastery – We are starving but there’s no restaurants on our way to the monastery, luckily there are vendors outside the monastery. I tried the Sudjukh as I saw this in Amazing Race, on their one challenge was to make strings of this sweets. But what I like the most is their soft cake “gata”, it’s really delicious, and it saves our hunger. We are still few more hours before we can finally have our lunch and its past 1:00PM already. But anyways, let’s go back to Geghard Monastery, there is no entrance fee here, and the place is picturesque. It was not busy, so roaming is good as there was no crowd.
4th Stop: Tsaghkadzor Ropeway – After the sightseeing, here it is, a little bit of adventure. We are going to have a cable car tour. Working in a park, and with all those safety measures, this is crazy. The cable cars is continuous, and you have to sit immediately as it comes to you, then you need to sand and quickly move to the side to unload yourself. The attendants were helpful since we are new and they know that it will be difficult for us to keep up with the phase. It’s a must to experience specially if you don’t get to do this back to your place.
Roundtrip Ticket: 2,000.ooAMD (4.2o USD)
5th Stop: Lake Sevan – Our last stop of the day, the frozen lake of Sevan. It was a quick visit as all we can see is flat surface of ice. For sure this place is beautiful when it’s alive, when we can dip and swim. So this is it, observed the frozen lake and left.
I would recommend to do a whole day tour as it is convenient and you can save if there’s seven of you.
After our whole day tour, we decided to roam around the city the next day. Yeravan is a small city, infact most of the sites can be reached by walking. It’s an old city were sidewalks are cobblestones and they have an open market where you can find souvenirs and artworks. Here are the photos from our whole day roaming the city:
Now, how much did we spent in Armenia? Here’s our budget calculated in USD. We cooked most of the time, so we saved a lot.
Tags: birthday, Cable Car, escapades, eurasia, get away, magical, Roadtrip, ruins, snow, Travel Tips, wanderlust