A Little History and souvenir bargaining

Yerevan Travel Blog

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This was our last day before we were to go home.  I was so tired after all of the day trips, being sick, and generally traveling for two weeks that I wanted to sleep late.  Rob got up and went down to play on the computer and work on the blog.  We had a nice quite morning and left the hostel around lunch time.  We headed out to do some souvenir shopping.  We had a quick bite at a restaurant just off of Northern Avenue. The waiter spoke English and the menu would be at home in any western country, a welcome treat at this point.


We headed on to visit the Vernissage Market.

  It is mostly a weekend market, but it has some vendors that operate daily.  When we arrived there was only a small shop and a couple of other people there.  It was a little disappointing, but most likely the result of the elections that had taken place the day before.  We really didn’t see much so we went to what Rob thought was a different bazaar.  When we arrived where he thought the bazaar was it wasn’t.  Rob had misread the map a little.  When we were at the Vernissage there had been a little old lady making dolls that Rob thought were interesting.  We headed back there and Rob bought a set of dolls.  He had me take a picture of him with her and he took one of here making a doll.  She was so thrilled that she gave us an extra little gift (which we later gave to a girl at the hostel).  Back in side the shop we found t-shirts, hats, and some other small things.
  Rob negotiated and got a carving I wanted for a great price.  The lady had seen us taken a picture of the old lady outside and seemed to want us to take a picture with her, as well…..so we did. She was so cute.  From here we headed back to a couple of other shops we has seen previously. 


After securing the last of the souvenirs we headed to Art Bridge for one last lunch.  Rob had a fresh salad and I had lentil salad.  I am trying to branch out and try new things.  We were a little short on cash so Rob went out to find an ATM.  It took him 4 reject and 2 out of order machines before he got cash.  Our cards didn’t work in just any machine here.

  That is something to remember, if one fails try a different bank.


We had planned to go to the Genocide Museum, but we had not managed our time well and it would be closing too early.  As an alternative we decided to go to the History Museum.  We made a quick trip back to the room to drop off everything.  The museum turned out to be wonderful.  It had many wonderful rugs and other piec.  The ladies who staffed it were didn’t speak great English, but they tried very hard to convey information.  We learned a lot about the symbolism on the rugs. There are many stories to be found in their rugs.

Most of them were from the 17th and 18th centuries. They had a great collection of pottery from the 5th century BC. Each of them also had a story to tell. Even with the language barrier, one very nice lady tried her best to explain. It was fascinating.


After the museum we wanted to go to the Central Bazaar.  Rob routed us through the Children’s Park and we recognized some of the things we saw driving.  Across form the Central Bazaar was the Blue Mosque.  It is the last operating mosque in Yerevan.  IT was so wonderful inside and had fantastic colors. It is very much like the Mosque in Tbilisi, which are small versions of the big ones in central Asia. We walked around a central rose garden and park and were able to take some great pictures of the Mosque.  We were not able to go inside because we had shorts on.

  After the mosque we entered the bazaar and I had a flashback to Istanbul.  We were immediately assaulted by vendors wanting to show us their dried fruits and other items.  I tried a dried cherry, dried plum and date, all with a macadamia nut inside. All were tasty. While one guy was giving me fruits to try a woman on the other side was making faces at Rob indicating not to eat it.  She wanted us to come to her side I’m sure.  We managed to walk from to the back doors before I just couldn’t take it anymore. We bought bananas, apples, and some strange green things that look like Brussels sprouts…..but were sweet and sour.  I hate the high pressure sells methods. We left.


Free of the craziness of the bazaar we headed back to the hotel to begin packing.  With a good start on the packing we headed out again.

  Before we left we asked the girl at the front desk about traditional Armenian music.  She recommended a traditional option and also a modern option.  After a quick dinner at the pizza and pasta place from the previous night, we headed to a CD store and were able to listen to the options.  When one of the traditional CDs was on the sales girl began to do some dance moves.  We selected a couple of CDs and then headed over to Republic Square to watch the dancing lights show.  We waited for about 45 minutes as I gradually got darker.  There were lots of people in the square.  They had little motorized cars for kids to drive around.  There were groups of women chatting and discussing.  Men were walking arm and arm and people watching.  We were sitting on the edge of the fountain for a while and these two young punks sat next to us and were being jerks.
  I dealt with it as long as possible and then we moved.  Rob sat up the tripod to be able to get pictures and video of the show.  After a while some cops came up and told us that the show wasn’t happening tonight.


We went back to the hostel and finished packing.  We were extra careful since we had a painting and four bottles of wine.  If anything went wrong then it would be really bad.  Rob traded pictures with some of the other guys and finished up for tonight.  Prepared for our exit we crawled in bed and go ready for our early wake-up. Thanks Gevorg, for the true Armenian hospitality. You made the trip exciting and memorable.

Good-bye, Armenia……it was real!

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photo by: herman_munster