On my last day in St. Petersburg, I repeat myself, the weather was warm and sunny. I had originally planned to visit the museum dedicated to the Moscow Communist Party Boss, Kirov, who was probably murdered on an order by Stalin. Instead I spent the day at the beach in the middle of the city. There are a few small sandy beaches on the river by the Peter and Paul fortress where people sunbathe. Russians sunbathe standing up for some reason.
I caught my overnight flight to Yerevan
via Moscow and arrived very early this morning at 5:30. I sat down and had coffee while the taxi drivers badgered me about prices.
Since no buses where going then, I just gave in and paid a reasonable $6 to get to the Envoy Hostel. The taxi driver chatted me up in amusingly accented Russian. Some Armenians speak each Russian word as if it were a sentence unto itself. I am sure my Russian sounds funny too. The drive from the airport gives a very unflattering view of Yerevan - it is an ugly drive even by post-Soviet standards. The city has the wide sidewalks of a Soviet city, but not a single road seems to go in a straight line. But I think I successfully managed to understand the layout of the city today.
Sadly, no one from couchsurfers had been able to host me this weekend. The Envoy Hostel is very nice, but almost all of the guests are over 30
for some reason.
As soon as I walked out of the hostel, I walked into the Armenians I was sitting next to on the flight from Moscow. Yerevan feels more like a large village than a capital city. Everyone gesticulates wildly when they talk, so that it seems that even I can understand what they are saying in Armenian. I walked all over town this afternoon in an attempt to visit the Sergey Parajanov Museum before it closed. I found the museum too late. I did manage to find the Cascade, a series of stairs that go up the hillside to a World War I Memorial. Everyone in Yerevan was hanging out by the Cascade this Saturday afternoon. Cafe-filled parks dominate the center of the city around the enormous Opera House. Oh, yes - I had "Armenian Fried Chicken" for lunch. I will try for something more traditional next time. My goal is now to learn the Armenian alphabet.