Friday, March 03, 2017

The Amazing Armenia: Day 1

Hi, friends! I'm ecstatic to share about my experiences in Armenia! If you happen to check the world map, you'll figure that the country's landlocked by Azerbaijan (East), Turkey (West), Georgia (North) and Iran (South). Geographically, Armenia is part of Asia but as per our tour guide, their political attributes and whatnot are more European than Asian.

We arrived  at Zvarnots International Airport about  9:00 AM from our 3 hour and 20 minute flight from Dubai. Our flight was moved from 2:30 AM to 5:45 AM so imagine how groggy I was during those wee hours! 
Upon arrival, we needed to fill out forms for our Armenian Visa which costs 3,000.00 Armenian Drams (AMD) each. (Note: 1 AED = 133 AMD; 1 AED = 13.5 PHP)*

I was glad how we managed to skip the long queue in their foreign currency exchange booth because I already had their local currency - thanks to my Armenian officemate, Boghus, who generously shared helpful tips prior to our trip. 

*Approximate figures
After passing the immigration control, we decided to purchase a sim because #GoogleMaps! Hahaha! We then met Vahag of Hyur Service for our transfer service to Alley Residence Apartments  in Yerevan, Armenia, the one that we've booked in! Lel 
Yerevan! The following photos were taken while we were inside Vahag's car. Hehe! 

Wait I forgot to mention something - Paggawas pa lang gyud diay namo sa airport, na amaze kaayo mi kay everytime mubuga mi sa baba, naay smoke effect na something! Hahaha!!! Imagine ang negative degree Celsius na environment! Ug grabe gyud kaayo ka tugnaw kanang level na wala gyud tawon mi kasagang! Hahaha! 
Did you know that Armenia is arguably the home of the world's oldest winery? Hehe! 
We really just can't stop taking photos because everything looked surreal to be honest! In fact, I even felt like I was starring in my very own Disney Movie! Hahaha! 
The following photos of Aj, Kent and Kevin were taken at the balcony of our apartment! If you wish to visit Armenia, I highly recommend it because of its excellent location, friendly staff and superb amenities, among others.  

Alley Residence Apartments in Yerevan = good value for money!
While they were busy picture taking, there I was, busy sleeping! Hahaha! Few sentences ago, I mentioned how groggy I was while waiting for our flight so I didn't really miss the chance to get a good sleep before our actual walking tour in Yerevan.
It was freezing cold. They're just so good in portraying that it didn't bother them, anyway! (Why hello, Frozen!!!)
He's such a QT in his onesie!
Frozen crystalline water aka snow let it go 
I finally woke up at 1:00 PM! Hahaha! We needed to prepare ourselves right away since we will be meeting our tour guide at 4:00 PM! Much feels! 
One of my favorite teams! Haha! 
While walking, we realized that we were hungry...
...but we didn't let it hinder us from taking a lot of photos! 
Yerevan is the capital city of Armenia. As per Wikipedia, it is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. 
We fell in love with Armenia. We were in sheer awe about everything, that we wanted to capture all the moments just so that we can share it to our loved ones back in the Philippines. 
Gutom na kaayo mi ani pero smile ra gihapon!!!
Finally reached Diamond Pizza for our late lunch at 3:00 PM!
Lord, lami unta ang food...
So good!!!
We were set to meet our tour guide, Vako, at the Republic Square - the central town square in Yerevan. 

"It consists of two sections: an oval roundabout and a trapezoid-shaped section which contains a pool with musical fountains. The square is surrounded by five major buildings built in pink and yellow tuff in the neoclassical style with extensive use of Armenia motifs. This architectural ensemble includes the Government House, the History Museum and the National Gallery, Armenia Marriott Hotel and the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport Communications" - Source
Yerevan is also known as the "Pink City"! Its unique building stone is actually a lava rock "which bears various shades of pink, ranging from light pastel to bright with a hint of orange. Scientifically, it's known as tuff, a rock made compacted volcanic ash that was ejected from a vent during an eruption." - Source
Happy to share my first snow experience with Aj. 
Whenever I look at Him, I thank the Lord for giving me someone who decided to be with me in this lifetime (or so I think?!) Hahaha! 
We wish to create more happy memories together. Hehehe! 
I will be sharing the things that I have discovered about me and Kent in my Day 3 post! :)
We met Vako few minutes before 4:00 PM and he commended us for not being late! #Achieved Lel
The national flag of Armenia consists of three colors: red (top), blue (middle) and orange (bottom). 
Thank you, Lord for the opportunity!
Look at us seriously listening to Vako's fun facts. 
While roaming around the Republic Square, Vako led us to the city's railway station.
It was a whole new level of "cool" lel 
We happened to pass by this gigantic chess board! Armenia is considered to be one of the strongest chess nations today. 

Trivia: Chess is a compulsory subject in schools in Armenia! :)
The Walking Tour won't be completed without visiting a church in Yerevan. 
Another interesting fact - Armenia was the first country to have adopted Christianity as its state religion. Today, approximately 95% of Armenians follow Christianity. 

The Armenian Apostolic Church is the national church of the Armenian people. It was brought to the country by two of Jesus' Apostles, Thaddeus and  Bartholomew in first century A.D.
Kevin trying to fix my scarf! Hehehe! 
A pose at the famous Swan Lake in Yerevan! This was the same place within which Kanye West had his free concert for the Armenian people. As per  Vako, the lake's most beautiful during spring! 
We then walked towards Yerevan's Opera Theatre!
We decided to get a good cup of Armenian coffee in between our walking tour. It was such a delight for me to see Aj enjoying because I know how he's insanely in love with everything #coffee! 
This reminded me of Christmas. Hayyy. 
Vako told us to move a little bit faster since he wanted us to be at the Cascade (the giant stairway in Yerevan) before sunset! Excited!!!
"The Cascade links the downtown Kentron area of Yerevan with the Monument neighborhood. Inside the Cascade, underneath the exterior steps are a couple of escalators going to the length of the complex. There are also rooms connected to some f the landings along the escalators which compose the Cafesjian Museum of Art.

The exterior of cascade, in addition to stairs has multiple levels with fountains and sculptures. The stairs afford walkers unobstructed views of Central Yerevan and Mount Ararat!"Source
Gwapo gwapo sa ila ba
Felt so loved! @________@ Thank you, Batibs!!!
Aren't they beautiful? Hehe! Armenian ladies are really gorgeous and friendly! 
We agreed to end the Walking Tour in a cozy underground bar!  
It was the best way to relax after a long day!!!
Kent and Aj played dama! #Life
We then waved goodbye at Vako who made our walking tour extra fun and engaging! We went to SAS Supermarket thereafter and went back to our apartment for dinner! (Thanks, Kevin! You're a great cook!!!)

Our first day in Armenia was impeccable, that if I'd be given the chance to relive a day, it will surely be one of my top choices!!! 

Thanks for sharing your time with me, friends! See you in my next post which will be entirely about our Day 2 in the #TheAmazingArmenia! Love! 

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