Money matters Armenia

Armenian Visa - at the border. 3000 AMD = $8.75 NZD pp.

So, how much does it cost to travel in Armenia? Here’s the lowdown on our expenditure… Antony and I spent 18 days in Armenia, travelling from April 5, 2016 until we headed over the border into Georgia on April 22. Costs are given in Armenian Dram. The exchange rate for Dram to New Zealand dollars is 344 AMD = $1 NZD Accommodation. Out of the 17 nights we spent in Armenia: 10 nights were free (8 nights at a workaway placement in Kapan where we […]

Last day in Armenia – Debed Canyon

Impressive frescoes in the ruins

We stayed in Vanadzor for two nights with a guy who is also involved in the ARK Armenia organisation we helped out with in Kapan. We arrived after our Lake Sevan trip and the following day we were off exploring again, this time hitch-hiking and on buses. Our target was the dramatic and beautiful Debed Canyon and a few monasteries there. Our attempts at hitch-hiking out of town didn’t last long as a very crowded mini-van bus came along and we jumped in that. […]

Lake Sevan Sights

Sevanavank Monastery, Lake Sevan, Armenia

Our final trip from Yerevan was via Lake Sevan to Vanidzor. We used the services of Artyom, our driver from Yerevan who took us on our two wonderful daytrips there. He was pleasant, a good driver and was set very reasonable prices. This time he’d leave us in Vanidzor instead of taking us back to Yerevan at the end of the day. Lake Sevan is set 1900m above sea level and covers 940 sq km making it one of the largest freshwater high altitude […]

Daytripping from Yerevan

Garni Temple

Armenians have a pretty cool alphabet. Created in 405 CE by Mesrop Mashtots, a linguist and church leader, it originally had 36 letters and now has 39. Aside from a letter which resembles U and another one O most of the letters are completely unfamiliar to me. On the occasion of the alphabet’s 1600th birthday, in 2005, a series of 39 giant carved letters were strategically placed near Mashtots’ final resting place. We happened to drive past this place on the first of two […]

Yerevan – Armenia’s Cool Capital

After a wonderful trip up from the south seeing lots of interesting sights on the way, we arrived in Yerevan at our Airbnb booking. We had booked a private room in a flat with a lovely woman Narine and her 19 year old son Pavel. When we arrived Narine had prepared dinner for us, on the house, which was so kind of her! Afterwards Pavel offered to take us into town and show us some of Yerevan by night. In the Soviet years, Yerevan […]

Armenian Stonehenge & Monasteries; Tatev to Yerevan.

After a lovely introduction to Armenia, workawaying in Kapan, we were off exploring on our own. First up was our visit to Tatev Monastery. Tatev Monastery sits on the edge of a plateau overlooking a deep gorge and many hills. Despite the fact it rained and was misty when we were there we got glimpses of the dramatic views . The monastery complex is from the 9th century. Armenians are very proud of their Christian heritage. It was pointed out to us on several […]

Workawaying in Armenia

Campsite, Kapan

We walked across the border from Iran into Armenia and got the visa for Armenia in just a few minutes. After the border guard had spent quite some time admiring our passports (first NZ passport he’d seen) we then had to wait for the exchange guy to finish his coffee break before we could get some local currency and a taxi to nearby Meghri. No-one was in a hurry.  The taxi driver drove incredibly slowly and tried to convince us to let him drive […]

To plan or not to plan?

Camel riding with Teresa and Reiner on our desert tour, Iran.

When we left New Zealand the only part of our trip that was planned was our first weeks workawaying in the south of Iran. We didn’t (and still don’t) know exactly when we will come home. We knew that at the end of June we’d be in Sardinia, in July we wanted to be in France to watch some of the tour de France and we’d be away roughly a year, but otherwise everything was open. It has been great to have flexibility to […]