Being Armenian and having been to Armenia, it’s one of the most richly cultured countries in the world. There are so many places and things to see in the tiny country. First place I would take any tourist is the capital. Yerevan. The busy European style city has many breathtaking museums and ancient sites. The first thing I would show anyone is the Armenian Genocide memorial, Tsitsernakaberd which means “Fortress of Swallows” since there are swallows always flying around it. It’s a beautiful memorial that reminds people of the 1.5 million Armenians that were killed by the Ottoman Turks in 1915. That’s one of the many memorials in Yerevan.
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Armenia’s natural beauty lies in the Caucasus Mountains. Specifically Mount Ararat, which the Bible identifies as the site where Noah’s Ark landed. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity in 301 AD. All around Armenia are these old sites of churches and monasteries in the green hills and mountains. The mountains give off such a majestic and spiritual feel since it lies near green plains with its snow topped peaks. It’s quite a site. And these mountains can be seen from anywhere in Armenia. There is a beautiful view of the mountains from the capital. It’s such a relaxing site to from anywhere in Yerevan. One place that everyone goes to in Yerevan is Republic Square. Republic Square is where most ceremonies and meetings are held. During the day it’s pretty crowded but that’s because there are always shows and dancing going on. Also, there is always loud music blasting that ranges from classical music to jazz and Armenian folk music. It’s beautiful at night because of the semi pink stone the buildings are made out of and the colorful lights of the center water fountain.
There’s a lot to do in the capital, but the heart of Armenia and the culture lies in the small towns and villages. No matter who goes through the towns or villages, people are always welcomed to someone’s home for a meal. It’s a culture of extreme hospitality and friendliness. Armenian food is very flavorful that just excites your taste buds. The soups are absolutely amazing. There is one soup called Abgousht which is a meat soup with potatoes, lemon and onion. Lamb is the meat most commonly used in Armenia. In the small town of Abovian, children stay outside and play till the middle of the night. The resident of town all know and trust each other. And if I were any tourist, I would visit the villages that are located in the hills in northern or southern Armenia. The oldest Armenian traditions lie there. Folk music is always playing and dancing is always going on. I would encourage anyone to try and dance with a group of Armenians. It’s a fun bonding experience just because the dances are usually done with multiple people. Armenian dances are all about grace but can also involve a lot of technical footwork in the fast pace folk music. Dancing with Armenians is definitely an experience that I recommend to anyone.
To sum it all up, Armenia’s landscape is just beautiful. The ancient sites that lie on the green hills of Armenia, the breathtaking Caucasus mountains, and the beautiful capital. The people are the most generous, loving, selfless and hospitable people you’ll ever meet and they know how to party. The food is just absolutely amazing and the country is just filled with so much history. For such a low key country, there is so much to it.
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