Armenia

Apr 19th, 2007, 11:03 AM
  #1  
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Armenia

Anyone traveled to Armenia? I could use tips, suggestions, advice. Thanks, BMK
bobbymckaye is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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My friend is going in May. What do you want to know?
SeandLand is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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My sister-in-law is Armenian and they did a big family trip (SiL, her husband, two kids) back to Armenia last summer, touring the whole country (and staying with relatives, of course). How much time do you have, what are your interests, do you speak Armenian (or Russian), budget?
BTilke is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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My sister went to Armenia because her husband was a guest artist at the Yerevan Jazz Festival a few years back. She has some marvelous photos of a Greek temple on top of a hill and monastic cells similar to the ones you will see in Turkey.

My sister thoroughly enjoyed the trip, but, as with Russia, the tourist infrastructure is weak. She did not find it a serious handicap that she does not speak either Russian or Armenian. She did learn the Cyrillic letters before leaving for the trip.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 09:29 PM
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Thanks for the responses to my question about Armenia. Unfortunately I don't speak the language except for a few phrases. My cousin and I (two women) will be going this fall either before or after an Oakland Museum trip to Turkey. I'm told you can't fly from Turkey directly into Armenia but must go to London first. I'm interested in airlines, hotels, places to see and any other suggestions about the trip. Thanks again, BMK
bobbymckaye is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 08:06 PM
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You cannot go directly from Turkey to Armenia. One of the sore points for Armenians is that Mount Ararat, which Armenians regard as theirs, is in Turkey. Armenians can see it but they can't go that.

The bad feelings between Armenians and Turks goes back to ethnic cleansing done by the Turks on the Armenians during the First World War. It was absolutely horrifying and the Turks simply deny that it took place and make excuses. The bottom line is that it did take place.

Better relations between Armenia and Turkey will not happen until the Turks admit that the Armenian Holocaust took place. One would think that after all these years the Turks would simply say, "OK. We apologize."

I think this has a lot to do with Turkish politics and Muslim vs. Christian, but I don't know all the ins and outs.

In any event, you cannot go from Turkey to Armenia or vice versa.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 05:18 AM
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When my sister-in-law went with her family, they stopped in Vienna. The flight arrived (from the US) around 9:00 am and then departed about 12 hours later. They got a day room at one of the hotels near the Vienna airport, checked in, took a bubble bath, napped for two hours (nobody had slept on the flight and the kids, esp. the 4 yo, were just too tired to go out), then went into central Vienna for about 5 hours, riding the tram around the Ring and walking through the pedestrian area (Graben, Karntnerstrasse), a light meal (and Viennese pastry of course), then went back to their hotel, checked out, and over to the airport for the flight to Yerevan. They thought it was a great break from the long flight. Their luggage had been checked through, so they didn't have to worry about it.
I will email my sister to ask about the highlights. One thing I do remember is that a luxury resort has been opened on one of Armenia's lakes by the guy who runs the Tufenkian carpet business (gorgeous carpets). Very reasonably priced by U.S./European standards.
BTilke is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 07:54 AM
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These are the Tufenkian hotels I mentioned above:
http://www.tufenkianheritage.com/hotels.html
BTilke is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 10:14 PM
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Thanks for the info on Tufenkian hotels--They look wonderful! BMK
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Apr 27th, 2007, 05:21 AM
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My friend is thinking of cancelling her trip to Armenia.
I want to let you know but see for yourself.
Our another friend came back from Armenia where she has lots of family and freinds. When she was going trough security they had opened her luggage (everyone's luggage got opened) and asked if baby clothes with tags was for sale. She said no it is a gift. They asked what about us, we want gifts also.
So they've got half of her gifts taken away from her. She was in deep shock.
There is nobody to complaint to, period.
On her way back she was asked to 'gift' her jewerly. They asked for money, she said she doesn't have any, they said jewerly are fine. She swears to never go back. She says it is like Stalin never died. Scary.
I would never told you this but I had heard this before from strangers. Here are people I personally know. Be carefull. Or better go to Hawaii...
SeandLand is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 09:43 PM
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SeandLand--That's a scary story. Where were your friends going through customs? Were the officials Armenian? Please more info. Thanks, BMK
bobbymckaye is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 01:10 AM
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In the days of the Iron Curtain, I worked for a company that dealt with Eastern European countries. The salesmen who travelled to these countries always brought enough samples (and cigarettes) to satisfy the custom officials.

Different times and different country, same procedure.
kleeblatt is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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Officials were Armenians yes.
I believe Erevan the capital was the landing place. But it is really does not matter where. Happens all over Armenia. My friend decided to go after all - May,26th is departure. Return in a week. I will let everyone know.
SeandLand is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 10:05 PM
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We had no problem with the custom when we went to Armenia last June. They didn't even open our luggage! I obtained our visa online and paid with credit card. The visa came via email within a week. We printed the copies and carried with us. They just waved us through after we handed our 8x11 piece of paper and got our passport stamped. I printed out several copies of the visa just in case some bureaucracy wants to give us a hard time. They also wanted to see our visa on the way out.

While my son spent 27 months in Armenia, he had traveled in and out of the country several times and never encountered any custom problems. Below is the website of Armavia:

http://www.u8.am/index.php?page=arr_dep_summer

Despise the political differences between Turkey and Armenia; business is business. Armavia has 2 flights a week (Mon. & Thu.) between Yerevan/Istanbul (see above website). Aeroflot also has flights between Istanbul and Yerevan. When goes to the Aeroflot website, make sure you spell Erevan (EVN) instead of Yerevan. One cannot walk or drive to cross the border, but flying is not a problem!

There are many tours advertised around the city. We never joined any tours because our son was familiar with the country and he hired a taxi with the driver for about US$25-50 a day. I cannot remember all those names of the places we saw, but we traveled quite a bit since Armenia is not a big country. Lonely Planet has a very good book; “Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan” printed in 2004. There are 2 books written by Matthew Karanian and Robert Kurkjian: Edge of time: Traveling in Armenia & Karabagh (2001). The second book is The Stone Garden Guide: Armenia & Karabagh (2004).

My son did fly from Yerevan to Istanbul!
teatravel is online now  
May 2nd, 2007, 04:18 PM
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Thanks for clarifying travel between Turkey and Armenia. When my sister told me you can't go from one to the other, she probably was talking about driving or walking across the border rather than flying.

Armenians resent that they cannot get to Mount Ararat although they can see it. I take it that, if you are in Armenia and wanted to go there, you would have to fly to Istanbul and then get there by land transportation--a sort of huge detour.
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May 3rd, 2007, 09:35 AM
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My friend wants to see her friends from Georgia but they have no communications between so friends will have to fly to Moscow and from Moskow to Erevan. Cra-ZY!
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