A Snowy New Year Story – Armenia
It was quite a last moment plan that was made with a bunch of friends. We decided to explore winters in Armenia over the New Year long weekend. Despite being an impromptu plan, I was relaxed considering I was going with holidayme.
The air journey was quite comfortable, and shorter than expected. We landed in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia on the 31st December 2019. The only thing on our minds for the day was to finalize the year-end plan. We were given two options by the guide to either join holidayme’s New Year Gala Dinner or enjoy fireworks with the local crowd at the Republic Square, the center of Yerevan.
For us, the thought of celebrating new years in a different country came with an idea to be outdoors and see the fireworks Yerevan style, so we opted for Republic Square. It was quite a long walk, a scene just like new years in Dubai, where all transportation is on hold and the best way to travel is by foot. This way we could feel the vibes of the town, that enabled us to meet and greet the local crowd all through the way.
For dinner we found a nice café somewhere down the street. It was quite a cozy place, but a tad too dull for New Year’s Eve! So, we randomly approached others in the restaurant, asked the waiter to put on some good music and turned the place around into a happening one! We danced on till the brink of the new year eve.
Walking our way to Republic Square was quite exhausting, but worth it. The fireworks were amazing. There was a concert in the middle of the square and one of the best vibes you would have for the new year! We had a great time.
Next morning we woke up hungry, regretting the fact that we should have researched more before getting here for good restaurants. Most of them were closed due to New year’s, but after a long walk we found an Indian Restaurant. Yes, an Indian Restaurant, called Karma open out of all the places. That was the delight of the day. Meanwhile we also planned our itinerary for the next coming days in a private car.
As the driver took us through the beautiful scenic views of the countryside, we were amazed by its landscape and scenery. Such winding roads, hills and yellow grass as far as your eye can see. We then made our way to the Garni Temple, which was located at a widespread area. We could locate a tiny spring flowing down the hill, and the adventurous souls that we were, decided to walk our way downhill. We realized we reached the Garni Canyons, the hills naturally carved out in the most amazing fashion never seen before!
Following Garni Canyons, we reached Geghard, a monastery partially carved out of an adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is where I experience snowfall for the very first time! It had become quite chilly, but we had yet another place to cover for the day. Having a quick but sumptuous dinner at Tsaghkadzor, we quickly packed our way to reach the Sevan lake, just to reach before the sundown. The view from the top was just breathtaking. This marked the end of our journey for that day.
Next day, we planned to explore the city all by ourselves. At our own convenience we climbed the entire system of huge staircases, called the cascade complex that gracefully connects the downtown areas and the residential areas, located on the surrounding hills. We could see the entire city of Yerevan from the top of the cascade. Rest of the day was spent at leisure in shopping.
Next day was the best day of the trip, because we experienced something never thought in life could be possible. Touching down on Areni Village, then Noravank Monastery, we finally reached Jurmuk. The entire Jurmuk city, known as the spa town, was covered in snow! And to top it off, it started to snow as well. We didn’t want to leave that place, but we then heard of a natural hot spring uphill. We all wanted to try that. It was quite an adventurous ride I must say. Through the snow and unexpected rivers, the 4-wheel drive took us for a Snow safari. In midst of nowhere, we saw a hot spring! There was nothing but snow all around. Our car driver played music on loud and we jumped into the Hot spring in that cold surrounding. I would say that has been one of the most memorable travel experiences for me till date.
With this brilliant adventurous experience, we couldn’t have asked for more, and this marked an end to our journey!
The trip for me was more than special. I would cherish it for the fun time, unforgettable memories, and great adventure!