Saturday 14 September 2019
14.09.2019 - 14.09.2019 25 °C
Finally off the train
Arriving early in the morning and having time to kill, meant dragging my heavy suitcase up Tigran Mets looking for a cafe. One thing worth knowing - the train toilets are locked well before the train gets into the station. This means you will need to find the station toilets. I suspected this would involve steps so would have to hang on! This is when solo travelling can be tricky - having a companion means you can take turns looking after bags. Or possibly have a smaller, lighter bag, of course!
I knew that if the worst came to the worst, I was likely to get coffee at the Marriott on Republic Square. As predicted no cafes were open. At least the pavements were quiet and I could walk in the shade. I also got some cash on the way.
Breakfast at the Marriott
The Marriott was a welcome sight. I obviously prefer to support small local cafes but as none were open, needs must. After two coffees, a tasty creamy Bircher muesli and a welcome visit to their toilets, my next goal was to get a SIM card. There is a branch of Vivacell on Amiryan Street, on my route to the apartment. I just needed a sim to make local calls and to use as a hotspot when I’m out in they regions. The store is open 24 hours but I read reviews that there are long queues. Arriving early on a Saturday seemed a good time as I only had to wait a couple of minutes to be served.
My lovely apartment
As with most tech things, I had an issue with sending a text to the owner of the apartment, luckily, I could make calls so we arranged to meet near the Blue Mosque on Mashtots Avenue. Although I haven’t been to Yerevan in 7 years, I could orientate myself with no problems. On my last visit, my brother and I stayed in an apartment on Abovyan Street, close to the action. Central Yerevan is quite compact and easy to walk around so I knew where I was staying was still close to everything. My host met me and we walked round to the apartment which is behind the Blue Mosque. It’s at ground floor level - thank heavens - with just a few steps to access. Although small it is absolutely perfect for a solo traveller or a couple. The owner has thought of everything, and I have to say, bar a special apartment in Nicosia, this the nicest one I’ve stayed at. The decor and facilities provided are excellent. Loads of pots and pans, sugar, coffee, shampoo, nail polish remover etc. etc. You name it, it’s here. And spotlessly clean, too!
Removing the grime
First job was to have a shower and wash away the grime. After that, I put a wash on. Getting my clothes washed always makes me happy. Then it was time to get out and explore and get some lunch. I stopped for lunch at Melody near the Opera House and after that generally just wandered around to old familiar places. I bought some veg and cheese so that I could eat in. I was too tired to visit the Cascades, one of my favourite areas so decided to go back to the apartment to have a siesta before venturing out again. I read that there was a music event in Charles Aznavour Square so decided to head down there in the evening.
Aram MP3 was one of the artists appearing - for those who don’t watch Eurovision - he was Armenia’s entry in 2014 singing ‘Not Alone’. After a night of disrupted sleep, I knew I wouldn’t last very long. As predicted, by about 8pm I was feeling tired again so it was time to head back to my new home and sleep. Yerevan is pretty safe to walk around at night - the streets are full of people, particularly on a Saturday night.