Friday 20 September 2019
20.09.2019 - 20.09.2019 30 °C
The start of a new day
I’ve developed a pattern to my days - get up, take medication, shower, hot water with lemon followed by Armenian coffee. After a lot of faffing around, I finally leave the apartment at about 10.30am.
Coffee and cafe toilets
My goal for the day, apart from packing, was to buy some handmade soap, body lotion and if time, explore Kond a bit more. Started with a walk down Amiryan Street as I hadn’t been down there since I’d arrived 6 days ago. Stopped at Tap Station for coffee, it’s a cafe attached to the Republican Hotel. There seemed to be a helluva lot of noise - a woman shouting like a fish wife and children’s voices. I then realised the cafe was next door to a school and the waiter’s station looked straight into one of the classrooms. The kids seemed to be very boisterous - the waiter shook his head resignedly when I asked him about it. Anyway, I had to use the hotel toilets - they were very plush. In fact the hotel itself looks really nice. Talking of toilets, I’ve found, like Cyprus, the upmarket cafes have really classy toilets. Santafe cafe from yesterday and Amar from the day before also had very clean and toilets with stylish decor. On the other end of the scale are the squatter toilets found at roadside cafes. Functional but definitely not aesthetically pleasing.
From there I walked to Republic Square and then Abovyan Street for a spending spree. Began by buying things that weren’t on the list: a scarf for wearing when I go to religious sites - will be particularly good when I go to Istanbul and a bag, On Abovyan Street before reaching the circular park found Adele’s where I bought some bars of handmade soap.
It was now lunchtime and realised I was near the cafe that sold Jengylov hats - a flat bread stuffed with herbs and greens. The sign for the place is in Armenian but I recognised it from when I went with Hasmik 9 years ago. It’s very popular and does a brisk business. There is no menu as that’s all they sell. I ordered two, one to eat and one to take away. They are pretty filling. I’ll definitely buy one from the market in Stepanakert when I’m there. Apparently that’s their regional dish.
A walk in the park
Walked through Poplavok Park which is part of the circular park that stretches from the cascades in the north of the city to st Gregory the Illuminator in the south. There is a small man made lake with pedalos and amusement park. Schools finish around 1pm so there were already families taking advantage of the amenities.
It was Independence Day the next day and flags were appearing everywhere around the town.
Body lotion purchase fail
Walked back along Mashtots in a fruitless search for body lotion. All the labels are in Armenian or Russian and not all shop assistants can speak English. Thought I’d look up the Armenian words for body lotion and try again over the next few days. Too tired to traipse around Kond, I settled in for the night, particularly as I had to pack. Being in an apartment has meant that my belongings are all over the place so I needed to take time to make sure that nothing is missed.