Today was a day for getting our bearings, sussing out the lay of the land, and all that jazz. At least – that was the plan.
On Monday we have an excursion booked, so it made sense to start off by heading to the pick up point to save hunting for it tomorrow.
We head out of the apartment: the city feels dated and a little grimy, but quite interesting. They have three hundred rain free days a year, which explains the dust. The buildings in the immediate vicinity are old, but have modern bars and restaurants on the ground floor. We walk all of 100m before we find ourselves sat in front of a beer. I don’t know what it is, I presume it’s local, but it’s not great. The food in the place is great though.
We ask the waitress what Yerevanise is for ‘thank you’. She tells us and immediately starts laughing. It’s ‘shnorhakalutyun’, but no tourists can get their tongues around it, not even the most cunning linguists, so everyone says ‘merci’.
We head down to tomorrow’s pick up point and find it quite easily, so head back, taking a different route so we can see a bit more of the city. I spy a giant guitar and walk towards it. We soon find ourselves in the Hard Rock Cafe, Yerevan. I normally avoid these corporate chain type places. I haven’t even set foot in the one in Cardiff, but hey, when it comes to Hard Rock Cafe bragging rights, Yerevan is up there with the top trumps.
We enter through the gift shop and head downstairs. It is big place with lots of guitars and memorabilia on the walls, a stage at the one end and a bar in the middle. We note that they have Leffe Brun on tap and dive straight in. If I recall correctly it’s around 7% so we only have six, before explaining to the barman how to make a Jagerbomb.
We don’t want to stay here all day so head out and up through Charles Aznevour Square (I kid you not) then up to Maurice Chavalier Square (I kid you).
It’s been a while since we ate, so we dive in a restaurant for pasta and beer. It really is wall to wall restaurants around here.
Next we wander up past Swan Lake (no ballerinas spotted) and descend into a cellar where there is a craft beer thing going on. Lots of cans of obscure beers and YAY! bottles of cider.
We have a couple then head to the Beer Academy, where, rumour has it, there might be a fans party next weekend. It is a fairly modern place, not huge, but there is an open air drinking area and they have a nice selection of European beers.
Eventually we decide to head home. It turns out, our mission to get our bearings failed. We are completely lost and spend hours trying to find our way home.
In summary, we went on a pub crawl. I’m trying to type this on a bus, bumping it’s way up into the mountains. Expect more history and shit in tomorrow’s blog.