My visit to Armenia wasn't quite as I'd liked it to be, it was the return leg of a trip to the Middle East, I'd noticed that Air Baltic had cheap flights from Yerevan to Riga and Air Arabia had cheap flights from Sharjah to Yerevan, unfortunately my stay wasn't anyway near as long as I'd like and I was also totally skint having had to spend two days longer in Amman than expected and being surprised by the Israeli prices prior to that.
So I had literally no money and this limited me, what's more I'd been in the Middle East in December which was rather warm and was now freezing my ears off in the shadows of Mount Ararat. Typically under-dressed, I did a lot of walking but had to keep moving for fear of freezing.
Should you be in the same situation, depending on whether you want to save the best until last or do it first then I highly recommend a visit to the Cascades, this staircase has surprisingly large stairs and cascades in the middle, it was built in the 1970s and towers over the city, giving you fantastic panoramic views of the city and the surrounding area, including Mount Ararat.
The bottom section is a park with nice trees and benches, the cascade is littered with statues made by some reasonably well known artists, the top of this structure houses the Museum of Contemporary Art and there's two chubby sculptures made by Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
It's breathtaking in more than one way but like most climbs, is definitely worth the effort. For those who don't want to exert themselves, there are actually escalators, although this is not obvious. Should you wish to continue across the road at the top of the Cascades, you will come to Haghtanak Park, which again has wonderful views.. or at least should have, a sort of misty smog had developed whilst I was there and the visibility was really poor.
Haghtanak Park was built in commemoration of the countries participation in WW2 as a part of the Soviet Union, it too is sprinkled with statues but of a lot less artistic kind, these are the more serious looking memorial type as well as the 'peace statue'
Later, I went down to Republic Square, locally known as Hanrapetutyan Hraparak, an oval-shaped area, this is surrounded by majestic buildings and I spent some time photographing it from every different angle possible. Some really flashy cars may park up and at the same time you can have an old Lada taxi pulling up, this is a great place to people watch and really chilled out.
Yerevan has its fair share of museums which were off bounds to me due to my lack of lucre at the time, I found it surpisingly well developed and like other ex-Soviet capitals that I've visited, full of money in the centre. A walk into the suburban areas, shows a different side to the city though, a more rough and ready type and I highly recommend a little walk along the back road past the football stadium and famous Yerevan Brandy distillery!
I cannot wait to return to the region and would love to get a full look at Armenia.