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armeniab

Last week, I turned 44 and it's time for my annual birthday trip. The decision on where to travel came quite easily - back to the Caucasus!

This region is like a wonderful partner - there was an immediate connection when we met, and it goes beyond the mere physical elements. Of course, the stunning contours of the landscapes, and excitement of something "new" to explore are what initially led me here. But it's more than that. I love the Caucasus because they are both calm and wild at the same time. Perhaps it's difficult to comprehend, but there is a sense of belonging here. The countries are small, completely different from the massive geographic swells of my home country, or even Russia. This is part of the appeal - that you can conquer an entire nation in a very short period of time, and simultaneously ignite a spark in the soul and mind with all of the stunning mountain landscapes, ancient sites and warm, friendly people. It's an intoxicating blend of Earth, mountain, sky and human curiosities...with the negative aspect of increased heartbeats due to the wild driving culture you must endure to reach these remote places. In such environments, boredom never arises. There is a real sense of feeling alive beyond the mere habit of breathing each day, or going through the routine motions of adulthood that trap us. Boredom - it is the most brutal enemy for me personally. I'm always fighting it off, and can't stand to be captured or held hostage to it for even short periods of time. Yes, I need adventure, stimulation - maybe similar to a young child. :))

I will depart for Tbilisi next week, spend a few days there, and then drive to Armenia. If you know interesting places in Armenia, colorful people, or any other facts you wish to share, please write in comments. If you missed my prior stories about Georgia, you can read them here, and there are still many which remain unwritten.

Sorry for the very long absence from the blog. I am alive and well...and hope the same is true for my dear readers!

Date: 2017-02-22 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kishechkakisa.livejournal.com
I love Tbilisi so much. I lived there more than 6 month.

Date: 2017-02-22 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Me too! :) It is like a fairy tale of sorts, with all of the ancient sites high on the mountain, illuminating the night sky. It's cozy with all of the cafes, artsy sculptures, yet still has most modern conveniences. I just wish drivers there were better, because it is quite scary to walk and cross zebras, where almost no one yields to pedestrians. :((

Date: 2017-02-22 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moskitow.livejournal.com
Happy B-day! So it was love from the first sight then!
Safe travel to you. Armenia should be interesting too. I went to Abkhazia once with my mom when I was a child. I still remember. It was very beautiful. We went to this lake Ritsa - far in the mountains, I've never seen anything like it. Like from a fairy tale.

Date: 2017-02-22 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Thanks! :) Sure, it was love at first sight because I am always attracted to things and people that are different from me. :) And Georgia is quite different from the USA. I expect the same from Armenia, but let's wait and see. I would like to see Abkhazia, but I travel in this region with native Georgians - thus, it is not an option at this point.

Date: 2017-02-22 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yarowind.livejournal.com
It's cool, but weather now not good:(

Date: 2017-02-22 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I hope it will be cold in the mountains, because here in Virginia we have had no winter at all. Today, we have spring temperatures of +23, and it has been this way for most of February. Very strange, and makes me unhappy!

Date: 2017-02-22 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mb-b.livejournal.com
Happy birthday -- enjoy the trip!

Date: 2017-02-22 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Thanks! I will enjoy, for sure!

Date: 2017-02-22 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elinelisky.livejournal.com
We are alive and well, and wait for new Caucasus posts. :)

Date: 2017-02-22 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Hello! Good to know that you are well...:)

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Date: 2017-02-22 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rider3099.livejournal.com
Great idea! Have fun, enjoy your trip!

Date: 2017-02-22 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I do not know much about Armenia, so hopefully this will be a good adventure, and educational at the same time.

Date: 2017-02-22 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sun-jr.livejournal.com
Happy belated birthday! Have a very nice trip!

Date: 2017-02-22 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
It is no fun getting old, but another year of life means another year for adventures. Better than the grave. :))

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Date: 2017-02-22 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] narcolog59.livejournal.com
Have a good trip! We looked with my wife photos of Georgia. Amazing and some day we will go there!

Date: 2017-02-22 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
This country is definitely worth a visit! I hope you get the opportunity to explore this land someday!

Date: 2017-02-22 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theodorexxx.livejournal.com
Finally you have found a part of ex-USSR that you like

Date: 2017-02-22 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
II like other parts of ex-USSR, but Georgia is more soulful.

Date: 2017-02-22 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kremlin-curant.livejournal.com
As much as I know Armenians are not so friendly toward western people as Georgians are.

Date: 2017-02-22 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Not sure. But I will observe during the trip and report my findings. :)

Date: 2017-02-22 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimalkin2006.livejournal.com
I recommend the HyurService tour operator in Yerevan, they can help you a lot.

Date: 2017-02-22 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I'm traveling with my Georgian friend, who is an independent tour guide and has explored Armenia many times. But thanks for the recommendation!

Date: 2017-02-23 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maadmike.livejournal.com
"Last week, I turned 44 "

Happy Birthday! Every year is the best to see something new!

"Sorry for the very long absence from the blog."

Glad you are back from Facebook. What brought you back anyway? Boredom?

Date: 2017-02-23 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Each year, or even day of health, is a real gift! :) So, I'll continue to explore while I'm capable and have the resources, because who knows what tomorrow holds. Yeah, boredom pulled me back here. :)) Plus, I had something to announce. I still have plenty of other stories to write about my autumn journey to Georgia, but somehow there is no creative spark. :(

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Date: 2017-02-23 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nar-row.livejournal.com
Do you want to travel to Armenia, Azerbaijan or Abkhazia?

Date: 2017-02-23 01:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I will visit only Armenia this time, and Georgia again. For Azerbaijan, Americans need a tourist visa and Abkhazia is too difficult to visit via car when you're traveling with a Georgian passport holder. :)

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Date: 2017-02-23 02:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] exorcist2007.livejournal.com
While in Armenia, you should sample some local cognacs. They are still viewed the best in all ex-USSR countries. According to legend, Joseph Stalin supplied Armenian cognacs to Sir Winston Churchill who loved drinking them.

There are extremely tense relations between Armenia and Azerbajan. The two nations virtually hate each other. Avoid discussing with locals azerbajanians or status of Nagorny Karabakh.

Date: 2017-02-23 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Thanks for the hint. I did not know this region was known for its cognacs. :) I'm aware about all the tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. And then there is Georgia, who sits peacefully between them.

Date: 2017-02-23 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] popados.livejournal.com
WOW! Shannon is back!))

Date: 2017-02-23 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Yes, I returned from the dead. :))) Back to the Caucasus - hooray! :)

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Date: 2017-02-24 05:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lavagra.livejournal.com
Nice, Shannon. It my one from best regions on the world too...

Date: 2017-02-24 12:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Hello! Have you been to Armenia? By the way, I really loved your reports from Iran. :)
Edited Date: 2017-02-24 12:30 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2017-02-27 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anna-sollanna.livejournal.com
Good luck, Shannon! I hope your trip will inspire you to write many new posts!

Date: 2017-02-27 04:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
Thank you! Not sure about posts, but in the meantime, you can see pictures from the journey in real time on FB. :))

Date: 2017-03-03 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-nimaida.livejournal.com
привет !
If Armenians will try to persuade you to visit Nagorno Karabakh, do not settle

Date: 2017-03-03 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peacetraveler22.livejournal.com
I'm traveling with a Georgian, not an Armenian. And she is aware about this disputed region.

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WANTED

Date: 2017-03-15 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] novoslov.livejournal.com
You entered in the Brothers' Circle?

Re: WANTED

Date: 2017-03-16 10:45 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-17 02:34 pm (UTC)
kremlin_curant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kremlin_curant
Hi, Peacetraveller! Old zhezhe friend Kremlin Currant is here.

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