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LOGO A group of ladies, who knew nothing about Armenia, joined Gulizar Jonian to visit this ancient land for a 7 day holiday. She promised them beautiful countryside, warm people, rich cuisine, raw nature, and lots of culture.
 
The trip was scheduled for April 25th to May 2nd (2007). Just one day prior to departure, it had snowed heavily in Yerevan, but Gulizar, a natural optimist, told her friends in Yerevan “We will bring sunshine with us”
 
On the flight, the excitement grew as soon as Mount Ararat, crowned in snow, was visible. It alluded to but a mere fraction of all the beautiful things that were yet to come.
 
The group checked into the Marriott Hotel, Yerevan, and after a quick lunch started the Yerevan city tour under nothing short of bright spring sunshine!
 
The first stop was the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Museum, where the guide briefed the ladies on the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The images and articles exhibited deeply moved them all. After touring the museum, the ladies placed red roses around the memorial flame, adding to the mountain of flowers already there. Flogs of Yerevantsis kept arriving with flowers, and the ladies were impressed with the number of families and school children visiting the memorial. The city tour continued covering the interesting sites of Yerevan.
 
The day finished on a high note, as the group attended a performance of “Arshak II” opera. With a cast of well over 80 musicians and performers, the opera’s lavish production took the ladies by surprise and was well enjoyed by all!
 
In the following days, the group visited Karni (Garni) Temple, the magnificent Keghart (Geghard) Monastery, and the Ararat Brandy factory, where they tasted a variety of delicious brandies. The ladies also visited the Kayane (Gayane) and Hripsime Cathedrals, as well as the Zvartnots ruins. The visit to Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral and museum was a unique experience appreciated by all, especially the viewing of Echmiadzins’ treasures.
 
The ladies took in some more culture as they visited Sarian & Parajanov Museums, art galleries, also local painters at their studio. They also attended a performance of the ballet “Gayane.” The production was top notch and the display of talent and artistry humbling. The number of the children attentively watching the performance was impressive. A couple of curious Armenians sitting right behind Gulizar respectfully asked her about this group of diverse ladies, a mini United Nations of sorts, and in typical Armenian fashion, it didn’t take too long for everyone to befriend one another. Coincidentally, they turned out to be the immediate family of “Gayane’s” lead male dancer, and so the ladies were warmly invited to meet a few of the members of the principal cast.
 
On Saturday and Sunday, it was very difficult to say goodbye to the “Vernisaj” Bazaar. Through sheer determination, the ladies managed to stuff the excess kilos of carpets, paintings, and handcrafts in their newly bought spare suitcases.
 
The trip to Dzaghgazor presented a drastic change of scenery, as the newly installed ski lifts at the resort gave the ladies a smooth ride over the breathtaking white slopes. But, it was the trip to Lake Sevan that completed the full circle of all 4 seasons of weather. Upon arrival, the drizzle of rain gave way to a hail storm.
 
As Gulizar said, “Sunshine, rain, hail, and snow; we experienced it all in one week!” The group took it all in stride, and continued with their adventure.
 
On their last afternoon in Yerevan, the ladies shopped at the food market, and had the opportunity to taste an array of Armenian dried fruits, nuts, cheese, and Basturma.
 
And as the finale of the trip, the ladies dined and wined at “Mer Gyughe,” i.e. “Our Village” restaurant, enjoying the local ethnic décor, as well as the traditional songs and music.
 
On May 2nd, after a leisurely breakfast, the ladies bid farewell to Yerevan. They piled their bulging suitcases into the bus (a bigger one of course) and headed towards Zvartnots Airport. After some more shopping at the Armenian Duty Free, the group was finally ready to return home.
 
When the ladies were asked about their impressions about Armenia, they all concluded that they met warm and honest people, ate delicious food, experienced a vast and rich culture, and YES they will visit Armenia again!
 
Their homes are now proudly adorned with Armenian rugs, paintings, ceramics; and their kitchens hold stock of endless Armenian delicacies such as sujukh, basturma, dried fruits, wine, brandy, and more.
 
What an amazing experience, just 3 hours off the United Arab Emirates!
 
PHOTOS: CLICK ON EACH PHOTO FOR A LARGER VIEW

A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
Genocide Memorial
Genocide Memorial
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
Cascade
Armenian grafitti
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
Mount Ararat
Karni (Garni) Temple
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
Keghart (Geghard) Monastery
Keghart (Geghard) Monastery
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
Ararat brandy factory
Ararat brandy factory
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
Dinner at Amazon
Our Village Restaurant
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
Saint Hripsime Cathedral
Etchmiadzin
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
Gayane Ballet
Gayane Ballet
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
A momerable trip to Armenia by a group of UAE residents
Recreational complex
Lunch

Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 (8430 reads), comments: 2
 
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Posted by Sevag on Wednesday, June 27, 2007


All praise for Gulizar, at last someone from our community is doing the right thing.

The point is not taking couple of ladies to show Armenia, but indirectly helping Armenia, Armenians and the economy.

As I see the pictures, they had dinners, they shoped, toured.

But most of all Gulizar has done the job of any Armenian should do, to show what Armenia is about, its heritage, culture and civilization.

Imagine having many and many Gulizars, taking their friends, collegues to Armenia, passing them by Tzitzernagapert.

Good job Gulizar, vartzkd gadar, keep taking them!!




 
 
Posted by Joan El Husseiny on Thursday, June 28, 2007


We had a lot of fun: sight-seeing, shopping, enjoying the ballet, eating and eating more!

I especially enjoyed learning about the history of Armenia  and my favourite memory was hearing flute music being played when we were looking down at the awesome Symphony Valley at Garni.

We all felt very safe and welcomed as the Armenian people were exceedingly kind and courteous.

I would thoroughly recommend a visit

 




 
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