We spent the next day in Gyumri as well - invited into many peoples' homes for tea, coffee and force-feeding. We spoke to many people about the 1988 earthquake which killed about 100,000 people and met some really interesting people, including one guy we spent a few hours with talking about Armenian like, society, culture, pollitics, corruption and the Karabakh war, at which he was a soldier.

I keep saying "the next day" but I have completely lost track of days and don't even know what day it is today. Only that it is day 2 of our travels. So...

The next day, we came to Yerevan - a completely different place to what we have seem so far. Women are always dressed to impress, as are the men with their ridiculously pointy shoes. Most things are very modern and new, and the whole city seems to be in a state of development. I have a conspiracy theory that they might be working towards an Olympic bid, haha.

We stayed in Yerevan for 5 nights, trying to see all the things that I'd only seen pictures of when I was a student at Armenian school. A couple of days ago we went to Khor Virap to get the best possible eyeful of the iconic Mout Ararat, which now lies in Turkey, and yesterday we got a Marshrutka to Byurakan and then hitch-hiked to Kari Lich, from where we intended to climb the southern peak of Mount Aragats. The ride we actually got was like a ride from heaven. It was the most unbelievable hospitality. The patriotic family took as to Kari Lich, explaining everything about the area along the way. They then invited us to a lunch that I imagine was far better than any king every had, and handed us food supplies for our trek and stay on the mountain (enough food for 2 days!). Andranik, the father, even told a yezdi boy on a horse to carry our things to the summit, but we kindly declined.

So last night we slept on the southern peak on Mt Aragats, at about 3,900 metres above sea level. When we came down the mountain we were met by more hospitality by another family who insisted on force-feeding us, haha. We then hitched a ride close to Yerevan, which is where we are now. Tomorrow we plan to go to Noravank and then head to Goris, Tatev and then to Karabakh.