We are sharing our personal travel diaries! We started keeping these so our family and friends could keep up with our travels, and get some laughs at our expense. Here is our entry for Georgia & Armenia, covering our rather eventful road trip in October 2016.
We had just finished up 2 weeks in Iran, and while we absolutely loved it, Tom was hanging for a beer and KG was ready to rip off her hijab. We crossed the border in northern Iran, and one shifty taxi ride later, we were in Meghri, Armenia. We checked into a gorgeous little family guesthouse, and had a quick homemade vodka with the owner, then headed to a local restaurant for a beer, BBQ pork and unrestricted wifi. Luxury!
We caught a minibus from Meghri to Armenia’s capital, Yerevan. We were promised that we would be dropped at our hostel, but (predictably) we were dropped at a random metro stop and told to make our own way. This would normally be fine, but the Armenian language looks like spaghetti thrown at a wall so we had no friggin’ idea where we were. As it turns out, the metro is a single line and we were at the last stop, so we didn’t have too many options to choose from and found our hostel eventually.
The road trip begins…
After three days in Yerevan overeating and drinking wine, we hopped in our hire car – Marcel the Nissan Micra. Marcel was everything you look for in a man – good looking, reliable and a great money saver. Unfortunately, the roads in Armenia are better suited to Toyota Landcruisers than Nissan Micra’s, and poor Marcel was regularly put through his paces.
Some highlights include: running into a sheep (to be fair, we had stopped and the sheep ran into us), five closed roads, two speeding tickets (in one day) and a day of snow driving. But in addition to the shitty driving conditions were some of the most picturesque and stunning monasteries in the world, so we forgave Armenia for its terrible roads.
After about a week, we crossed the northern border of Armenia into Georgia. The roads were better, but the signage was not unfortunately. We loved our time in Georgia – we visited the huge cave city of Vardzia, hilltop monasteries and even Stalin’s hometown. Stalin was born to a poor cobbler in the small town of Gori in central Georgia. Now you can visit his childhood home, fancy train carriage and a museum about his life. The museum kind of glosses over the less appealing parts of his rule (i.e. the millions who died from famines, purges, political persecutions etc) but if you can look past this, it was quite fascinating to learn more about his personal life and family.
Next it was time for WINE! Yay! We spent four days in Georgia’s wine region of Kakheti, tasting wine and lazing around. It was also KG’s 28th birthday, so we booked ourselves into a fancy wine chateau and spa for a bit of a treat. There was also a super cute kitten (see below).
We finished up our time in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. We said a sad farewell to Marcel, and by some miracle got our security deposit back. Next stop: the Balkans!
Have you visited the Caucasus? What did you think? Tell us more in the comments below!