On the eastern slope of Mount Ararat, a pink-hued city emerges among the green fields. The ancient and modern crossroads of Armenia - all Armenian roads lead to and come forth from Yerevan.
The eastern slopes of Mount Ararat open up to a wide and fertile plateau with natural resources so rich and free - flowing spring water, livestock freely grazing, and fruit trees in every corner. In the heart of these fertile lands lie Yerevan, one of the oldest cities in the world and the capitol of modern Armenia. The origin of the name Yerevan is not clear - a legend says it dates back to Noah on the slope of Mount Ararat, after the flood waters have dissipated, looked in the direction of Yerevan and exclaimed “Yerevats!”- It has appeared! More agreed upon is that the name derives from a blended word of the Uratian Erebuni Fortress located in the heart of the city, the first settlement dating back to 782 B.C. Either way, the history is ancient and the legends are immense in Yerevan, a proud fact that every Armenian will gladly share today.
Yerevan wasn’t always the capitol of the highlands. Throughout its past three millennia, the city has faded and risen, with different capitol cities dotted around the Armenian plateau - most notably Dvin in the 5th century and Ani in the 10th-11th centuries. The modern city of Yerevan has been beautifully constructed in the recent centuries in a naturally pink volcanic rock from the region, leading to the nickname “The Pink City.” Nearly every spot in the city has an expansive view of Mount Ararat to the west, creating sunrises that add to its character. Yerevan is very much the modern oasis and crossroads for Armenia as it is really the only city of size and the starting point for any adventure in any direction. Countless cafes line the Soviet-designed, tree lined streets. Books, craftsmanship and art adorn stalls throughout. A short drive from the boundaries of Yerevan brings you to lands of ancient wonders and legends. For instance, wandering the stone halls of the Geghard Monastery, a near equal of architectural masterpiece as the Taj Mahal, a greater understanding of this small, yet ancient country emerges.
THE SILK ROAD JOURNAL
How We Got Here
Yerevan is the Capitol of Armenia and the main transportation hup of the country. We first arrived by plane, greeted by Mount Ararat through the window panes.
Taking a quick bus outside the city and into a canyon lies an ancient monastery built partially into the rock-face - the Geghard Monastery. Simply in awe to explore the premises.
The kindness experienced by the locals have been stored deep in our memories. We were truly treated as royalty from strangers, with incredible stories that go along.
Read the Story: Banquet Among Strangers
S N A P S H O T S O N T H E R O A D
W H E R E W I L L Y O U R J O U R N E Y T A K E Y O U N E X T ?
Armenia was a welcome respite in more ways than one, basking in these fertile lands. But the Silk Roads prove more than this, and only the bravest can venture to the far east.
A crucial decision awaits - will you take the direct, yet perhaps most treacherous route through Central Asia and the Pamir Mountains, or will you backtrack to take a northern branch through Georgia and Russia, first passing Tbilisi?