The most beautiful element of nature is Snow. It is tranquil, overwhelming and has a grace unmatched by sand or trees. Snow encompasses mountains and tickles tongues. It unites people and hides the jaggedness of peaks. Potholes are filled with snow as are pockets and memories of happy times and places. I mention this because my recent flight afforded me a forty five minute view of the snow enveloped ranges of Iran and eventually north to Armenia. We started our decent whilst over those handsome giants.
Passing through Zvartnots Airport was a a bit of a giggle. Purchasing a visa was a doddle once I had six figures of local currency tucked beneath my fob pocket. The deary at immigration told me my passport was beautiful. The twenty something lady at customs was flirty. I gathered a map, a free sim card and a feeling of happiness as I had never entered a country in such a peculiar manner. If that wasn’t enough, my taxi to Glide Hostel on Kalents Street was smokefree (which unusually included the driver too) and wifi enabled. Arriving at Glide the owners daughter showed me my room even before asking for money. I still haven’t paid a cookie.
More than once last week I was given spicy counsel for my time in Yerevan. It was felt I should make the most of the local women. It goes without saying that there is a greater chance of my grandmother sending me a 40th birthday card than me getting jiggy while on vacation but nonetheless there is a prettiness and openess among those who peddle these dreary, Grey streets which are watched over by copious white frosted ridges.
At breakfast this morning I found myself in that rather awkward situation of being with others. Surprisingly, the odd person finds me funny and after just a minute or two I was somehow babbling away with Germans and Russians alike. Full of buckwheat and ginger marmalade I excused myself, wished my new friends a good day and headed off to enjoy my toothbrush.
The skies are deep grey which is my excuse for not taking a single semi-decent photograph yet. I head to Goris and Tatev tomorrow hoping that the sun will rain on the cathedrals in a most splendid and photogenic manner.
Machines vending deeply hot chocolately chocolate with frothy milk pearched like a hat are on corners everywhere and for 50c a corrugated cardboard cup of this slice of heaven is delivered.