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Temple Garni

Recently Kim Kardashian came back from a trip to Armenia and the media flooded us with pictures from her trip. One of the pictures was from a photo shoot where Kim, surrounded by her kids, is standing overlooking a cavernous valley bellow. In that moment I was just very happy that I went to this place first and was able to post pictures of my trip before anybody could accuse me of copying Kim (jokes for those who don’t understand sarcasm).
 The Temple of Garni is a pagan temple that was built in the first century AD. It is theorized that the temple was built by King Tiridates of Armenia in homage to the sun god Mihr. The tour to the temple can be booked at any Yerevan tour agency and usually includes a guided tour to the Geghard monastery. Most of tours are also in three languages including Armenian, Russian, and English and the guides are super knowledgeable about the history of all the stops.
Let’s keep this real, Garni is the perfect place for an Instagram photoshoot. This temple looks straight out of Greece and even though Garni is  popular with the tourists, the crowds don’t come close to what you would encounter at the Parthenon. I was able to have a whole photoshoot (I use this term very loosely as my mom was the photographer) without being interrupted. The scenery surrounding Garni is also otherworldly. As somebody who is from Colorado, even I was impressed by the rolling hills and the valleys. Even though its kind of a bitch to get to as you have to connect in either Vienna or Paris, more people need to experience the beauty of Armenia.

An ode to my favorite place in Armenia

On my last post I was asked to elaborate more about my trip to Armenia. Because it was a very hastily planned trip I wasn’t really sure what to expect, so imagine my surprise when I realized my favorite place in Armenia was a 15 minute walk from my hotel and free to all visitors.

The Cascade in Yerevan is a giant limestone multi-level staircase in the Kentron neighborhood of the city. It’s 387 feet high and you can climb up to the top by either the limestone steps on the outside (unless you are super in-shape I don’t suggest that) or you can take the indoor air-conditioned escalators (winning). The different floors of the Cascade have water fountains, art installations, sculptures, and gardens where you can either take pictures or just sit look out on Yerevan and enjoy yourself. ​

The Cascade is also surrounded by a square filled with flowers and art installations where people like to come out and spend their summer days. It was so relaxing to just go sit in the square with an ice cream cone and watch the locals and tourists alike come out and enjoy their last days of summer. Pretty close to the Cascade is a restaurant called Santa Fe with plenty of outdoor seating. The restaurant is a bit pricey, but my mom and I decided to just have a coffee and a milkshake (my mom is still talking about how delicious her milkshake was). The dining experience in Europe is super different from that of the US, so we took our time and sipped our drinks and nobody was rushing us out.

Here are some pictures from the multiple floors of the Cascade. If you come early in the morning there’s hardly any people here so you have the whole place to yourself to take pictures. 7CF618AB-A787-410E-996A-F180A4EA42898B4CBF29-2AF6-429A-B768-1CF7F2C589561152E35F-3CA7-42A5-9F77-1D04F78BC73CE81D261A-FFBF-4C42-9558-93280A25AD58

Scenes from Armenia (part 2)

Armenia was never on my list of places to travel. I am half Georgian (like the country) and half Russian, so when it came to visiting the Caucasus, the only country I ever thought about was Georgia. When the opportunity presented itself this summer, since my mom was visiting Russia and would be close to the Caucasus region, we started planning out trip to Tbilisi so I can learn more about that side of my heritage.

As luck would have it during the summer of 2019 a political conflict escalated between Russia and Georgia and all flights between the two countries were canceled. My mom, who was in Russia at the time, wouldn’t be able to go and not wanting to go alone we decided to pick another country that we could both fly into. And this is where Armenia comes in. I knew that Armenia was a country, but to be honest the only thing I knew about it was the Armenian Genocide and the fact that Kim Kardashian and Cher were both half Armenian…thats it. Armenia is an ancient country full of history, going back to Biblical times so one blog article would not do its history justice. In the next post I will discuss some of my favorite places in Armenia, but for now enjoy the beauty of this ancient land. 71225650_10158855123919167_7909376455350419456_o71218882_10158855119359167_6817006851381526528_o