Armenia and Georgia
I am posting many short updates about our travels on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/EarlyRetirementAbroad) and I feel that I am doing OK job with those postings/updates. Although I feel bad about not updating the blog as often as I should, I ask the readers to click on the link above (no Facebook login/account is needed) to see where we are.
Anyway, here is a summary of what happened with us since my last post in March.
After adorable Vietnam we settled for 10 days in Bangkok, where we extended our Thai retirement visa for another year. During that time we finalize our April’s trip to Armenia and Georgia with Paul and Vicki Terhorst. I call Paul & Vicki our “retirement gurus”. (Paul Terhorst has published a book (you can buy it on Amazon or order from the local library Cashing in on the American Dream and I am highly recommend to read it at least once.)
Paul and Vicki have a web site where they provided a lot of useful links to the information about Armenia and Georgia ( https://sites.google.com/site/paulvicgroup/Home) plus nice pictures taken during that trip.
As many of you know, Armenia and Georgia, the former Soviet Republics, became an independent countries after collapse of the Soviet Union. We visited Armenia and Georgia 40 years ago, so we were looking forward for that trip.
For us, the Russian speaking visitors, all was much easier. The old generation speaks Russian, and the new – speaks English. If you want fully experience the beauty of that region, the Russian language (or local guide) is advisable. Besides, the prices will be cheaper.
The visa policy is great: the USA citizens allowed staying in Armenia 90 days, and in Georgia – 1 year! And you do not need to pay for your visa!!!!
The housing – we rented via airbnb and cost was very affordable. When you are in the area, you can arrange the place via local people (the friends are better) for ½ of the airbnb price.
The food is amazing – lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, very affordable restaurants and cafes (the local places are less expensive than Western).
Cultural life – museums, theaters, concerts … you name it!
Photos below are taken by Miriam Ghazaryan of Exotic Armenia Tours (http://www.exoticarmeniatours.com)
We like Yerevan a lot, but it is Tbilisi (or Tbiliso, how locals call it) captured our hearts.
The people, the narrow strips, the food … Wah!!! (this is the word that locals use express any kind of admiration.)
As of now, we plan to return to Georgia later this year and spend some time exploring the different regions ( the Black Sea and Kavkaz Mountains) and then return to Tbilisi.
We had a wonderful trip thanks to our great travel companions (dear Moscow’s friends, Paul and Vicki) and friends from Tbilisi (Paata, Maiko, and Fridon). Without them the trip would be different. Hope we will travel together again.