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Armenia Dispatch 18: Flying Home
I'm writing this right now from high over the Atlantic ocean. Heading back to New York on a Lufthansa flight out of Munich. I left Armenia at a very rough time: 4:50 am. I am told the plane leaves at this hour because of the time difference to arrive in Europe and whatnot, an explanation that I didn't understand at that hour as my brain was starving for sleep, but however you look at it, it's rough. I decided following the Bambir concert to not to sleep at all and to ride this thing all the way through. There will be time to sleep on the plane.
The Yerevan airport, as I said earlier, is nothing to behold. It rather dreary, crumbling old Soviet-style architecture makes it no place to spend time. So instead tonight after the concert I hung out at the much cozier Armenia Marriott Hotel until the last possible minute, and then got a cab to the airport.
Leaving Armenia was tough. This trip wasn't nearly as long as I would have liked. I could have easily spent another few days or even weeks in Yerevan, hanging out in the cafes, meeting other folks, seeing jazz and so on. But alas, it was time to fly home.
So if you're contemplating a trip in the near future, I urge you to consider Armenia. It is a friendly, fascinating place, and it is changing rapidly. After a decade and a half, the country is emerging from its Soviet past and is becoming a viable destination with much to see and do. The country has a character that is about as unique as any place I've ever been. It is rich in culture and natural beauty, and there live here some of the nicest people you will ever meet. It is also a very comfortable place to travel. Sure, there are some hassles, but the infrastructure is more or less sound, and there is a lot to see. Armenians love Americans, and (presuming you are American...even if you're not, this is still true) you will feel welcome there.
So (trying to keep things simple) as I wrap up this killer trip, I guess if I had just one word to use to discuss traveling to Armenia it would be this: Go.