Google Trips, Flight and Destinations now Support Armenia

Armenian destinations search on Google
If you need some suggestions for where to go next, try searching for “Armenia destinations” on Google and you’ll special search cards (see the picture abot). Hitting on each of them opens a nicely arranged special page, or you can try clicking “More destinations in Armenia.
From the destinations menu there are links to the travel guide, Google Flights and Google hotel search, all very helpful.
Read more on this here.

Number of tourists set to grow in Armenia, tourism industry contributes 4% of GDP

Food fest in Yerevan, undated
Food fest in Yerevan, undated

We’re starting to see more tourists than usual in Armenia lately. Armenian authorities say they expect a 20% growth in the number of tourists visiting the country. And there seems to be much more stuff to do for them as well — fests, celebrations, ropeways and ziplines, concerts everywhere.
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Areni Wine Festival – a Tradition in Fermenting

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The Wine festival in Areni village of Vayots Dzor region in Armenia was held for the 4th consecutive time on Saturday, October 6th. The annual event, which is partly sponsored by the Armenian government, is slowly turning into a tradition and a welcome one, judging from these great photo shots published by Azatutyun.am. Continue reading “Areni Wine Festival – a Tradition in Fermenting”

Armenia: a safe country for foreigners?

S7001897 “Armenia is a very safe country, Yerevan is a safe place” I usually tell foreign friends and colleagues visiting Armenia and leave them free to explore it as much as they like, they are all grown ups, after all.

Latest crime figures released by Armenia’s Police for the first 9 months of this year will certainly make me think twice before I let my foreign guests walk free of my company from now on.

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The two big-fat-hippo backsides in Yerevan’s zoo

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I’m not a big fan of Yerevan’s zoo – the place stinks quite badly and some animals look really unhappy and dirty. Still, my son, absolutely loves the place and keeps asking to take him there again.

The fantastic photo above was made and posted to Facebook by a good friend – Hovhannnes Shoghikyan. The photo of the two big-fat-hippo-backsides captured in Yerevan’s zoo made me write this post – mostly to post this photo somewhere. Yep, these are some amazing hippopotamus butts right there!

Continue reading “The two big-fat-hippo backsides in Yerevan’s zoo”

Most waiters and waitresses never paid salary in Yerevan

The people who smile at you and serve you and try to make you comfortable in hundreds of outdoor cafes, cafeterias, restaurants in Yerevan – several hundreds of waiters and waitresses in Armenia, most of them young, good looking boys and girls are usually not paid a regular salary in Yerevan.

Instead, they have to rely on tips, or the so-called ‘tea-money’ to make a living.

I first heard about this on a TV talk-show program. Throughout the past month I’ve been asking the waiters I’ve met in various locations in Yerevan – and they have all confirmed this.

Clearly, it isn’t so bad if so many good looking and apparently quite well educated boys and girls (most of them speak at least 3 languages) prefer that profession.

However, there are several points that make me uneasy:

  1. According to Armenian employment legislation they must be paid some kind of salary. So if all those waiters and waitresses are not paid a regular salary, that means the cafes, cafeterias and restaurants employing them are manipulating figures – which is a crime and should be punished.
  2. There is usually a charge for service – 10% included in restaurant bills. I always thought that is for the waiters, and sometimes I felt I didn’t have to leave any tip. To my surprise – this is also not for the waiters – they never see anything of that money. So now – going to a restaurant, cafeteria, I am feeling more obliged to leave more money… which puts an additional pressure on me… I kinda hate that feeling – because while in the past I considered tip as a way to award good service, now I’m feeling obliged to leave a tip – and a bigger one at that. And feel guilty if its not big enough… and big enough is such a subjective thing… etc, etc, etc…
  3. Bastards!!! The restaurant owners have all that money and they build all those huge buildings and they don’t want to pay anything! What is this? I’ll become a marxist-leninist if I keep feeling like this 😀

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