Home' Get Up and Go : Summer 2017 Contents TRAVEL & LEISURE FOR GROWN-UPS
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A SPA IN MEXICO
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WALKING IN NEW ZEALAND
BAY OF FIRES – TASMANIA
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SOUTH AFRICA & ZAMBIA
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Qatar Airways flies ex Sydney
to Yerevan via Doha. Some
great deals can be found on the
Qatar Airways website.
Accommodation: Do what the
experts do: use Airbnb! You’ll
get to know the locals faster
than any length of hotel stays
Voskevaz Winery: [@] www.
Health Resorts: A double room
in the Hyatt costs around
$100 a night, with older hotels
offering full board at lower
prices as well as a full range of
world-class medical treatments.
See, for example, [@] http://
The author visited Armenia as
a guest of AMAP (the Armenian
Monuments Awareness Project,
[@] www.amap.am), Armenia
Travel ([@] www.armeniatravel.
am) and Gardman Tour ([@]
it has to be added, plenty of home-made
In the southern province of Vayats
Dzor, the mineral waters around the town
of Jermuk have been famous for more
than 2100 years. When Armenia was a
part of the pre-collapse Soviet Union,
Jermuk was known as the best mineral
springs resort in the USSR – and indeed
one of the best in the world. Now, with
the opening of the new Hyatt Place
Jermuk Hotel, the resort is staging a big
comeback. And high in the hills above
the town are a number of natural mineral
springs where visitors can bathe for free,
with the sounds of nature and the aromas
of wildflowers adding extra benefits.
While much of Armenia is devoid of
tree cover, the river valleys are lush and
fertile, yielding an astonishing range of
produce – from the ubiquitous grape-vine
to apricots, pomegranates (a national
symbol), walnuts and organic vegetables.
An Armenian meal often becomes a
feast, the table laden with an abundance
of delicious side-dishes preceding one
of more (sometimes many more) main
courses that might include river trout or
khoravatz – meat barbecued on skewers.
Armenian wines are not exactly world-
renowned – but some of them should
be. The Voskevoz Winery, about an
hour’s drive from Yerevan, produces an
outstanding wine from the Areni Noir
grape. The remains of seeds from this
varietal have recently been discovered
in the Areni I cave, the site of what is
believed to be the world’s oldest winery,
dating back well over 6000 years.
And the honey! With a landscape
carpeted in wildflowers throughout spring
and summer, Armenia produces what has
been described as the world’s best honey.
“This is such a poor country that we
didn’t have any pesticides to destroy the
bees”, says beekeeper Mushé. “I have over
50 hives, and have never seen any decline
in bee numbers.”
Finally, it’s back to the Armenian capital
Yerevan, a surprisingly cosmopolitan city,
with a Canberra-like grid superimposed
upon an ancient settlement which will be
celebrating its 2800th birthday in 2018.
People stroll the garden-filled squares at
all hours, soaking up the sunshine and the
heady range of civic attractions – from
wine bars and jazz cafes to open-air music
There are drinking fountains
everywhere you go in Yerevan – but
the capital is the one place in the whole
country that the visitor might be advised
to stick to bottled water. Such is the
downside of living in a big city. •
The Cascade, Yerevan, Armenia.
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