First visit: September 2002
Subsequent visits: September/October 2008
Places visited: Erevan, Echmiadzin, Goris, Kapan.
Armenia is very poor, but as the cradle of Christianity, this mountainous country is certainly intriguing. It exudes a European air despite its location between three Muslim nations, and its post-Soviet air adds to this. Ararat mountain in Turkey always visible from Erevan; also an element of irony as you walk down a town struggling to be elevated materially. The landscape is mainly barren and stone, but there are endless vignettes to keep things interesting, from ancient gas pumps to soldiers' huge hats.
Highlight: The granny who insisted on paying my bus fare to Echmiadzin and then took me to witness a very different Orthodox liturgy.