Cycling in Caucasus. There, where it all began – but only in the second trial.
Republic square in Yerevan.
5. July 2016. Yerevan is quite large and elegant city. Tourists are
skinned in boutique cafés at high prices, they even have mannequins on road
bikes, hipsters on single-speeds and perhaps even on fixies. All this is
sufficient proof that Armenia definitely belongs to Europe. The city is much
the opposite of the Armenian countryside, where everything is rather poor. This
is a common occurrence. The concentration of money and business in a big city
is much higher and this must show somehow. In fact, the city is the state in
the state and probably functions much better then a state infrastructure. Quite
recently I heard someone musing about how cities are more important than states
or empires - those rise and decay, large cities remain eternal.
Yerevan. Lada and melons.
Yerevan is undoubtedly great and eternal city. Proof
of this is clear: already 782 years BC on a hill above today's Erebuni suburb
the town was overlooked by the court of the king Argishti I. Of course, I did
not invent it. The owner of the hotel where I stayed told me all of this. Our
dialogue was otherwise somewhat uneven. My understanding of Russian on a scale
from 1 to 10 is about 0.6, and the ability to speak around 0. Therefore, the
dialogue was more like a dialogue between enthusiastic historian and dedicated
patriot on the one hand, and the mute and partly deaf on the other. They say,
however, that verbal communication accounts for only 10% of the relevant
content. All the rest is a body language. Waving arms and kicking with legs.
Well, after 1,100 kilometers of cycling, I felt more at home in that regard. My
host sensed it and he drove me in his SUV to see the ruins of the 2,800-year-old
kingdom. I'll be perfectly honest: I do not know what impressed me more, the
camera in his car, which showed what was happening behind the car, or the large
cuneiform stone in the middle of the ruins of the ancient city.
At the end of the sightseeing Armen - it was his name
- bought me a ticket for a museum of the ancient kingdom of Erebuni. I was
pleasantly, but in a way also unpleasantly surprised. His hospitality put in
the question my misanthropic view that there is no solution for humanity, in a
personal or interpersonal way. My cynicism was somewhat restored due to the
unfortunate combination of circumstances. The story with the museum ultimately
ended in the style of Radio Yerevan:
Question: Is it true that a Slovenian citizen, I.K.,
moved into a super modern villa, keys of which were handed to him by the
President of the Republic of Armenia personally?
Answer: In principle, this is true. However, those
were not the keys of a super modern villa but a ticket to the museum. Moreover,
the ticket was not handed by a head of the state but by the owner of the hotel
in the suburbs of Yerevan. And finally, Slovenian citizen I.K. did not move
into the villa, but he missed the opening hours of the museum and so he
couldn't use the ticket.