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Thursday, January 15, 2009


Armenia is a trove of history, littered with crumbling churches perched in spectacular settings. Landscapes transition rapidly from lush forests to shimmering lakes and stark deserts. But the best thing about Armenia is the Armenians themselves - ever welcoming and eager to show off their country to visitors.Christianity arrived in 301AD and Armenia proudly calls itself the world's oldest Christian nation. Its kings once held lands as far away as Syria and the Black Sea coast. Lying on the Silk Road and wedged between Persian, Turkish and Russian empires, the country has seen its share of passing merchants, holy men and armies. Since the break up of the Soviet Union Armenia has seen a revival of nationalism and traditional culture.The capital Yerevan is the nation's hub of cultural activity and progressive thought. The city sports impressive museums and a lively modern arts scene. Cafe culture has been perfected and it's de rigueur to spend inordinate amounts of time lingering over bottles of Armenian cognac. Armenian food is another treat - always served hot and fresh you can expect mounds of grilled meats and vegetables straight from the nearest garden