Notes From Hairenik
September 17, 2008
Last weekend I was dying to get out of Yerevan--it was my first opportunity since my health problems a few weeks ago. I decided to go to Dilijan which is located in the northern Tavush region and is basically surrounded by forests and thus has plenty of fresh, mountain autumn air.

It was my first time staying in that town overnight, and I was confused at first as to where to stay. I did some research on the Internet and found about eight various places, mostly guest houses. I chose one run by Hegine Alikhanyan, which it turns out was located on Ordzonibidze Street, high up a steep hill on the right of the valley. In order to get there you need to go through the center of town, which is on the lower portion of the hill, and pass the administration building. Once you do that you veer right off the main street up a narrow road that splinters off. The road is fairly bumpy and in some places there are huge pot holes along the way--unless you are traveling in a SUV like a Niva, which is what I drive, perhaps the best bet is to hire a taxi downtown that can make the upwards journey, either an old Volga or better yet a Lada Zhiguli 2106 which will fly up there in no time. I made several right turns along the way and some of the small streets were very steep, but after about 10 minutes or so while asking 5 people walking along the road I finally found the house, which seemed to have been the one situated the farthest up the hillside. She has four rooms to rent, all on the second floor, with a shared toilet and bathroom. The place was extremely clean, virtually spotless and very comfortable. The scenery from the room I stayed in was breathtaking. And for only 5000 dram or about $17 it was a bargain (breakfast was 1000 dram or just over $3), being the cheapest place I could find to stay when researching. She has three sons who are a bit nosy at first, one of them an aspiring young artist who dabbles in watercolor painting and makes wooden crosses, but they are good boys. Apparently Hegine makes excellent food but I chose to bring some goodies of my own to eat in my room. Although I did not sleep well, most likely because I have a hard time doing so in foreign places, I was able to relax fairly quickly and temporarily escape the rut of life in Yerevan. It was the perfect getaway weekend.

There are other recommended guest houses as well but I didn't need to check them out after arriving at Hegine's home. If you are living or just visiting Armenia and want to get out of Yerevan for at least one night, go to Dilijan. You can't lose.

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1 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Together with my family I was there on summer 2010, it was great with its nature and kind people. I loved the entire city with its museums and site seeing places.
No matter we had awful stay in a bad hostel, B&B Dili Villa which we found in the internet, it was dirty old and smelled, but we do love Dilijan city and we recommend it to all travellers in the world.

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