Armenia 2017

CCE

Cyclists for Cultural Exchange

Travel report

 

Travel report

Armenia, 2017

by Frank Pritchard

Is this trip right for you? 
Read this insider's view

My wife Vita and I still reminisce fondly about the Armenia tour. We were a small group of 10, which was just the perfect size for a cycling tour through a country unspoiled by mass tourism. Vita and I have participated in probably 20 or more CCE programs over the years, including Russia, Poland, Chile, Turkey, Italy, eastern Europe, England and Spain. But honestly, Armenia is one of the best experiences we've had to date. It was exactly the kind of simple but truly authentic adventure we love in order to explore out-of-the-way destinations and be utterly charmed and humbled by ancient traditions of hospitality.

The countryside of Armenia is breath­taking­ly beaut­iful. What a joy to be greeted in small vil­lages by child­ren, farmers and other country folks with cries of "Welcome! Do you like Armenia?".  People were inter­ested, cur­ious and seemed excited to see us. Some of them even opened their homes for a cup of coffee and home­made goodies. Armenia is a moun­tain­ous country, so cycling was some­times chal­leng­ing but entire­ly manage­able. (And allow me to men­tion that I'm 75 and my wife is 66.) SAG support was available when needed.

Armenia's long history  is fascinating, albeit not without tragedy. The tour included a well-spent morning at the sobering Armenian Genocide Museum in the capital Yerevan -- not to be missed. Our fluently English-speaking hosts were proud and happy to help us understand so much about their country, which is exceptionally rich in cultural and historic sites. Particularly impressive are the ancient Eastern Orthodox Christian monasteries. Spending 10 intensive days travelling, cycling, discussing and sharing meals brought us all together in a meaningful and lasting way. Friendships -- including a romance (!) -- were formed. We just can't say enough good things about this unforgettable experience. Highly recommended.

Thank you, Armenia!

If you have questions about this year's program, please feel free to call us, Frank and Vita Pritchard, 831.818.56.56 or email frankandvita@cruzio.com.