Cyclists for Cultural Exchange
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.