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A Fantastical Voyage in Armenia

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August 16, 2014 / International / By
Ryan Dickinson

 

When I studied and volunteered abroad in Armenia during my during the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college, I had some incredible and indescribable experiences. Armenia is a vast and inspiring country with a rich and thoroughly ancient history.  When our student group wasn’t helping to build houses with the Fuller Center for Housing, we were touring the churches and ruins outside the city of Vanadzor.

On one Saturday we spent the day venturing from one picturesque location to another. All of the sites we visited had stunning backdrops like cliffs, mountains, or lush valleys; yet the place we stopped for lunch was the most breathtaking of all. The restaurant didn’t have any visible name and from the outside was just a nondescript building. For all I knew it could have just been somebody’s home. Yet after waiting for a few minutes and using the ‘hole-in-the-ground’ toilets we were led into the woods behind the house.

The woods were vividly colored and distinguished by a pebbled stream. Picnic tables and chairs dotted the edges of the stream. Standing prominently in the stream in the midst of all of the trees was a ship with a dragon’s head for a mast. Outfitted with two long tables, this served as our lunchtime spot. Food was carried down cobblestone steps to the ship from the previously mentioned building. As the food was brought down to us we could smell it before we could see it and our anticipation built.

We ate a traditional Armenian feast which included a lot of standard Mediterranean food. Our dishes included a variety of cheeses, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, fish, and pork kabobs. The food was delicious, as were our flavored juices and sodas. Everything was fresh and filling, meshing perfectly with the outdoor setting and décor of the ship.

As we ate we laughed and chatted and took photos of our surroundings. The atmosphere and the setting was nothing short of magical. It could have been a fitting home for faeries, or another similar creature of folklore. More than anything, it had lifted our spirits after we had spent a long day sightseeing.

If I could, I would wholeheartedly recommend this place. Yet, to be honest, I don’t know what this restaurant was called or exactly where it was. I’ve searched for it online in the hopes of returning one day, but I’ve never come close to finding it. And maybe that’s why I think of it so fondly. Maybe the best and most magical memories are those that can truly never be experienced again.

N/A

Country: Armenia

Province/State: Armenia

City: Vanadzor

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A

Website:N/A

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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