Month: June 2017



(Long post) I had a nice and funny time in the green and vivant Yerevan. I’ve met adorable people who I always remember with a smile.


Echmiadzin cathedral, considered the Vatican of Armenia

I was in a museum in Echmiadzin, the first cathedral built in Armenia and considered the oldest cathedral in the world. I was taking forbidden pictures (I was not the only one!), when suddenly a museum manager came to me: “Shveyts’aria?” (Switzerland?) … oh shhhh…! They even know where I come from! Should I confirm or deny it? … “yeeeees ?” …“ARI!” (come!). Uuuuhi it didn’t sound good … I was worry. At the entrance there was she: Susan!?!? A middle-aged woman I met on the crowded minibus 1 hour before. Susan mobilized the museum in order I would had an introduction to the history of the cathedral. She even stopped a father (maybe THE Father, from the thick medallion he carried on his chest) to bless me! And she insisted to give me a book (can you imagine how practical it is with the bike) … She was so amazing! Thank you Susan!

Despite the nice memories me and Bicio were happy to jump on the road again. We took the highway, direction Khor Virap.


Kohr Virap cemetery

Biking on a highway is not so exciting, but in Armenia you don’t have many choices. Basta! I took the risk and I moved in a secondary road … It was the right decision. I found myself among colorful mountains. I reached Dashtakar, where I could place my tent in a public swimming pool … (yes, I was feeling observed)


Sunset in Dashtakar

I left the small village early in the morning, direction Areni. It was a very long, very hot and very tiring day, BUT  my eyes were soaked of beauty and I had the feeling to bike in an endless painting.


Finally I was in Areni. I stayed there 2 nights and with Bicio we did an excursion in Noravank. Noravank is a beautiful place, but crowded of people very busy in taking selfies or shouting hysterically to the children … it was a mess and I missed the magic.


On the way to Novarank

Noravank-4But you do not born magician, you become it … and for this you have to work hard with your mind and with your body. On the other side of the valley I saw a road … Let’s go! (Josephine)


Gravel road to the incognito … yes, I was pushing the bike most of the time.

I’m not ashamed to say that tears flowed from my eyes like the Trevi’s Fountain … Sim-sala-bim! THE magic had happened:


Left: Noravank Monastery

I was in that magnificent place completely alone, invaded by colors and perfumes. Pura vida!


Happy weeping cyclist … no, it is not Photoshop, this is my new skin color.


Happy cyclist on the road

And how was it on the other side? … Sim-sala-bim! A completely different world:


Areni village

The way to Goris was pretty demanding … Dirty, sweaty and smelly I stopped after 60 km in a very small village: Saralanj. People were pretty “closed” (or maybe was my aromatic smell!) but … Sim-sala-bim! I met Sirush, the daughter of Jurik.Saralanj-3

I damn myself for not knowing a bit of Russian! Jurik is a really nice and funny person with a lovely family. He was talking soooo much! What is talking about?? What can happen in this tiny village?? There is nothing!! He showed me his hives, his greenhouse and animals and he made me enter into his house.


I look at him while he takes care of his bees and his plants until late at night … Why when at home I pronounced “Armenia” all turned up their nose? Why? … I left Jurik, Sirush, Luzik and Arsen with tears flowing along my face.

The way from Saralanj to Goris: up and down and a lot of wind. Please! Pity! (Morena & Priscilla).




Busy highway

Finally I was in Goris, and my thermometer stops to show 41 °C. The old Goris is a very interesting cave village … I don’t know why, but I am very attracted by these kind of villages and I have to enter everywhere! I spent hours there.



Happy tourist with orange jacket

In the evening my soul become calm, like a swollen river that reaches its sea. My thoughts go to my loved ones, who are at home worried with a thousand of anxieties … if only they could experience just a moment of what I’m living!…


… switch off your TV and all the disinformative news. Put on your comfortable shoes and go to see with your eyes how beautiful are the world and the people … You can also be a magician … Sim-sala-bim!

Un abbraccio



I got the Tattoo


I am not a great lover of cities. I was already resigned: “stef, you will have to stay here for 2 weeks because of the Iranian visa …” (yes, it is Josephine) “… in the cities people are very different from the countryside; be ready to spend this time in solitude”.


I was ready. So, in my second day in Yerevan I focused on finding some parts for the bicycle. I was looking for this (exactly: 450 km without a spare inner tube):


… and I found a warm welcome, a coffe, small presents, many advidses about the routes and …Special-1

… a delicious lunch! These guys are just great!! … at Specialized are working really special people. Thank you my friends!

Special-2But it is not over. They even made me a little tour and together we visited the museum of the Armenian genocide.


Tsitsernakaberd, Armenian genocide memorial complex

Yes, because Armenia has its story as well … a sad story. Like all those that we still heard today … You get out of the museum with a boulder of lead on your chest and with the awareness that it will happen again … because we have not yet learned anything from the past.

I wanted to put my feet in another place where history took place. In spring 1962, the statue of Stalin was removed: one soldier killed and many injured. Wow! I try to imagine that day!… The statue was replaced by the Mother Armenia, designed by Ara Harutyunyan.

But between history and culture you need also a bit of leisure and pleasure. I needed to polish Morena and Priscilla … and when the beautician looks at your legs in this way there is a reason …


My legs looked like a pretty well done hairy Picasso: hematomas of all kinds of colors and shapes … and now, finally, I can exhibit THE Tattoo. It is well known by all the bike travelers: no matter how many times you wash it, he will be always there.


In these 4 weeks I noticed that the bicycle transmits a very dramatic message. People think that if you are on a bicycle: you are hungry, you are thirsty, you have no money, you are out of luck, you need tremendous help and you have to eat, eat and eat because you need a lot of energy.

The delightful family where I stay in Yerevan is taking care of me … I’m really feeling like part of the family and Gohar, Nelson and Areg give me all what I need: love and food.


Mmmm in my breakfast there is somenthing strange …

But I cannot stay in a city too long. Full of energy I left for 2 day excursion. Direction Geghard and Garni. Pure freedom! Pura vida!




Geghard monastery inside


Garni temple


Symphony of stones: pure music for the eyes


Garni-4I planned to stay there just 1 night, but I had 4 good reasons to stay one day more. 1) this (ok):


3 Gs Camping place … Sandra knows what do you need …

2) …this one made me melting down:

3Gs-23) …this one was really a good point:

3Gs-4BUT 4) most of all the beautiful people I met there. After one month finally I found other travelers … and what for travelers! Super interesting people, incredible stories and lots of laughter!

Yerevan-7No, in Yerevan I never was feeling alone. No, in Yerevan I never was bored. These 4 weeks “around” have been very intense. I have the impression that I already experienced so much. As precious crystals I keep all these memories in my mind and in my heart … and I hope to share many of them.

Wednesday I will receive the Iranian visa and on Thursday I will leave for the south Armenia. The show must go on!

Un abbraccio