Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Adventures in Dilijan (Դիլիջան) & Sevan (Սեւան) Part 2/2!

To catch up and read part 1/2, click here!

We make it back down to find Aram and Garegin waiting for us, saying they were worried. Garegin is now shirtless and happier than ever. We see the Dilijan spring water and decide to wash off and fill our bottles and Aram and Garegin follow suit. Aram sees the mint in my hand and asks me if I know what it is. I say nane and he is impressed. He asks what I will do with it and I tell him about my water-infusion and he is less impressed and asks me if I know what spas is. I say yes and that it is madzounov abour (yogurt-based soup) and he tells me that I am an iskakan hay (a real Armenian). BFF. We say our goodbye to Aram and Garegin puts his shirt back on for a picture of the good times:
Garegin drives us back constantly saying he will take us to Sevan and then to Yerevan and we keep refusing saying that the mashootka is fine with us. On the way to the station he tells us that the road we are on used to  be inhabited by mostly Russians but that they all left, and that most of his 5 children are also in Russia, but that he did not want to leave. We get back to the station around 2:45 and since we have about an hour to spare, decide to walk around the city a bit. But then we notice a mashootka with the "Yerevan" sign on it almost full. We ask the passengers and they say it is leaving at 3pm so we should get on. We laugh at the inconsistency (we were told repeatedly there was only one at 1pm and 4pm) and get onto the women-forbidden front seats happily realizing we will have more time in Sevan now. The driver is grumpy and not impressed with us sitting there but we don't care. We (by which I mean me) decide to fuel on some sugary chocolate while waiting for our driver to finish cigarette # 3 and Laura of course catches me attempting to inhale an entire wafer in one bite:
Operation Wafer was a success
The driver gets in and when we hit the road my sister and I ask if we can be dropped off near Sevan Lake and he agrees. About two minutes into our drive the mashootka officially breaks down. I have always felt like every mashootka I've ever been on was on the verge of breaking down, but this time it actually happened. We are told the mashootka meant for 4pm will now leave to make up for this one, and those on the 4pm mashootka should get off and that there will be one for them that will still leave at 4pm. A couple of the 4pm-ers decided to try and get on our already-packed mashootka and steal our front seats and the women who were on our broken down mashootka fully shamed them saying that they were our seats. I had no idea mashootkas could have so much order to them. The men didn't budge and avoided making eye contact with us (our angry Armenian eyebrows were in full effect) but eventually the driver told them to get off and go on their designated bus. We sat back in our front seats with a much friendlier driver. We got off after a smooth ride near Sevan Lake and confirmed that although there were no more mashootkas coming from Dilijan to Yerevan, there was one from Ijevan that should pass by Sevan around 6pm and head to Yerevan. We felt this was just enough time.

I took my sister to Sevanavank to see the churches and for the view since it was way too cold to swim in the lake. She was pleased:

We walked around the area, went inside one of the churches that had a sign banning casual gear, sunglasses on heads and talking. We failed at every rule and then realized it was an old rule sheet. The images were cute though but we decided to respect one of the rules and not take photos. Instead we went back outside to enjoy the view.
Siblings in Sevan, represent.
I wanted to get a nice shot of the view & also got Laura being deep. Win-win.
We of course lose track of time and realize we need to head back to the bus stop to make it there for 6pm. All together, about 15 taxis, cars and buses stopped on one of the busiest streets to tell us they could take us wherever we want so we don't wait for a mashootka. The cars filled with 4-5 men are the most frequent ones and keep stopping in the middle of traffic to try and convince us there are for sure no more mashootkas heading to Yerevan and that we should snuggle in their packed cars with them. We refuse deciding to put all our faith in this mashootka. They are persistent but we stay strong.

Around 6:15 we begin questioning everything we ever believed to be true and a car stops again with a bunch of young men saying they can take us to Yerevan and that it is way too late for a mashootka to come. While they are being dramatic and acting like we will die waiting for nothing, I see the IJEVAN-YEREVAN sign on a mashootka heading our way and we signal to it like maniacs and run to meet it, not having time to be all "DESAR?!" (You see?!) to the car. We get on and the driver pulls out two stools for us to sit on since it is full, and my sister and I mentally high-five each other for deciding to believe in this mashootka. We keep our satisfied grins on all the way back home from a fun and slightly hectic day in Dilijan and Sevan!

Georgia, we are coming for you next, baby.

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