21 November 2009
Armenia has a proud and long history, being the first country to be a state-declared Christian nation (in 301 AD). It has all the characteristics of a small nation (3 million) that has suffered many conflicts and yet managed to hold onto its identity.
Both Armenia and Georgia retain the imprint of their communist past, but the people seem to have (for the most part) moved on. It’s almost as if the building still stands, but has been completely renovated and redesigned. The State is most visible now in the excessive presence of the traffic police, as if the exercising of authority had to find an outlet somewhere.
In the short time I was there, I had a chance to explore the Cascades – a real treat for a scultophile like me. Here too, there are stories. One is of a flower-seller who every day used to give free blooms to the beautiful women who passed on the street. As a tribute to his generosity, when he died, the city erected a statue of him.