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December 4, 2002

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Facilities for travellers are rare in Armenia. Most hotels are business-class places with high prices (Countries without tourists only offer high priced accommodation catering to business travelers). Taking directions from a Peace Corps volunteer, we find this corn cob shaped hotel that is another refugee hangout, people made homeless from the war with Azerbaijan; only one floor is available for tourists. The front door is plywood, the beds are cots, people stare in the hallways at foreigners, but the floor lady always smiles, rooms only cost a few dollars per night, and the balconies offer superb views of downtown Yerevan.
Yerevan started in 800 BC as a fortress, Erebuni, guarding trade routes. It stands as one of the oldest cities in the world. Rocky hills surround downtown Yerevan, which itself focuses on the grand Republic Square shown here.