The cultural capital of Armenia Gyumri has a lot to charm its visitors. Along with 200 year old buildings made of black and orange tufa stones and genuine sculptures lies a very old barbershop, 75 years old to be precise. Even some countries and states don’t live that long.
Located on Gai street in Gyumri, the barbershop is exactly the same as it was when it first opened its doors 75 years ago. Even the name is the same, it is simply called the Barbershop. It still has the original handmade tin ceiling, wooden wall panels and chandeliers. The chairs are 50 years old and one of the barbers is working there for 60 years. Serving ten clients a day means that this barber is pretty much as skillful as a barber can get.
The exposure of the barbershop to the world belongs to one of the editors of Yahoo Travel Greg Keraghosian. He was one of thousands of happy customers to come here and enjoy a smooth (glass) shave.
During summer it gets very hot in Armenia. The temperature rises above 40°C, people start feeling weak and exhausted. It seems that even water is not powerful enough to beat the heat. This is when Armenians turn to watermelons, a lot of them… A whole festival of them…
The Watermelon Festival will start on 18th of July at 19:00 beside the Swan Lake (intersection of Teryan and Tumanyan streets). It is the second time that such festival is organized in Armenia and is becoming a beloved tradition.
Join in for some contests, refreshing watermelons and, of course, a lot of fun. You can start participating right now by approaching the photographer on the intersection of Teryan and Tumanyan streets near the Arno Babajanyan statue. The photo that reaches most “Likes” on Facebook will receive tourist packages from the City Hall and Arzni Sanatoruim. Do not forget to bring a watermelon with you and get creative.
Many tourist destinations are marketed heavily creating large flows of tourists. This definitely worsens the overall experience. Thankfully, there are still many wonderful sights out there that are waiting to be discovered and adored.
Tatev Monastery is one of the pearls of ancient civilization that is standing almost intact from 9th century to amaze the world with its spectacular views and wisdom that is still present in the thick walls.
In just 12 minutes the world record holding, modern ropeway of TaTever will take you from the parking lot to the Monastery. It is an interesting mixture of old and new, but always incredible.
BBC World Services made a report about how Armenia, being so small is having a huge success in Chess world winning 2 Olympics in a row. With only about three million population Armenians took over chess titans like Russia (143 million), USA (318 million) and China (1.357 billion). The reason, as anything genius, is simple – Armenian government makes big investments in chess and made chess a part of the curriculum in public schools.
According to a member of Armenian Chess Federation Aram Hajian, investing in chess means investing in creativity and innovation. Mr. Hajian also thinks that we are so successful in chess because we always challenge ourselves and not others.
Grandmaster Tigran Petrosian (Iron Tigran) started the never-ending victorious era in chess for Armenia. He became the World Champion in 1963 and 1966 and was a candidate in 1953, 1956, 1959, 1962, 1971, 1974, 1977 and 1980. Many grandmasters and professionals believe that he was the toughest player to beat in history of chess.
Levon Aronyan with many others continue Tigran’s work, becoming the world champion in different competitions including FIDE Grand Prix 2008-2010. He is a celebrity in Armenia and is loved by the Armenian youth more than stars like Justin Timberlake.
An old proverb says that “Armenians will always find a way”. Since chess is about finding ways, success of Armenians will continue.