In Armenia, Israeli tourists were pleasantly surprised by mountain landscapes, Lake Sevan, delicious food, and aromatic wine.
“Armenians are very hospitable, polite. Most importantly, they speak Russian, so there are no language barriers, which is important for a tourist. You have very educated and beautiful young people,” said Oleg Baron in a conversation with “Armenia.”
Oleg stayed in Yerevan with his brother Roman, spouse Natasha, and daughter-in-law Irina. The Baron family was skeptical at first about the idea of coming to Armenia while Sukkot (a biblical Jewish holiday) was being celebrated in Israel. Friends in Israel, too, were surprised at their choice and even discouraged them from the trip. But, as the tourists themselves admitted, they turned out to be right.
“The mountain air, beautiful nature, churches, the diverse and tasty cuisine – what else does an Israeli need? Unfortunately, very few people here know about Armenia,” Oleg said.
“It is necessary to develop tourism so Israelis come to Armenia and Armenians to Israel more often. The people’s diplomacy will be able to dispel stereotypes and bring the two peoples together,” Oleg said.
Their seven-day tour of Armenia included trips to Garni, Geghard, Noravank, and Etchmiadzin. The Baron family managed to visit the Areni Wine Festival, the Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet Theater, the Aivazovsky exhibition, and also commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 at the eternal flame in the Tsitsernakaberd memorial complex.
“We were told about the events of 1915. We are shocked. We understand the Armenian people because we have experienced the same tragedy,” said Roman Baron.
The Baron family was lucky – they managed to see Mount Ararat in all its glory and also enjoy the picturesque scenery of Lake Sevan which caused strong associations with the Israeli Kinneret Lake in them.
“You have a wonderful ski resort in Tsakhkadzor. To see such mountains, we fly to Europe, but now, we will go to Armenia which we can reach faster than Bulgaria, Switzerland, and Italy,” said Roman.
The only negative thing in Armenia for the Israeli tourists were the bad roads and the lack of signs, but all this was compensated by people who were ready to help at any moment.