Exploring the winding streets of Tbilisi’s old town, the smell of sulphur gets stronger the closer you come to Abanotubani. Set against the dramatic backdrop of a craggy mountain to one side, the Mtkvari River on the other, the hive-like domes pump out hot steam from Tbilisi’s famous baths.
Local legend has it that Tbilisi came to life thanks to its thermal water, after King Vakhtang Gorgasali’s falcon came across the water. The name Tbilisi is derived from the word “warm” so there could be some element of truth to the story. (more…)
While Tbilisi gets all the love in the Caucasus, Yerevan is often left as an after thought. Which is a pity, because Yerevan has a lot to offer its visitors. We love Yerevan, and we’re going to tell you why you should love Yerevan too!
Originally called Vararakn, Stepanakert is the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, and also the republic’s largest city. About 53,000 ethnic Armenians live here.
The settlement was first mentioned in historical records as Vararakn. This name was used until 1847, when the city was renamed Khankendi. The name used today was given later by the Soviet government, in honor of Stepan Shahumyan, the Armenian leader of the 26 Baku Commissars. (more…)
Formerly known as Kafan and Madan, Kapan is an Armenian town located on the slopes of Mount Khustup, more than 300 km from the capital Yerevan. It’s the most populous settlement in the southern part of the country. There isn’t much to do here, it’s more of a stopping point for us, but it’s a good excuse to party.
Kapan might not be much to look at, but its surroundings were first mentioned in the 5th century, so it’s got a past. Its name originates from the Armenian word kapel, which means “to lock”. (more…)
Agdam is probably one of the strangest places you’ll come across when traveling in the Caucasus. In 1993, this Azeri town was captured by the forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, after which its entire population fled East.
Today, the settlement is completely abandoned. The Armenian forces destroyed part of it, and later the town was looted for construction materials. It’s location in the demilitarized zone between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh coupled with its eerie ghost town make it an adventure within an adventure for us, which is why we make a detour here every year. (more…)