Sorry so late in responding, but when on vacation I don’t access my email from my phone, so just saw this. I got home late last evening. The trip was fantastic and one I’ll remember forever. Both guides were incredible and I’m now Facebook friends with both Arthur and Tazo. I would be happy to provide a review or feedback if you wish on the trip. I cannot say enough nice things about Arara and the guides and of course both countries, which were phenomenal and hopefully more people from the USA will also discover the wonders of Armenia and Georgia. I think the time you suggested and booked in both countries was about right percentage wise with more to Georgia. I of course loved the mountains particularly in Georgia with the Caucuses the most impressive. But seeing Mt. Ararat was a thrill and I could not believe how beautiful Armenia was as well. I think the time of year was perfect, although around Mestia it was a bit snowy and one suggested drive in the itinerary was not available due to snow, but Tazo had another great alternative. I think 15 days was the bare minimum and of course I didn’t see close to everything, but I think I now have a good perspective of both countries. I think you did a great job of balancing, cultural, religious, city and landscape scenery so I had a good mix of all that. I took 1,330 pictures, which I will begin editing and hopefully will complete in the next 3 weeks and have about 400-500 uploaded to my SmugMug photo web site – URL below my signature line below.
I hope to be able to come back at some point and spend a little more time and relax a bit. I was really on the go, which was by plan. I did one incredible thing in Yerevan I wanted to mention, that was not planned at all nor could it have been. On the plane from Paris to Yerevan, I sat next to the Director of the Opera – Constantin Orbfilian. You may know of him. He is obviously well know in Armenia at high levels of the political world in Armenia, and throughout the Opera world including in the USA – he’s a dual citizen. He invited me to the April 25 showing of the opera Annoush and to sit in the Directors box with him. Also the US Ambassador Chief of Public Affairs was there as well as the Armenian Cultural Minister (may not have his title correct), so we all sat together, enjoyed wine and cheese in Constantin’s office during intermissions and talked about many cultural topics impacting Armenia and I was fascinated. A great evening. BTW, the opera was incredible, and if you haven’t seen it, please do at the next showing if there is one.
Better go now, since I’m busy getting caught up after being gone so long. Feel free to drop me a line anytime if you have any questions or want any details about my perspective of the trip or a review.
Thanks again for everything, and I hope we will be in touch again for another trip in the future.
All the best,
Gary's travels - http://www.garygoodnow.smugmug.com/
Me and my husband had a lovely time in Armenia & Georiga. Arthur was our guide in Armenia and Demetre traveled with us in Georgia, both spoke good English and answered our questions. Everything was perfectly organized. My highlight was (unfortunately) the delicious food. Thanks again and good luck to you!
Arara Tours created a terrific itinerary, Armenia & Georgia Classical Tour, that introduced me to the highlights of Armenia and Georgia over an 8-day span. In Armenia, over five days, besides a comprehensive Yerevan city tour, my guide took me to Zvartnot Temple ruins, Echmiadzin, Khor Virap Monastery, Norvank Monastery, Garni Temple, Geghard Monastery, Lake Sevan, Dilijian, Akhtala Fort, and Haghpat Monastery. The Georgia portion of my tour included three days of sightseeing. Highlights were the Tbilisi Old Town Tour, Jvari Temple, Mtskheta, Ananuri Fortress, Gudauri Ski Resort, Gergeti Trinity Church with views of Mount Kazbek, the wine-producing region of Kakheti with a wine tasting in the quaint town of Signaghi, and David-Gareja semi-desert area and monastery complex. Guide services of both my Armenia guide, Arthur, and my Georgia guide, Georgi, were knowledgeable, entertaining. informative, flexible, and comprehensive. Hotels were modern, clean, and centrally located in the capital cities of Yerevan and Tbilisi.