I have still been making vain attempts to catch up on sleep, so it is taking me a while to see the sights of Yerevan. My Esperanto contacts in Yerevan have been delightful, helpful, and very warm and friendly.
One of these I met today for the first time. His name is Levon Davtian, and he is the president of the local Esperanto Association of Armenia. He treated me out for a kabob and a beer, where we met up with another Esperanto speaker named Hrant. We met at the Republic Square in downtown Yerevan, and we chatted and watched the afternoon go by. We spoke about various things. Then Levon asked me, "Do you want to see something?" I said, "Sure!". He took me to the Erebuni Museum.
Erebuni is the first city on the site of modern-day Yerevan. It was settled by the Urartu civilisation 2000+ years ago. There is an outside part of the museum, and also an inside part showing artifacts that they have dug up over the years. Since it was raining, we only looked at the indoor museum.
Urartu was an interesting civilisation. Apparently that is what the Babylonians called them, whereas they called themselves the "Biaini". Most people seem to believe that they are the forebears of the modern-day Armenians, although Levon told me that this is a matter of some dispute, and that they are not 100% sure.
It was a relaxing afternoon. These Armenian folks really seem to take their time. They seem to be very easygoing.
Since before I have arrived, my stomach has felt bloated, and I have not been able to sleep well. I have been out sightseeing, but I have had to take it slower than average. Overall, though, I'm having a very good time. Tonight I went out to dinner with a nice French couple named Nicholas and Chrystele, and an Iranian woman named Sara. We went to a tourist restauraunt called "Our Village", where they played traditional Armenian folk songs (which I really like), and the waiter was very helpful in helping us to make selections. All the staff were dressed in traditonal Armenian costumes, and the place was packed (we actually had to wait a while). The waiter brought us out some red wine in a ceramic jug and informed us that it was the compliments of the chef.
The food was delightful. We had some cheeze and salads as appetizers, with plenty of lavash flatbread. For the main course, I had dry lavash bread which i cracked and dropped into a bowl, which had beef, and a white stew in it. The waiter added some garlic. MMMM! It was the largest meal I had had since arrival. We did not need any dessert.