We finally leave the isolation of the south west of Armenia behind us and drive into the large city of Gyumri. Today it is the second biggest city in Armenia and it has been an important city for centuries. Back when the Russians established an administrative center in their Armenian province they choose Gyumri as the location. Hence a relative large number of people and money went into the city.
Fortunately the city population seems to have topped early so there has only been a limited need for redevelopment of the city and the old town has survived relatively intact. A couple of earthquakes through time have taken its toll particularly a huge earthquake in 1988 – but most of the old town has survived.
The city has an interesting architecture making it a nice stay to go and wonder around the street of the small city. There are several large squares with some houses around them and along the different side streets are the Old Russian style buildings which are different from what I have seen anywhere else making the city interesting to wonder around.
Naturally there are also some old Armenian churches featuring prominently across the city which give the Russian city an Armenian vibe to it. The city is a nice place to go and wonder but unfortunately we have a little tight schedule and we need to go to our hotel in a city a fair drive away. We want to arrive before it gets too late so we have to go out and hit the road again.