It is quite easy to get from Stockholm to Yerevan; you book a flight from Sthlm-Yerevan with a touchdown in Kiev for an hour or so. But when we started talking about applying for the program, I said that I would only apply if we could take the train to Yerevan. I refused to fly because of the climate. So we found a few possible routes, and came to the conclusion that train would be fun adventure together! Little did we know that the adventure started already when finding out how to get there.
When we actually started to look into the details of the trainride, it was of course not as simple as we first had thought and Leo also realised he’d be travelling with 3 months of clothing as luggage. So after some negotiation and compromising between us two, we settled with the plan of flying to Istanbul and then take the train to Yerevan. Of course, the flight would be climate compensated and the train ride would be just the fun adventure we first had in mind and smooth way of exploring Turkey and Georgia. Ironically, we did not learn from the first time we thought that.
The smooth part was an exaggeration to say the least. The table below shows the route we have to take in order to arrive in Yerevan. Also note, we booked the flight before we had figured out how to book the remaining trip. So we kind of had to (also I kept insisting on) make it by train the last bit. A rookie mistake, or just plain stupidity…
|Istanbul||Ankara||28/08 09:24||28/08 13:52|
|Ankara||Kars||28/08 16:55||29/08 23:58|
|Kars||Hopa||30/08 9:30||30/08 15:30|
|Hopa||Sarpi||30/08 17:00||30/08 17:30|
|Sarpi||Georgian border||30/08 18:00||30/08 22:00|
|Georgian border||Batumi||30/08 22:00||30/08 22:30|
|Batumi||Yerevan||31/08 15:30||01/09 07:25|
Finding out how this route works, and how to book the ticket has been an adventure in itself. Finally now we have everything figured out and only 2 trains left to book, much thanks to Leo’s talent for googling. Note to ourselves: share how we book and find it all to fellow travellers as this information is incredibly hard to find when you actually start digging for online booking sites.
One might think I would just cave in on the whole “refusing to fly” when reading this but no, I am a woman of my principles. Even if I come out
a bit stupid. The thing is, I have become almost as excited about this train route as I am about the trip itself. How cool to travel through Turkey and Georgia by train? Imagine all the things we may see! I have no idea what to expect and that feels so exciting. Can’t wait to also reach that feeling of touching ground in Yerevan and feeling a glimpse of success – we actually made it all the way.
I’m just hoping I haven’t forfeited all of Leo’s patience on the way.