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Day Ten- Parajanov Museum -Congress Hotel's Open Air Pool

Wednesday 9th June

sunny 88 °F

One of my life's regrets is not getting to The Arnofini this May for the Sergi Parajanov film festival, as visiting this museum and seeing his art was one of the many high-lights of this trip. I would gladly have any of the exhibits in my home, he was so imaginative, even able to create art on scraps of paper whilst he was held by the Soviets in a Siberian labour camp. His Armenian name is Sargis Yossifovich Paradjanian, he never lived in Armenia though where the museum is, was built {on a gorge, overlooking Mount Ararat}for him to retire to, sadly he died in 1990 before it was completed. The art mainly consists of collages, installations, mosaics and there are a lot of costumes and sketches from his films. We did buy a DVD of one of his films"The Colour Of Pomegranates", definitely not something you would catch at The Showcase. In the guide book they say people have described him as a meglomaniac and egocentric, placing himself in a central spot at the last supper, what came across to me was his sense of humour and humanity.The good news is they are planning to bring a big exhibition over to London there was talk of the Tate Modern but they don't want to exhibit another Armenian so soon after A Gorky {Why not?}; anyway it will be a must-see wherever it ends up. We did get an English speaking guide and it was well worth it.
Following this we visited the covered market bought some fruit, made no attempt to haggle so paid top dollar...
Briefly got a look-in at the Blue Mosque but didn't feel suitably attired so didn't attempt to enter and it looked a bit like a building site anyway!
And here is where our love affair with the Congress Hotel open air swimming pool begins, although rather expensive to get in as long as you lie around for hours, and get in and out of the pool at regular intervals you feel you have got your monies worth. But then swimming makes you hungry and you have to scan their menu and by the end of the day you have spent rather a lot but who cares we are on holiday, Lake Sevan is too cold at the present time to get in and the water in the pool has no chlorine and is a perfect temperature. You can't lie in the sun for long though so we moved from lounger to lounger in search of shade. Only criticism is there seems to be a lot of skinny women staying at the Congress we think their secret is smoking and we are considering taking it up.
After the sun had gone down and they seemed to be packing the loungers away we reluctantly leave going to one of our favorite restaurants " Melody". It is brilliant sitting out eating and enjoying an Armenian beer as the evening cools, it is just so peaceful here!

Posted by Cath_Greig 04:30 Archived in Armenia

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