November 13, 2017

From Yerevan to Tbilisi

To get from Yerevan to Tbilisi, One can take either train, bus or taxi. Train takes longer than bus or taxi, with bus or taxi it take around 5 hours. I took the minivan,  they leave from Kilikia station. The morning ones often are nicer minivan that go for 8,000 AMD - 10,000 AMD. Noon to late afternoon are the cheaper Marshutkas from 6,000 AMD.

I had met a traveler in Tbilisi in my hostel who took the night train, they loved it. I wanted to experience the drive through the mountains and took the minivan option. The minivan I was travelling in was a nice Mercedes, Natural Gas powered.

Night before my trip to Tbilisi, I had gone out to a couch-surfing meetup in Yerevan, after the meetup we went to an Irish pub and cut a long story short, by the time I got back to my hotel  it was 2 AM, I had a hard time getting up. Dragged my self out of bed by 8 AM, and there was no hot water for a shower, it was a cold October morning. Should have never stayed at a hotel next to a massage parlor. They the hotel did have a good breakfast though. The hotel was full of Filipinos waiting in Yerevan for their Dubai work visa to come through, nice folks.

Kilikia station
Kilikia Bus Station Yerevan 
I arrived at the bus station before 10 AM, there is no information desk and no one spoke English. So I looked for minivans with Georgian, the number plates have Armenia and Georgian flags. Then I met an Italian tourist who pointed me to where I would find my ride. And I found to Tibilisi Van. The driver told me 8,000 AMD. I was the first one, he said we'll leave in 10 minutes. So I waited 10 minutes, an hour and another hour, minivans will not leave till they are full. So 3 hours later I decided to find another room for the night and try again tomorrow when 2 cabs with Brit and Iranian tourist showed up and wanting to go Tbilisi, we had a full VAN and wee off to Tbilisi.

I got to give it to the driver, he drove fast and had good control of the vehicle. We drove a good 3 plus hours and stopped twice to stretch our legs and if someone wanted to get a coffee/snack or use the restroom.

Then we arrived at border control, first you go through Armenia side to get an exit stamp. At the Armenia side the immigration officer asked me to remove my cap so he could verify my picture, stamped my passport. I exited and got in the van, the van drove a block and we were at the Georgian side. The immigration was quick and easy, got my passport stamped and got in the van, and off we went. At the Georgian side the customs will scan your bags, I only travel with a handbag and didnt have any issues.

In Tbilisi we did meet some rush hour traffic, I am working on a video I took of the whole trip and will post it, so check back in a few days.


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