Nagorno travel info
K.: 6 days, March08
WHAT'S NAGORNO ?
is a region in the South Caucasus inhabitated by an Armenian
enclave. It encompasses the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a
de facto independent republic, and is geographically part
of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Nagorno is fully supported
by Armeni,. but it's not officialy part of the country,
despite they claim it. Nowadays it's a disputed area.
Nagorno map, click
on to enlarge
A wholly independent travel
19th- 26th, March08
I need a visa?
yes, I got it in Stepanakert
in 20min for 21 euro valid 5 days (read
marshrutka (minibus) or shared taxis are the best bet to get
almost everywhere while bargaining for a private taxi sometimes
is the only solution.
as for the weather March is always a gamble, but despite some
rain, I got nice sunny warm days (20 C). Don't underrate the
wind when packing.
Stepanakert is not plenty of accommodations, or better, I found
just an anonimum hotel ( a double for 40euro w/o breakfast and
barganing)!!! I guess, asking around, you can spot some private
rooms, but, unless you don't speak Russian, it won't be like
drinking a cup of tea
I experienced zero hassles from militaries, Shushi is quite
impressive and the Lada/ Zigulì cars everywhere make
the atmosphere in Nagorno quite movie like. Don't miss the funny
girls in Stepanakert, all dressed as parading :-)
I didn't expect such abandonment spread everywhere and finding
an open restaurant in Stepanakert became a challenge.
it's more expensive than Armenia: consider 35 euro per person
travelling in a couple (hotel 20, food 7, transp 8 + extra).
Hiring a car can be the main expense, even if relatively cheap.
Nagorno is one of the most mined areas on the earth, but, you
will be far more likely to get knock down trying to cross the
road on the zebra in Stepanakert than blowing on an UXO.
even some basic knowledge of Russian will help a lot; don't
forget a handy dictionary.
IMPRESSIONS ABOUT NAGORNO
Till ten years ago Nagorno was one of the protagonist
of the news, now everybody has forgotten this small piece of
land who claims the autonomy while disputed between Azerbaijan
However Nagorno is still there
The capital Stepanakert with its old Lada/ Zigulì cars,
the girls dressed like parading, the clothes hung in the sky,
the soldiers doing everything except the militaries
quite a movie set.
Shushi: I found quite impressive this kind of 'post-apocalyptic
like' place seemed inhabited by just few survivors. In fact
now the town is more a bunch of rubbles and abandoned buildings
characterized by two ruined mosques with their towering minarets
still dominating the landscape.
The Gandzasar monastery is nice, but it cannot be the reason
for a trip to Nagorno.
I know your question: is it worth going to Nagorno?
If you don't go there thinking to see touristy highlights, but
to experience what's the situation of a disputed country, that
from Islamic got fully Catholic, connected to the rest of the
world by just a road, YES go there!
However if you are still wondering if it's the case, it means
you haven't the right point of view you need to appreciate,
so skip it.