Lovely day of driving through beautiful colourful landscape and stopping at interesting sights. First stop, at the top of a high winding pass was a Caravansary from the 13th century. Very well preserved and not renovated, had a feeling f old-world and long history. What a route though high up on this mountain pass in bad weather with camels laden with wares. Coming down from the pass there is the huge Lake Sevan, it's the largest lake in the Caucasus mountains and sits at an elevation of 1,900m. The first stop was Noratus cemetery which has hundreds of the local intricately carved memorial stones (khachkar), some of which date from ancient times. Bumped into a British/Polish couple here that we have now met in all 3 countries, including staying at the same guest house in Sighnaghi and same bus to the border in Azerbaijan! As we ate lunch on a shady bench near the cemetery we watched a local funeral procession – first the hearse, then the men, some of whom were playing musical instruments, then after a gap the women – all walking up the hill to the new part of the cemetery – he must have been an important
person with such a huge crowd of people following his coffin.
Next followed two churches, Hyravank which sits on a rocky ridge sticking out into the lake and then Sevanavank monastery, both are from the 9th century. Altogether a very enjoyable day.
Where to stay:Hotel Nirvana
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