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Asia » Armenia » South » Kapan September 14th 2023

The Sun ain’t up, the sky ain’t blue, what on Earth should we both do? The morning breaks. We remain positive about an extremely hard mattress and a bit of lost sleep and prepare ourselves fo breakfast. The hôtel table is laden with local food. Cottage cheese and feta, tomatoes, peppers and cucumber, parsley and spring onions, eggs, apricot jam, and butter. Only the frankfurter sausages look out of a tin. The bread is a fresh squidgy confection - delicious. The low cloud still clings to the mountains around us. We decide to explore this ancient town of Goris on foot until lunch then drive to the gorge of Khndzoresk, 10km away. The monastery of Tatev, perched high on a mountain, is the main site in the area and the reason we are here. But until ... read more
The House Museum Bacony
Rocky Outcrops Around Goris
Coachdriver?

Asia » Armenia » South » Kapan September 12th 2023

Day 7 Over the hills and far away We’re driving to Goris today, 4 hours away from the bright lights of Yerevan. We honour certain rituals: the last flush of the gurgling toilet; the push of the lift button in anticipation of the dragon’s breath hiss of the door as it slides open (with close monitoring of the gap); the emergence into Charles Azenavour Square with film stars names in the paving in front of the Moscow Cinema. And a last breakfast at Baguette and Co. where we notice that Charles has visited this very place. Our car, an automatic Dacia Logan, is ready and in good nick. We follow the orbital route around and out of town without raised voices or contact with any other car, and in half an hour we’re trundling through a ... read more
WC
Generous shopkeeper
Looking south

Asia » Armenia » South » Kapan September 12th 2023

We packed and left the Moscow boutique cinema hotel this morning, breakfasted as normal on delicious pain au raisins at Baguette & Co just round the corner, then made our way to the enormous Ayn Savid Hotel to pick up a hire car. And so began our rather epic journey over mountains to the southern town of Goris. Satnav said 254 kilometres and 3 hours 45 mins. We found our way bit by bit out of the traffic hotspot of Yerevan. Then trundling along for some time on E117 until directed off up into the hills and mountains, higher and higher, my ears popping. The hills initially seemed like brown scrubland, deprived of rain... and then it rained. We seemed to go from plains to hills, to valleys to hills to craggy mountains to cloud land. ... read more
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Asia » Armenia » South July 2nd 2019

Z ubytka vypadnutie az nieco po 10/00. Vonku pekny slnecny den. V pekarnicke na hlavnej ceste kupene chutne ranajky. Tie zjedenie na muriku pri pumpe kde sa predavaju auta. Najskor som bol v tom, ze pojdem kuknut pevnost tigranakert ale rozmyslel som si to a pochodujem nazad do kopca na kruhac kde je fontana. Na lavickach stary paprdovia. Cestou na ulici hrali damu dvaja taxikari, dost dobre to vyzeralo. Maly stolik, mini stolicky. Na lavicku si ku mne prisada chlapik. Tak mensia konverzacia ohladne futbalu. Chlapik pracuje v moskve, odtialto ma zenu. Prichadzaju deti ale tie ani rusky ani ang nevedia. Presun k druhej fontane smerom k fut. stadionu. Ta nesla ale bol tu pod stromami chladok, tak len sedenie na lavicke a sledovanie okoloiducich, hlavne armenky samozrejme. Tie co som si vsimol nosia uplne neatraktivne ... read more

Asia » Armenia » South » Artashat July 1st 2019

Ako predpokladala predpoved rano zatiahnute ale nastastie nie dazd. Odovzdavam kluc, vyplacam a pomaly presun na nove ubytko. V stanku kupene ranajky, dva sladke rozky plnene orechovou naplnou. S tym ale problem kde to zjest, ziadne lavicky. Nakonec sa postastilo. Prechod cez cestu konecne civilizovany ked auta zastavuju a clovek sa nemusi obavat o svoju bezpecnost. V banke menim mensi obnos. Kurz lepsi nez v zmenarni, sice len o 1d ale lepsi. Prichadzam na ubytko, dom pootvarany ale nikde nikto, nuz nechavam batoh na poschodi s listockom, ze sa vratim. Idem si odbyt povinnost a pesibusom navstivit pamatnik na zaciatku mesta, v pohode v pesej dostupnosti. Mesto oproti vcerajsku uz plne ludi. Na ulici aj par pekarnicok, tak uz viem kde dam zajtra ranajky. K pamatniku tatik patik sa ide dol kopcom tak pohodicka. Pri poslednej ... read more

Asia » Armenia » South June 26th 2019

Dobre vyspaty o 9.00 smer ranajky. Tetule davam listok, vzapeti mi prinasa caj, pecivo, syr, maslo a vajcia na tvrdo, no a este dzem. Tetula beha jak splasena, evidentne nestiha. Kluc som nechal len vo dverach. Este raz prehliadka mini mestecka, relax pri spievajucej fontane, ta samozrejme teraz bez hudby a farebneho doplnenia. Zacina daky protest, ujko s megafonom a neakym papierom. Nikto sa k nemu nepridava ale dalsi ujko ho toci na mobil. Isto z toho zostrihaju poriadnu demonstraciu a pri tom len stary panko vykrikuje na ulici. Po uliciach chodi aj zenska policajna hliadka. Parkujem v kaficku v parku s fontanou bez vody. Davam ladove kapucino, uplna blbost. Zacina moj presun na koniec kapanu. Zacina stop, dost aut ale nik nezastavuje. Zrazu jeden chlapik s dcerou, ze ma vyvezu na uplny koniec kapanu. Ok ... read more

Asia » Armenia » South » Kapan June 25th 2019

Noc totalne nahovno. Postel mala, trcali mi nohy, neuveritelne teplo a kokoti nechali rozsvietene na chodbe. Takze tu dalsiu noc neostavam. Co som nakukol do nemcovej izby, ten tam mal fan. Nemec siel na marsutku o 7.30 co ide smer jerevan, v rovnakom case ide aj smer goris, potom uz nejde nic. Vyplacam ubytko i veceru a okolo 9.00 zahajujem vystup na blizku pevnost. Prechadzam mini centrum, dedkovci opat v parku na lavicke. Idem k miestnemu kostoliku pod drobnohladom jedne zenskej. Male mesto, kazda cudzia tvar je tu dokladne skumana a sledovana. Kostolik zavrety. Pomedzi cinziaky stupam vyssie k horam. Za cinziakmi sa davam doprava a po polnacke idem k pevnosti. No k pevnosti,je to len jedna mala buda z kamena. K nej musim vyslapat kopec, cesta ziadna, tak idem rovno za nosom. Na vrchole ma ... read more

Asia » Armenia » South June 24th 2019

Dnes moj posledny den v irane. Ranajky len keksi zo vcera, bo cestou nic co by stalo za poziven. Vypadovka na hranice smer armensko. Slnko opat pecie ale mam stastie, je tu tien. Podla recepcneho taxi stoji 600k r, ja mam len 260k r. Zacinam stopovat pod drobnohladom vojakov z asi 300m vzdialenej budovy. Aut moc nejde, po 10min stastie a zastavuje mi kamionista, ten bez navesu. Ang nevi ale to nevadi, uz sa vezem na hranice. Ponuka ma cajom a ruky nohy funguju. Ukazuje mi vizum do nahorneho karabachu. Cesta nadherna popri hranicnej rieke s azerbajdzanom. Udolie, kanon, no krasa. Naozaj pekne ukoncenie iranskeho tripu. Varuje ma pred armenskymi cestami, vraj su v zlom stave. Zastavka v neakom mestecku kde mi kupuje rusku zmrzlinu. Moc aut tu nechodi. Azerbajdzanzke uzemie konci a nastupuje armenske. Na ... read more

Asia » Armenia » South » Artashat June 23rd 2018

Picked up our Lada Niva for a 6day tour around Armenia. First stop was Geghard monastery, not so far out of Yerevan (UNESCO world heritage site, Medieval monastery). This is a big complex founded by Gregory the Illuminator (3rd Century founder of Christianity in Armenia and patron Saint of Armenia). There are some lovely carvings in the stone, both inside and outside. We were fortunate to catch a choir singing beautifully in a cave chapel. It was a very popular destination, probably due to it being Saturday. Close by is Garni temple, a left over from Roman occupation, interesting history but not so interesting to visit. From there a longer drive took us to Khor Virap monastery (17th century) which has great views to Mt Ararat, it's also where Gregory the Illuminator was incarcerated for 13 ... read more
Garni Temple
Khor Virap, Mt Ararat trying to peak out of clouds
Noravank Monastery

Asia » Armenia » South September 29th 2017

Other trips have started better. Due to a"serious incident", the M3 is closed by the police and Winchester is gridlocked. Our coach to Heathrow cannot get in to pick us up! Luckily, a knight in shining armour (Julius) offered us a lift and, after walking the High Street to get out of the gridlock, we arrived at Heathrow on time. Thanks, Julius. Armenia is a complicated place. Their history is one of occupation, always a small country between super powers. Even today, Armenia is at war with Azerbaijan, a stalemate war, and the border to Turkey is also closed. Two borders are open, from Iran and from Georgia where we enter. A large Russian army base protects against NATO aggression. Russian influence ensured that Armenia joined the Soviet free trade area rather than the EU. Armenia ... read more
Monastery
The only way into the church
Restored two storey monastery




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