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Published: September 21st 2013
I left the hostel early and travelled to the bus station to get a shared taxi to Yerevan when I arrived I secured the front seat and waited for other passengers to arrive, an hour later none had and the driver suggested I get a mini bus, there was no way I was doing that again so I just paid for the whole car. No sooner did we leave the city then I saw the results of a horror road crash one vehicle was smashed up on the side of the road the other was on its side and the windscreen was spider webbed where two heads had hit, this caused my driver to slow down for a few minutes.
About thirty minutes later we crossed the border into Armenia, initially we were met with forested mountains before entering a long tunnel which brought us out onto dryer treeless terrain around Lake Sevan, Armenia is noticeably poorer and less developed with a myriad of ancient soviet made vehicles plying the roads. After about four hours we arrived in Yerevan which is an attractive city, my driver dropped me at my hotel, I checked in then headed to the metro station
at Sasuntsi Davit and headed in to Republic Square where I was met with some lovely buildings.
I the visited the national museum which was really good then wandered up to Opera Square stopping for a beer while I waited out the rain. I then popped across the road for a pizza.
I keep waking in the middle of the night which makes me tired during the day, headed out to the village of Garni to see a stunning Greek temple perched on a cliff above a river valley and then to the Unesco World Heritage listed ninth century rock cut monastery at Geghard. Both sites were very impressive crowds notwithstanding.
I then had a gonio at a traditional Armenian restaurant, it was like a cheese covered hotpot of beef, mushroom and chips, very nice.
Not much to report today saw a couple more smashes during my service taxi ride from Yeravan to Goris, the terrain was mountainous and say quite a few raptors of various types riding the winds over head. The hotel has a two land bowling alley and a DFC, I dont know what the D stands for but they do fried chicken
Tomorrow I visit the Tatev Monastery one of the highlights of Armenia which is reached via a 6km cable car one of the worlds longest.
The monastery was spectacularly located on the edge of a cliff overlook a deep valley with a river running through it, the monastery is well over a thousand years old and has been undergoing restoration. It was well worth the visit the monastery also had a work house containing an ancient oil press very interesting.
On leaving the monastery I spent the next few hours zig zagging through mountains some of which had ice on the summit. I arrived in the little border town of Agarka in late afternoon and have been listening to the racket from what I believe is a wedding reception all night. The heavens have also just opened up. I walk across the frontier into Iran in the morning.
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