maur  
life through the lens
 
  
home destinations a-z the big trips about me world beers newspapers updates/links freestyle top fives

 



 



ARMENIA


Location - Caucasus, Europe; Capital - Yerevan; Population - 3 million; Currency - Dram MORE ARMENIA

I flew into Yerevan via Warsaw, from where I'd arranged a day-tour with Hyur Service straight from the airport - September 2019.

 

armenianote1Not many of these new 1,000 Dram notes were in circulation when I visited

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia141We arrived at Lake Sevan, an hour's drive north of Yerevan, at sunrise, where the waters were calm, quiet and beautiful - Sevanavank

 

armenia149Sevanavank is a small peninsula poking into the western edge of the lake. Pictured is the 9th century Surp Arakelots Church

 

armenia160Several small, narrow beaches line the lake - Sevanavank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia158A wonderfully rickety pier on Lake Sevan - Sevanavank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia155The colours of the Armenian flag adorn a car at Sevanavank

 

armenia89A few days later I returned to Sevan for an overnight stay, on my way to Yerevan from Nagorno Karabakh - Sevan

 

armenia107Sevanavank is the name of the peninsula, pictured, with the town of Sevan being a short drive inland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia95The lake is 1,900m above sea level so temperatures drop at night - Sevan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia97I stayed at Nirvana Hotel, a slightly rundown guesthouse with cabins, but with a perfect location on the lakeshore - Sevan

 

armenia99Just 100m away is a Best Western hotel, complete with its own swimming pool - Sevan

 

armenia117It's a lovely spot for watching the colours at sunrise - Sevan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia115On the left is the Sevanavank peninsula - Sevan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia122The sky and lake turn purple as the sun awakes - Sevan

 

armenia128Sunlight battles through the clouds in the early morning - Sevan

 

armenia127Sevanavank and Lake Sevan on a cool late September morning - Sevan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia15Back to the original day tour, we left Lake Sevan and drove through Yerevan to Khor Virap, site of a monastery near the Turkish border

 

armenia6If you're lucky with the weather the sight of a snow-capped Mt Ararat rising above Khor Virap Monastery is a superb picture-postcard moment

 

armenia8Mt Ararat comprises two peaks - Greater Ararat (right) and Little Ararat (left), with the former being 5,137m and the latter 3,896m - Khor Virap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia20Sunlight pierces the candle smoke inside 17th century Khor Virap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia22Ararat, or Masis in Armenian, is features in Armenian literature and is seen by many as a national symbol, despite it being located in Turkey. A contributory factor no doubt is that in Christianity the mountain is regarded as the resting place of Noah's Ark - Khor Virap

 

armenia25See my Turkey and Nakhchivan photos for a more snow-clad Mt Ararat, before the summer melt - Khor Virap

 

armenia27Driving past what looks like a bunker as we drive parallel to the very sensitive Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan) border. Iran is only a few kms away too..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia28tigranashenThere's several Azerbaijani enclaves in Armenia, and also Armenian enclaves in Azerbaijan, most (all?) of these now being occupied by the other. This poor photo is the Azerbaijani enclave of Tigranashen (called Karki in Azerbaijani), controlled by Armenia

 

armenia30My driver said these mountains are in Iran but looking at the map they must be in Nakhchivan, a large Azerbaijani enclave sandwiched between Iran and Armenai. Azerbaijan and Armenia borders are closed and the countries definitely don't get on, largely a result of the Nagorno Karabakh war of the 1980s/90s

 

armenia31The route to Noravank goes through a valley gorge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia34First sighting of the Noravank complex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia38The churches date back to the 13th & 14th centuries - Noravank

 

armenia40Surb Astvatsatsin Church has a very narrow outside staircase with no railings, just a rope for help, which takes you to the dome - Noravank

 

armenia46aRemembrance candles burning in a shallow pool of water lends an atmospheric touch - Noravank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia52Khachkars are monuments of stone stelae carved with crosses - Noravank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia54Passing Spandaryan Reservoir on the way to Tatev and Gori in the south of Armenia

 

armenia59Tatev boasts the 'world's longest double-track cable car', linking the town of Halidzor to Tatev Monastery across the Voratan Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia71The Wings of Tatev aerial tramway was completed in 2010 and is 5,752m long - Tatev

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia70The ride takes less than 15 minutes and costs around 7,000AMD for the return journey (2019 price), with various tour companies getting a small discount - Tatev

 

armenia68The 9th century Tatev Monastery - Tatev

 

armenia77Goris was my final stop on the day-tour and the closest major town to Nagorno Karabakh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia80A cave city is located on the slopes of Goris, presumably indicated by the holes in these rock formations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia83An overnight stay before getting ready for Nagorno Karabakh.. - Goris

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2019 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

https://armenia.travel - Armenian tourism website

www.hyurservice.com - Hyur tours, a professional outfit based in Yerevan

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
   
world beers