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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



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LINKS - Armenian tourism website - Hyur tours, a professional outfit based in Yerevan


I am not responsible for the content of external websites.


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