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ARMENIA


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

I took a half-day tour from Yerevan to Garni and Geghard complexes (the latter definitely being the more impressive as it's rock-cut), then headed north to Georgia via the beautiful Debed canyon - September 2019.

 

armenianote3

The new 2,000 Dram note

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia342First up was the pre-Christian temple of Garni

 

armenia345It was built by King Tiridates I in the 1st century AD to honour the sun god Mihr, and reconstructed in the 1970s - Garni

 

armenia340The mountainous scenery surrounding Garni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia348Next to the Roman bath are the remains of a mosaic - Garni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia338Brilliant instructions on the tour bus! Looks like you can't do anything except light your own farts - Garni

 

armenia358Gata, a sweet Armenian bread for sale at Geghard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia390Geghard is a monastery founded in the 4th century, though much of the present complex dates to the 13th century

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia373Khachkars carved into the rock - Geghard

 

armenia378Chapels have also been hewn into the rock - Geghard

 

armenia374Khachkhars are crosses carved into rock or stone stelae. You can also see a cross high on the mountain face to the right - Geghard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia393Much of the complex has been wholly or partly dug from the rock - Geghard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia398The figures above the arch, including two carved lions, are likely to be the coat of arms of the Royal family who built it - Geghard

 

armenia400Walk into the next rock-cut church and you might come across a queue of tourists collecting water from the spring - Geghard

 

armenia404Upstairs there's a further room through a small tunnel - Geghard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia405The tunnel opens up into the Upper Jhamatun - Geghard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia406You can snoop on those in the tomb below via a small hole in the corner - Geghard

 

armenia407A mini honey farm just outside the entrance to Geghard, where you can also see several small caves carved into the rock

 

armenia409In the back, across the small bridge, are what I'm guessing are love or friendship ribbons tied to branches - Geghard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia410The end of the tour finishes with a demo of making lavash, an unleavened flatbread. Pictured is the baker peeling it from the side-walls of the tandoor oven - Geghard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia412Scenery on the bus ride from Yerevan north to Vanadzor - Pambak Range

 

armenia413Straight after arriving I then took a taxi from Vanadzor to the Debed canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia414It's a picturesque area where the Debed River follows the canyon, punctuated with medieval monasteries - Debed canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia416Most of Sanahin Monastery was built between the 10th-12th centuries - Debed Canyon

 

armenia420I presumed it was no longer functioning so was surprised to see a service under way at Sanahin, Debed Canyon

 

armenia421Houses cling to the mountainside - Sanahin, Debed Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia425There are some superb views of the Debed Canyon from the plateau

 

armenia428A few kms further north is the more visually impressive Haghpat, both for its monastery and its location - Debed Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia444A magnificent view of a village on the edge of the canyon cliff - Haghpat, Debed Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

armenia435Khachkars and carved inscriptions on the outer walls of Haghpat, Debed Canyon

 

armenia436Some of the rooms are very impressive, and include several chapels, a bell tower, scriptorium and dining hall - Haghpat, Debed Canyon

 

armenia443After Haghpat we continued north to the Geoprgian border with my driver's clapped out taxi - Debed Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

www.ukzhd.aml - Armenian railways, mainly for the train to Tbilisi

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
   
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