After a week at one of the most wonderful campsites ever, Camping 3GS, the weather was beginning to turn and the Sandra and Marty were preparing to close down for the winter. Leaving just one other couple, Janine and Fred who were waiting for their Iranian Visas and 4 new wheel bearings being sent from Frankfurt, we headed off towards the western edge of Armenia, along its border with Turkey and back northwards towards Georgia.
|The ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral|
Just west of the capital Yerevan, we decided to check out one of Armenia's few UNESCO World Heritage Sites, The Cathedral of Zvartnots. Its evocative ruins now stand alone in a bit of an industrial wasteland, a stone’s throw from the airport. But the site itself is rather beautiful, with Mount Ararat looming into the background. We were very glad we made the detour. It is a popular place for newly married couples to come and take their wedding photos.
|Zvartnots with Mount Ararat in the background|
Our visit was made all the more special by a chance encounter with a lovely Armenian lady called Toni who now lives in Los Angeles. At the age of seven she was forced to flee, initially to Lebanon, and then again to California when the civil war broke out there.
|Toni, the lovely Armenian lady now living in Los Angeles|
It is strange how some sites we visit are swamped with tour buses, gift shops and tacky plastic rubbish, but others equally; if not more beautiful and stunning places; we have literally to ourselves. This was our experience of Aruchavank, one of the largest Armenian churches dating from 661AD. Just sitting on the edge of a dusty village at the end of a potholed road, our only company were a few stray dogs and some very loud screeching crows / ravens (I'm not sure which). Stepping into the vast ancient crumbling cathedral left us both breathless and speechless.
|The Cathedral of Aruch|
|Yereruyk Basilica lying about 200m from the Turkish border|
|Jrapi Church from the year 985|
|making a break for Turkey|
Favorite podcast - Today Explained (Vox) & David Baddiel Tries to Understand (BBC)
|The temperature is dropping|