So here we are in Vank. My travel standards seem to rise with everyday. Although it may look more luxurious than is was. It’s definitely more comfortable to sleep than in my tent. The hotel in which we woke up this morning was once a real beauty. But it seems the beauty fades with the years.
Still I recommend staying at this hotel. Don’t expect luxury but enjoy of this extraordinary building in a great environment.
We had a breakfast in the hotel and explored the direct surroundings of the hotel after the breakfast. Here’s how it looks on the outside. Yes, it was inspired on the Titanic.
Next to the hotel, you can find the only zoo of Artsakh. Close to the hotel is Gandzasar monastery. The monastery is surrounded by a wall but inside there is a really nice garden.
Our next stop was planned to be Dadivank. But somehow we missed the little village with its famous monastery and then we saw a sign ‘Hot Spring’. Very tempting to change our plans for today. And so we did. We took the small road to the left over the bridge. Luckily we could ask some guys who were walking there about to spring. Else we wouldn’t have any clue of what to expect and how far is exactly was.
They told us it’s about 30km on a dirt/rock track. A long distance, but the they guaranteed it’s really worth it.
I’ve included some pictures of the route to the hot spring. The road is not so bad, but the distance still makes it a challenge.
Looking on the dashboard of my car, I knew we should be close to the hot spring. I was already worrying that we wouldn’t find it ourselves when Ani pointed at a bee farm on the right side of the road. She asked me to stop to see if she could buy some honey.
The bee keepers were happy to see us. Although they don’t usually sell the honey on the spot, we could still buy honey if we delivered the bottles to put the fresh honey in. Deal! They told us the spring was just behind the next bend and also suggested we could camp with them that night. We agreed to join them tonight after our visit to the spring.
And so we continued to the spring. And only for this spring, you should already visit Armenia. It’s wonderful. I cannot describe this Beauty of Mother Nature. It’s impossible to create something as beautiful as this with human hands.
GPS coordinates of the spring: 40.046454,46.236187
The spring is very relaxing. I hope this place can stay like it is now and people respect the environment.
We declined the offer to join a barbecue that was going on around the spring and went back to the bee farm instead. There, we got introduced to the other bee keepers and had a dinner with them in their improvised camp.
During the dinner their were, as a traditional Armenian dinner demands, many toasts. Luckily Ani was with me to translate. Usually it’s the toast-master or Tamada who speaks the toast but I asked to give a toast myself too.
I thought it was about time to thank everyone who had somehow helped me to explore Armenia and to meet all these great people. Even though I was traveling alone, I never really was alone.
The dinner existed of Lavash with honey instead of soup. That’s how you can get an idea of how much honey we ate during that dinner. Of course there was vodka and wine too.
The dinner was followed with a campfire and in the middle of the night we still went to the hot spring together. A wonderful experience.
I can feel my journey is coming to an end very fast now. Only one day left.