So it’s weekend and I’m back in Yerevan. A good timing, Anush didn’t had to work so she could join me on my adventures this weekend. Or the other way around of course.
Since I already saw most of Yerevan last weekend, we went to see some of the most visited spots of Armenia. Garni, Geghard and Echmiadzin in the evening. The brother of Anush also joined us today.
It takes about half hour to drive to Garni village. We park the car and paid the entrance fee to visit the Temple of Garni. Just as all the monasteries I visited, this temple is also beautiful located with stunning views down in the gorges.
A visit to Garni Temple is usually combined with a visit to Geghard monastery. I don’t want to be an exception so we continued to Geghard monastery. The monastery of Geghard is a unique architectural construction being partially carved out of the mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Next we turned the car and drove back to Garni village from where we descended into the gorge to see the ‘Symphony of Stones’ and have a little picnic (Read: try to eat most of the delicious, gigantic sandwiches the mother of Anush prepared for us). A rough dirt road brought us to the river. Passing by the Symphony of Stones. Hard to explain in words how these stones look like, but I believe the picture will tell you enough.
Ani, my host for the next night, contacted me there would also be a French girl staying at her place and asked me if that girl could join me for the rest of the day.
Our next stop was Echmiadzin, on the other side of Yerevan so we could stop in the city to pick her up. Echmiadzin is one of the historic capitals of Armenia and is also the spiritual center of the Armenians, as it is the seat of the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
We were late, so we directly went to visit Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Apostolic Church. I’m not a specialist, but I assume it has a bit the same function as Vatican City. Please, someone correct me if I’m wrong. Although the function might be the same, it looks completely different. Vatican City is made to impress. Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin is made to give the people a place where they can come to have a moment for themself or find support of other Armenians. At least that’s the impression the place gave me. People can sit on one of the many benches around the beautiful flower fields.
It wasn’t planned, but since we were passing it anyway on the road back to Yerevan, we could as well stop at the ruins of the Zvartnots cathedral. The place was already closed but we could convince the guard to let us in any way. While the sunset began, we walked around the ruins.
It was again a great day in Armenia. We drove to the centre of Yerevan where we picked up Ani, the host of me and the French girl for that night. Together we drove to Anush her home where I picked up my luggage and wished Anush goodnight.
I just arrived at Ani’s place when Anush called me to inform me about our plans for the next day. We had the crazy idea that day to join a hiking group on Sunday to climb the highest mountain of Armenia. Therefor, we calculated we had to get up at 4am. I know, crazy. But we are still young, it’s the time to be crazy. Sometimes.
While eating Gata, a traditional Armenian pastry, and watermelon, Ani played the piano and sang along. With these sounds in my head I went to bed a few minutes later.
Hopefully the few hours of sleep would be enough to fully recharge my batteries for the next day.