Yesterday we said our farewell to Georgia and crossed the border in to Armenia. A little heads up on the procedure: you have to walk through the neutral zone over a bridge with a little river below. There are cables to keep people and big items from falling over the side, but it would not stop a purse or a passport from falling into the water below! That was all I could think of as I walked through the no man’s land- don’t drop your purse! Don’t drop your purse! It could just drop on the pavement or it could fall a little to the side and then down to the river!
We all made it without incident and got onto our Armenia bus with our new guide and driver. We then made our way to see two UNESCO World Heritage sites Haghpat Monastery on the edge of the Debed River canyon and Sanahin Monastery, on a mountaintop. Here we learned a bit about the vast history of the monasteries and Christianity in Armenia. It is quite a long history withany influences from surrounding kingdoms and empires over the centuries.
One thing I noticed is that Armenia is very proud of their wine and brandy industry. You can find these products on sale just about anywhere- even at the kiosks outside the monasteries. I tried a taste of red wine last night and would have had more but I was feeling a bit under the weather. I can’t wait to try more! The little I did have was very tasty.
We stayed at a hotel designed a bit like castle on the River Debed called the Tufenkian. It had a lodge-like feel with a big open lobby and lots of comfy seating to just sit and relax. You could go out on the patio and enjoy the rushing river and steep canyon walls when its warmer out. Really a very nice setting. Tonight we are in Tzakhadzor at the Kecharis Hotel. This is a winter resort area with a ski hill nearby.
Our lunch was on the shores of Lake Sevan. It reminded me a bit of Lake Chelan back home. Mountains and dry hills surrounding this huge fresh water lake. The trout at lunch was from the lake and was excellent.
Well, its time to get some rest. Tomorrow we go to Yerevan with sightseeing along the way.