Noble gray hair majestic ancient Armenia

Once Noah traveled to Armenia and chose her end point of their route, perhaps he did not do it for nothing.
Travel to Armenia as if in another dimension, so many are kept antiquity - monasteries with a history of many centuries, medieval citadel on the tops of the beautiful mountains, and of course Ararat. It so happens that this so revered by the Armenian people, and the sacred mountain, is in exile in the thrall of Turkey, well, it is just a decoration of Armenia. All ancient shrines built to a clear sky was visible Ararat. Acquaintance with Armenia began with the city Wijk, located 139 km from Yerevan. On the way there was a small technical stop associated with poor-quality fuel, which was fueled our cars, but we have during this stop refueled delicious wine tasting began Armenian cherry, pomegranate and grape wine. Satisfied go further, by the time dawn broke and could enjoy the spectacular gorges and mountains, flashed outside the window. The location of the hotel and catch up on sleep after an overnight flight, set off on a tour of the city. Aram told us that once there was a great earthquake, and people fleeing in terror screaming .... wai wai wai ... hence the name of the city of Wijk. The old bridge, built in the XVII century and renovated in 1827 at the suggestion of Paskevich. He needs to be reconstructed again, now to go on it will hardly happen.

Ice waterfall, here flushes with local HPP

And below is some pipe, it can be used as a footbridge

Retro cars

Perhaps you can use to travel on wheels

Here in Vaike rybhozyaystvo has grown and succinic trout. In the distance you can see the church St. Tiridates.

Well, that New Year's Eve at our table will not be Olivier with tangerines - will barbecue. In Armenia, as it should - shish kebab prepared men, if a woman was involved in the cooking process - it will be grilled meats. Frankly, I have nothing against it, only. In addition, a delicious barbecue is obtained. Instead we had a Christmas tree juniper, also dressed up with tinsel as it should be. And there was no television congratulations from the main official with the patriarchal bridge, but instead we went out into the street under a very beautiful starry sky and every one of us lit his star, releasing it into the sky and make a wish. I really hope that all will come true, my desire is very cherished :) January 1 New Year's Day - to conquer impregnable citadel - castle Boloraberd. The fortress was built in the XIII century by Prince beg, and in those days was already aqueduct that supplied water to the top of the mountain in case of siege. Once at the castle, attacked the Persian Khan, but it long remained impregnable, Khan had almost despaired and nearing winter time when it is necessary to turn off the troops. But then a wise man gave advice - do not drink mule 7 days and 7 nights, and then let go and let him look for the water ... and he found it was running water fortress. After overlap aqueduct fortress quickly surrendered, and all defenders Khan cut. Rises to the fortress scrambling on all fours in deep snow, but it was really fun to go down - sat down and went in the easy chair snowdrift :) Not far from the fortress is the Church of St. Spitakavorskaya. Virgin, here are made pilgrimage here and sometimes services are held. The following day on January 2 was even more snow, we went to the fortress Ambert sinking in snow and fog. Here it Ambert and we formed a group come to him

Ambert is situated on the southern slopes of the highest mountain in Armenia - Aragats. He was a feudal castle in the X-XIII -rodovoe possession Pahlavuni princes.
In our days here in the summer is easily accessible by car, and in the winter through the snowdrifts to climb the mountain.
There were filming "bastards", also in the winter and to this end have cleared the road. Two days were active and the next day it was decided to stay "tourists - avtobusniki", and at the same time we had the opportunity to admire the mountains.

Garni I in. BC. e, was built Armenian king Trdat I. It is believed that he was dedicated to the pagan sun god Mithras.
After the earthquake in 1679, the church was partially destroyed. It was restored in the Soviet period in 1966-1976, he is a rectangular structure. It is surrounded by 24 columns, giving it the grandeur and solemnity.
Included in the list of UNESCO.

Near the temple remains of an ancient fortress and royal palace as well as bath house, built in the III century slaves Greeks. Saunas have a double floor - second floor was laid on the bars, and passed underneath the hot steam, creating a heat bath.

Geghard Monastery. Here at the beginning of the IV century, the monastery was founded, called Ayrivank, ie "cave monastery." The modern name of the XIII century, when here was transferred legendary spear - Geghard, who was killed by the crucified Christ (now kept in the Museum of Echmiadzin).

Lions without manes, once these were carried out in Armenia. A window on the left, from the top floor through it, you can watch what is happening in this room.

Carved from one piece rock right to be wrong, the builders did not have

Hripsime church, built in the year 618. Hripsimeh - the name of the martyr, whose tomb is in the crypt under the altar. She was a Christian and do not want to become the wife of a pagan emperor Diocletian, ran away with her friends in Armenia, where, according to the stories had a lot of Christians. But here in the capital Vagharshapat also reigned Gentile - Tiridates III. Informed by letter of Diocletian, he ordered to track down the fugitive, but struck by her beauty, did not send back to Rome, and decided to marry myself. But Hripsime refused him, inflicting grievous insult these royal personages. Entreaties and threats did not help. Then it was declared a criminal state for the spread of Christianity, subjected to severe torture and killed. At the site of her execution in IV century chapel was built. In the VII century Catholicos Komitas demolished chapel and erected the present church Hripsime.

Even in the darkness come to St. Echmiadzin - First Cathedral and the residence of the Catholicos - the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. ST. Echmiadzin is the ancient capital city of Armenia Vagharshapat, at a distance of 18 kilometers west of Yerevan. Vagarshapat was founded by King Vagharsh I Arshakuni in 117, after the proclamation in 301 King Trdat III Arshakuni Vagarshapat Christianity becomes the spiritual capital of the country.

In the evening we still had time to take a ride on the metro in Yerevan, it is small only one line and 10 stations, and the composition of only two trailer. At one of the stations worth tree with toys, employees of the station and put her outfits. It is difficult to imagine such a thing in the Moscow metro, not even that whistle something with Christmas trees, and it just will not even see in a dense crowd.
The sky cleared up in the afternoon, and we went to the Byurakan Observatory, look through the telescope. Looked at the moon, she is beautiful, clearly visible craters. Not seen only lunatics (inhabitants of the moon), they may at the time were preparing for bed, comfortably ensconced in their lunar houses. Looked at Jupiter and stellar nebula like to see more, but it was terribly cold. And in byurokanskoy Observatory has Schmidt telescope, once he was the most, but now in the sense ahead of the Spaniards. Although Schmidt telescope remains one of the most useful from the point of view of scientific observations. And that evening we finally got to the restaurant, the Armenian cuisine is very diverse and delicious! From the restaurant we left with bags since managed to eat only a part of the ordered :) Lake Sevan Sevan monastery complex. At the end of the VIII century settled here a few monks who built a chapel and several cells.

The life of this monastery is not particularly eventful; the most striking is the end of the IX century, when there lived a while Armenian King Ashot Iron. Hence they were given battle to the Arabs, who came out to the shore of Lake Sevan. In this battle, except for a small party of the Armenian king, and the monks participated. The victory over the Arabs was complete, the monks carried her to the will of Providence, Ashot - to their valor, their history is not judged.

Lake Sevan is situated at an altitude of 1916 m above sea level. Pearl of Armenia, its water is clear and clean, according to legend, he drank only from the stars and gods ...
At Lake Baikal has one daughter, who ran away from him - Angara, while the only son of Sevan - Razdan.

We examine the road monument "Mimino"

and still is such a stack of pancakes

Monastery Goshavank (Nor Getik) has no fence, are surrounded by rural buildings.

Was built to replace the destroyed by the earthquake of the old convent Getik in 1188.

In the Nord-Getik Mkhitar Gosh founded a school. The passage which is visible in the photo was used as a classroom, the students lined up along the wall of the passage.

Needle cross-stone (it is made of stone created).

Ararat picture from the window of our "bus"

It's time to be skiers - we go to Jermuk.

Ride ventured far from all, the track was not otretrachena and presented some difficulty. Those who ventured the descent looked pretty exhausted.

In the afternoon, we go through the gorge of the river Arpa towards Gndevank.


In the darkness reached Gndevank, fotkat already very bad at it. He will be remembered, blessed light of the moon and stars strict and majestic. Attractions - Karahunj. This prehistoric monument consisting of a large number of large stones set vertically and is located on a plateau at an altitude of 1770 m above sea level.

Karahunj is reminiscent of the famous Stonehenge. On the day of the autumnal equinox sunrise here you can watch directly over the gate of the eastern sector of the central ellipse, just as the summer solstice - separate from the circle of Stonehenge menhir.

In order to explore this monument PM Heruni were taken four scientific expedition (1994-1997) at the equinoxes and solstices.
Measure the size of the monument, carried out a detailed topographic survey, measured the geographical coordinates of the magnetic declination of the place, closing the horizon, azimuth and elevation angles of the holes in the rocks. Numerous observations and video images through the corresponding holes in the rocks at sunrise, sunset, and the culmination of the Sun and Moon at the equinoxes and solstices; and carried out a large amount of computational work. The main conclusions - the monument had a threefold purpose: a) Temple AP-A (Sun) the chief god of the ancient Armenian and his "secretary" Tyre - patron of science and literature, and b) extensive and highly observatory equipped with stone tools allowing measurements with high accuracy; c) University. Monument built over 7500 years ago (ie 3500 years before Stonehenge) and acted for 5500 years.

Wool kids bask in the sun

We're heading to Tatev and making use of the world's longest ropeway "Wings of Tatev" (in the Guinness Book of Records). Horizontal length of 5752 meters, the maximum height of 320 meters.

Tatev monastery founded in the IX century. Strategically advantageous location - on a promontory formed deep in places with steep rocky slopes of the gorge of the river, favored the creation of a powerful defense system here. At one time Tatev was and political center of Syunik principality. In the X century it had about 1,000 inhabitants, and it was subject to numerous villages in the XIII century it owned 680 villages.

Below, in the valley of the river Vorotan Tatev desert is the 17th century.

It's quite sad and gloomy. The monks lived here of course is very modest - cold rooms, rough clothes tore the body, there is like a bird, do not drink wine and other privations. Well, in a monastery did not leave a good life, and those who dared and came here, go back anymore. And secured the ban curse, if you suddenly gone, and then decided to dump.

Through Vorotan we crossed the bridge of the four ropes - put one foot in two, and the other two to keep -ekvilibristika :) Noravank monastery complex built on the site of an ancient monastery, it was developed during the reign of Princes Orbelyan of Syunik. In XIII-XIV centuries the monastery became a residence of Syunik bishops, turning it into a major religious and cultural center and then Armenia.

The first image of the Christian God

Khor Virap
By this time I managed to buy a postcard with a picture of Khor Virap on the background of Mount Ararat and really wanted to see with my own eyes, too. But much depends on the weather when we arrived was not as on the card because of the haze.

Even if at the time of the visit Khor Virap you're not newlyweds, still can run dove into the sky. That offer at the entrance to the monastery, for a modest fee.

The monastery is situated on the underground prison in which the Armenian king Tiridates III kept in captivity for 13 years St. Gregory the Illuminator, before it was converted to Christianity (in 301). You can go down to the dungeon where sat so long Gregory the Illuminator

Now there is a lamp, and before it was dark and here overthrown prisoners that amounted to a death penalty. The food here is not supplied, Gregory ate probably snakes and scorpions that were carried out here. Sunset over Ararat

Last day - we are going to meet the sunrise on the top of Atys, height - 2 528m.
The rise at 2am to catch and ride up to 8-24. We went up much earlier, and there was still time to have breakfast in an underground bunker, which is located on the top. Since we got crowded, there was quite warm in the street as the cold creepy. The dog is smarter, knows when people go upstairs they take with them food, and trained legs, it is sent to us.

Immediately after leaving from Armenia, here I want to come back again. So beautiful she appeared largely due to David, and Aram. Without them, we would have seen and learned much smaller. And thanks to them and their family, we learned what the Armenian hospitality, and what is hash and why you eat :)