Saturday, August 5, 2017

heading towards the 10th century

Our next stop after Yerevan was Armenia.

We originally had a car and driver booked (the one that took us to Stepasminda.) but he failed to show up the morning we were to leave. After waiting for 20 minutes outside our guesthouse we figured he was going to be a no-show.

So we took a taxi 5 minutes to the International Bus Station where we had read cross border taxi's were operating. It took us less than 2 minutes after arriving to find a taxi driver to take us to the town of Alaverdi about an hour or so over the border. He had his passport in his glove box and we got a price considerably less than the driver we had booked. The taxi driver also agreed to take us to three of the monastery sites that were near to Alaverdi.

The first monastery was called Akhtala built in the 10th Century and is an apostolic church and a fortress. It also contained some beautiful frescoes.

The next stop was Haghpat, a collection of religious and monastic buildings also from the 10th Century. These buildings were unadorned inside and are on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

The third site, Sanahin, was also a collection of different religious buildings and were also from the 10th Century.

Old gravestones help form the interior paving of the main church.

The following day we hired another taxi to take us to Yerevan. Alaverdi being high up was relatively cool and we were warned that Yerevan was going to be considerably hotter. Close to the 40's.

En route we stopped for an ice cream break - and found a traditional bread maker plying his trade in the local shopping centre.

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