Spent an amazing long weekend in Armenia. As with Georgia, the country offers a very unique atmosphere on the gateway to Asia, with a rich history and amazing landscapes. Really enjoyed exploring it, perfect for a short trip from Dubai.
This is a hotel?
We were supposed to stay here, but - luckily one might say - they overbooked and didn't have our second room, so we moved.
Not what we rented - but a very typical type of car in Armenia
These huge wine barrels were in the basement of the Areni winery.
These weigh up to 10 tons. Some of them have holes which are said to make whistling sounds in the wind.
The Armenian Stonehenge
Or that's what the tourist lore says...
This is the real name of the area, which is said to have been a necropolis or observatory site more than 4000 years ago.
The 9th century monastery, about 4h drive from Yerevan.
People were lighting candles in all the monasteries we visited.
The inside looking towards the dome.
The monastery can be reached by the world's longest reversing cable car, crossing all the way to the opposite mountains.
The location of the monastery and the view around it are truly breathtaking.
The restored olive press in the monastery and some of its artifacts.
The stone city, with its artificial caves.
This rope bridge crosses the canyon from the other side to the caves.
The view is only spoilt by some ongoing renovations on the monastery buildings. Necessary evil, given their age.
Another view of the whole area.
Old Khdzoresk Church in between the caves.
The caves were inhabited until the 1950s.
Entrance to a bar in Yerevan.
The barren brown autumn landscape had a very special atmosphere.
The Temple of Garni
The 2000 year old temple is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia
It's located just on the cliff of this beautiful gorge.
After its reconstruction in the 1970s.
Overlooking the surrounding landscape.
The roof has a whole where the sun shines throgh in the centre, creating some interesting effects.
While there was not a lot of greenery left from the summer, the rivers kept some of the landscape full of colour.
Lucky moment as the sun was shining through the door on the cross.
The cross in the rocks near Geghard monastery.
The mountains around the monastery feature various small chapels another other remnants attracting pilgrims.
The monastery was built around a spring in the mountains - part of it now runs through the actual church building.
The rock cut champer.
The monastery literally sits in the mountain.
A view of the Sevanavank monastery at Lake Sevank, north of Yerevan.
With its two churches Surp Arakelots (left) and Surp Astvatsatsin (right).
The monastery used to be on an island, but since then the water level fell to turn it into a peninsula.
With Khachkars (cross stones) dating back to the 10th century.
There are two small chapels on the cemetary.
We were all alone - except this woman.
The view from the cemetary at sunset.
I didn't get tired of the churches and monasteries. This one is called Hayravank, from the late 9th century.
Yerevan Street Life
Was surprisingly lively.
Sculpture Fernando Botero, Gatto
Or: The fat cat.
Cafesjian Center for the Arts
With its many statues and installation.
Seen from the bottom, with some of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts installations.
Views over Yerevan
From the Cascade. On a clear day, you get to see mount Ararat from here. No luck for me.
From the northern side.
Fruits & Vegetables
Armenia is famous for them and they are on sale everywhere.
Need to add a photo of a real cat to the statue.
Zoravor Surp Astvatsatsin Church
A long name for what is the oldest church in Yerevan, from 1694.
One of the three original oldest districts of Yerevan.
A very different style of city than just a few hundred meters further.
The Kond district - which doesn't seem like the right place for this car.
Like in Georgia, there's a lot of good food to enjoy in Armenia.
Houses in Kond are made of old stones and bricks.
Built just on the cliffs of the gorge of the same name.
And one of the bridges crossing it.
Armenian Genocide Monument
Truly a captivating place.
Looking across the gorge.
Paired with some very haunting music, the place feels special.
Looking up from inside the monument, which was built in the 1960s.
The pure concrete stone created bare atmosphere.
The Armenia Genocide feels underrepresented in people's mindset, despite being a truly tragic occurance.
Of the museum.
The museum explains the events well. Worth a visit.
A 3h flight from Dubai, and definitely worth it.