Can You Become a Typical Armenian?

Hi everybody! I’ve spent and excellent week since my  sister, who permanently lives in Germany came to visit us. So I want to share some ideas that we came up with, when we were discussing Armenians and what is it like to be Armenian. We asked ourselves, what makes us Armenian? Really, we seem so much different than other people in the world, or at least we think so. What makes us different? There are certain things that are typically Armenian. So, me and my sister tried to point out three main characters, without which you can’t be Armenian. For the first point we both came up with the same idea

Fotor0813114919-300x225

ARMmania


nos_gorbinkoj_2Armenians try to find Armenians everywhere. For example when they finish watching some movie, in the end they try to find Armenians in the full cast and crew. Only Armenians can sit and watch the whole cast and try to find some specific Armenian names, or surnames. That’s not a joke. Many Armenians, if not most of them do this. It gives them an extraordinary sense of pride. Other very funny, but common “Armenian search tool” is nose 🙂 Yes, if someone is hook nosed, he is “suspected” of being Armenian, or at least having some Armenian roots.

 

Hospitality


Second comes hospitality. It  doesn’t matter where are you from, when have you entered their house, in what conditions do they live. Armenians are very hospitable anywhere and anytime. And the most important part of their hospitality is regale. Even if you’re not hungry, even if you hurry up you must sit at the table and taste whatever you’re served, otherwise you might be offending the host. And no matter how much you eat,  you’ll be constantly reminded to help yourself.

Armyanskoe-zastole

Traditionalism


Third thing is one of the prior parts of Armenian character. It is conservativeness. Armenians are very traditional and conservative. Throughout their history Armenians have spread all around the globe and there is no country that there are no 3Armenians. There are almost 11 million Armenians in the world, but only 3 million live in their motherland, others are spread around the world. And even in these conditions, being away from homeland and living for decades abroad, Armenians still live with their own lifestyle, as they would have lived in Armenia. They try to bring their children up specifically among Armenian community. They may normally hang out with others, but they mostly marry only Armenians.

So dear reader these are the main characteristic points for Armenians. Check out if you’re true Armenian, or maybe you have big chance to become one 😀

Levon – Skating to Freedom

Freedom! What is freedom for people? Many people have differnet opinions about it. One thinks it’s a financial freedom, the others thinks it’s making free decisions, next one thinks it’s living alone, etc. Yes! All these are freedoms. I also didn’t have a clear idea of freedom, but recently I’ve found out for myself. But before explaining my point of view, let me write about a man who is well known in whole Yerevan.

10613789_821603917869970_1014751429_n

1

 

He is not a superstar, not a political figure, doesn’t work on TV, neither is celebrity, nor rich! As he calls himself, he is a free person. His name is Levon Abgaryan. He is a man who puts on his skates, turns on his earphones high on his music player and starts to skate all over the city. Yes! He doesn’t pay attention to anything, or anybody. He doesn’t care about the traffic, he doesn’t care what people think of him, or that people may think he’s nuts. Some people really think so, because he skates in the traffic so freely and is not scared at all. I myself have seen him a lot and every time I was like “ohhh my God, this car is gonna hit him”, “His gonna fall” “What is he doing? He’s nuts!”. But surprisingly and fortunately he’s alive and HAPPY! These are his words! He is a happy person.

 

 

 

Months ago nobody had an idea who he is, how does he live, what kind of job does he have, but as the interest to him around the whole population grew, some producers decided to shoot a video of him. This was the one and only time he spoke and told about himself. It turned out that he lives alone, doesn’t work at all and lives WITHOUT MONEY! This is what he told. He claims that he is a free spirit, he is free of this regime, his soul doesn’t know borders, he flies wherever his heart tell him to, he doesn’t need anything more to be happy, just freedom. And what is the most surprising, is that it turned out, that Levon has been living and working abroad, for a very long time and was a pretty wealthy person, but he left everything he had, money, power, luxury life and came to his hometown to live absolutely free of everything.

cwi5kxZAf3A

After his story, I think I’ve understood what is real freedom and independence. Yes, I think many people wouldn’t want that, but that’s because freedom is only for those who can handle it. Living independent, on your own and do not care about stereotypes, being able to refuse money and luxury and material comfort is for a brave and strong people. I’m personally not sure, could I live like that, but in one thing I’m pretty sure, I really do admire him. So here is a video, where Levon tells about his life, his values and his dreams and his freedom!

“Titanic” survivor Neshan Krekorian

titanic survivor

Armenian “Titanic” survivor Neshan Krekorian (seated left) with his wife, Persape (seated right), daughter Angie (center), son George (left), and daughter Alice (right). We all know the tragic sinking story of the Titanic. This tragedy touched all sorts of people from different backgrounds. One of such passengers was an Armenian refugee by the name of Neshan Krekorian. Below is a touching story from Radio Free Europe giving us a glance into this man’s extraordinary life. From The Turks To The ‘Titanic:’ One Armenian’s Fateful Escape By Daisy Sindelar April 13, 2012 Neshan Krekorian was barely in his twenties when his father urged him to emigrate from western Armenia and start a new life far away across the Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of Armenians were doing the same, in a bid to escape rising violence and persecution at the hands of Ottoman-era Turks. So Krekorian fled, making his way across Europe and purchasing a third-class ticket for what would prove a fateful ocean journey. “His father told him to leave the country and seek a new life in Canada and hopefully bring his brothers over,” says Krekorian’s grandson, Van Solomonian. “He had two younger brothers who stayed behind. My grandfather gathered four other compatriots from Turkish Armenia in the area that he lived in, which was Keghi. And they got to France in Cherbourg, and by pure fate got on the ‘Titanic.’” Krekorian was one of over 700 third-class passengers on board the maiden voyage of the celebrated ocean liner. Immigrants from across the British Isles, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East paid the equivalent of $1,000 for a steerage-class ticket entitling them to modest sleeping quarters and meals in the third-class dining hall for the duration of what was meant to be a week-long voyage.

 
Instagram.com/historyofarmenia
Instagram.com/ArMania2014

Armenian flatbread – Lavash

Armenian women producing traditional Armenian flatbread, a production method that has not changed since ancient times. The UNESCO cultural and scientific organization has decided to include Armenian flatbread on its intangible cultural heritage list, recognizing the importance of the foodstuff to the country’s inhabitants. Lavash, a staple of Armenian cuisine, is a type of soft and very thin flatbread that can be consumed as a wrap for cheese, meat or vegetables. It is also popular throughout the South Caucasus, and in Iran and Turkey. According to a note on the UNESCO website, preparation of lavash “requires great effort, coordination, experience and special skills” and “strengthens family, community and social ties.” Lavash was accepted onto the list on Wednesday, with the UNESCO organization saying on its site that it acknowledged “the preparation, meaning and appearance of [the] traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia.” The Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, a daring attempt to recognize and preserve immaterial culture, have been compiled since 2008, and entries from 103 countries are currently recognized by UNESCO. The lavash puts Armenia, a small, ancient South Caucasus nation of 3 million, ahead of much of the pack with a total of four entries on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Other Armenian entries recognized by UNESCO include the reed wind instrument duduk, the performance of the medieval epic “David of Sassoon,” and the art of stone cross making.

Traditional-Armenian-bread-lavash-making-in-tonir- cherkezi-dzor

UNESCO describes Lavash as the following: Lavash is a traditional thin bread that forms an integral part of Armenian cuisine. Its preparation is typically undertaken by a small group of women, and requires great effort, coordination, experience and special skills. A simple dough made of wheat flour and water is kneaded and formed into balls, which are then rolled into thin layers and stretched over a special oval cushion that is then slapped against the wall of a traditional conical clay oven. After thirty seconds to a minute, the baked bread is pulled from the oven wall. Lavash is commonly served rolled around local cheeses, greens or meats, and can be preserved for up to six months. It plays a ritual role in weddings, where it is placed on the shoulders of newlyweds to bring fertility and prosperity. The group work in baking lavash strengthens family, community and social ties. Young girls usually act as aides in the process, gradually becoming more involved as they gain experience. Men are also involved through the practices of making cushions and building ovens, and pass on their skills to students and apprentices as a necessary step in preserving the vitality and viability of lavash making. Armenian lavash has been prepared in the same way for thousands of years. Archaeologists in Armenia have uncovered ancient fire pits all strikingly similar to the tvonir ovens that are still used to bake lavash. According to the Encyclopedia International, “Common to all Armenians is their traditional unleavened bread, lav-ash, which is a staple in the Armenian diet.” Sources: • PeopleOfAr. (2014, November 28). Armenian Flatbread ‘Lavash’ is inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

10808671_571094906326146_1269949602_n

 

Armenian Bread Declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. instagram.com/historyofarmenia

Armenian Old New Year

Did you know that the Old New Year is still a traditional holiday celebrated on 14th of January according to Julian Calendar.

The celebration starts on 13th January at 12:00. Even though it’s become an informal holiday, armenians still gather and enjoy the beginning of a Year, this year the Republic Square will host annual concert despite the cold weather.

People of Armenia  look forward the magic moments and realizations of dreams for the coming  New Year.

13-new-year-wallpaper

Armenians have been celebrating 3 New Year Holidays : Kaghand, Navasard, New Year.

d5b6d5a1d5bed5a1d5bdd5a1d680d5a4 download (1) download

Ancient Armenians  were celebrating New Year on 21st of March : the vernal equinox day and also the birthday of the mythical God Vahangn, in whom believed the pagan Armenians about 10 thousand years ago? The hero of the Holiday /Armenian Santa was Kaghand Papy/ Kagand Grandpa.  The typical food for Kaghand consists of beans, lentils, dry fruit, nuts. The most important from the eatables is “Tary hats” / Year Bread. “Big mamas” of the family put coin inside the bread and the one who get it, according to the tradition, get a lot of fortune for the upcoming year.

mmb_gata-Nts5LMXzb4

 

images

Navsard, which was celebrated in 1th of November is the day when Forefather Hayk won Titanian Bel. This celebration was accompanied by traditional songs and dances, traditional food and collective events.

Hayk_3

And after the 18th century Calendar reform made by Simeon Yerevantsy . Armenians started celebrate The New Year on the 1st of January. many traditions of Kaghand and Navasard are maintained nowadays, some of them are modernized  and changed.

After the Soviet Union New Year holiday got some soviet traditions , changed some traditional staff and become quite original.

Almost all the Armenians do a lot of preparations for it. Some people /especially armenian women/ are busy on cooking, cleaning, decorations, new dresses, some people / esp. men/ busy on buying New Year meals ingredients /meat, dry fruit, drinks/ , some of us make a lists of relatives to visit and many young people just get together and spend good time 😉

623 FRUITS zJ1HJdMao6t3qwIBRFeTGNNYd2

Everybody likes New Years’s dishes, everybody enjoy cooking and testing it wherever they go. Almost all Armenians have dolma, khorovats/ barbeque, qyufta, ishly qyufta  or any other interesting traditional dish with meat, dry fruit and different types of nuts, fruit and traditional sweets like gata, choreg, pakhlava on their festive table.

armenian-dolma-Tolma Barbecue_Armeniankufta8

 

 

And it’s important to have drinks on the table to make good tosts and wishes for the coming year.

Usually The President congratulate everybody for the upcoming year on TV, then the same does the Catholicos on armenian TV and the celebration of Amanor / Nor Tari (New Year) considered to be officially opened.

 

There is some magic in all this activity, enjoy the beginning of the New Year, New Hope and New Beginnings. Spend it with those whom you love and who love you and of course visit Armenia. Believe me you’ll enjoy armenian holidays !

 

Armenia today: Positive perspective about the future of Armenia, from an experience of a foreigner

 

This time, my article would make some of Armenian people feel offended and bad. So, please stop reading it if you start feeling like that. But otherwise, you may notice perspective of a foreigner who thinks more positive towards the future of the country.

It seems that Armenia today has improved in some respects, which gives us a hope to advance the nation, society and the people. I felt that when I visited there in 2014 especially by comparing to my experience of my visit to Armenia in 2009.This time, I will write about why I thought like that from my observation and experience there.

My first visit to Armenia was in 2009. My first thoughts and experience about Armenia was very different from today. I can say that it was more or less negative to the country not only because of its economic situation but also how people acted and thoughts. In 2009, I still remembered that almost all the time when I walked on the street, most of the people who saw me started staring at me and it made me feel very uncomfortable. Also, I could see that almost all the time, there were many guys walking in a group, wearing black shirts and trousers, which was kind of symbol of Armenia to me then.

In addition, it sounded that many people who I communicated with had more conservative mind-set than Armenian people in Armenia today. For example, they did not try to understand what they thought right would be wrong in other societies. It was my impression about Armenians then.

Armenia today 2

Yet, in 2014 when I visited there again in October, I really felt that there were many things that had changed since 2009. Probably the most obvious and easy thing to notice was the fashion especially of young Armenian guys. As mentioned, in 2009, in my impression, most of guys including young Armenians were wearing black clothes. However, today, many of them started wearing more colorful clothes like people in Western Europe.

In addition, in terms of mind-set, I could see that many young Armenians had more open mind which lets them listen to what and how foreigners, who have different values and belief, thinks and behave.

In this visit, I had a chance to give a lecture to the students of Leadership School. I was really impressed that the students had more proactive attitude to learn something from foreigners and they were clearly more motivated towards finding something useful for them from me. In 2009, it was more or less that the student were listening to me but still had some doubts and did not really try to elicit as much information as possible from me to utilize it in order to develop their skills and knowledge.

Also, I got impression that more and more young Armenians started to be able to have critical thinking today. Positively, it seems that those young Armenians with critical thinking started to analyze seriously the problems that Armenia has and how they would be able to impact it in positive way to develop the country in the future.

There are still many people saying that Armenia is devastated in terms of politics, economy, society and many other aspects. But, I really believe that the movement and dynamism which I felt from my visit in 2014 will probably change the society in positive way. Of course it is true that the country still is facing a lot of issues but those people who are in generation will possible change Armenia soon.

I hope I will join the movement in some years in the future.

Cathedral of Saint Gregory the Illuminator

Cathedral of Saint Gregory the Illuminator 1997 – 2001, Yerevan, Armenia. Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral (Armenian: Սուրբ Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչ Եկեղեցի, Surb Grigor Lusavorich Yekeghetsi) is the largest Armenian church in the world and is located in the Kentron District of Yerevan in Armenia. It is adjacent to the General Andranik metro station. It is also considered to be one of the largest religious buildings along with Sameba Cathedral in the South Caucasus. The Cathedral is the symbol of the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity as a State Religion in Armenia and house for relics of Saint Gregory the Illuminator (Surb Grigor). The Holy Remains of St. Gregory were brought from Naples, Italy. Shortly after the consecration of the Cathedral Pope John Paul II paid a visit to the Cathedral. The cathedral has been constructed by the initiative of catholicos Vazgen I. The construction started on April 7, 1997 with a ground blessing service conducted by catholicos Karekin I. The church complex was designed by the architect Stepan Kurkchyan and the construction was completed in 2001. The huge Cathedral is a complex consisting of three churches: the Cathedral (Main Church) with 1700 seats and the Chapels of St. Tiridat (Tiridates) III the King and of St. Ashkhen the Queen (both with 150 seats). These two royal figures were the crucial helpers of St. Gregory in converting Armenia to Christianity. The belfry and the court are located at the entrance of the Cathedral. The halls for both the receptions and church-related activities are provided on the lower floor of the Main Church. The Main Church of the complex was built by the donation of AGBU founder Alek Manoukian, along with his wife Mary, and their son and daughter Richard and Louise Simon-Manoukian. On the other hand, the construction of the two chapels of the complex was completed by the donation of Nazar and Artemis Nazarian and Kevork and Linda Kevorkian, while the belfry erected by the donation of Eduardo Eurnekian.

Yerevan,_Surb_Grigor_Lusavorich_Church1

Steve jobs with Bill Gates 1991

20111129164010_steve-jobs-y-bill-gates

“Steve jobs in his Palo Alto home with Bill Gates. 1991. Sitting upon what appears to be an Armenian made rug from Chahar Mahal region also known as Bakhtiari. The design of this rug with its geometric symbolic elements in panels were mostly woven by Armenians who were mostly concentrated in about 7 different villages of Chahar Mahal region.” – Master Weaver, Hratch Kozibeyokian. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who was raised in the family of an Armenian mother and an American father. It is said that Steve Jobs spoke Armenian fluently, however I could not find a reliable source to confirm that he did. Jobs’ adoptive mother Claire Hagopian played a very big role in bringing up the genius, Jobs had never been keen to speak about his biological parents. Jobs was born in San Francisco and was adopted by the family of Paul and Clara Jobs (née Hagopian) of Mountain View, California. Paul and Clara later adopted a daughter, Patti. Clara Hagopian was born in New Jersey, where her parents ended up after fleeing Armenia from the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. When she was still a little girl her parents decided to move to the Mission District in San Francisco. Jobs’ biological parents – Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Muslim Syrian immigrant to the U.S from Homs, who later became a political science professor, and Joanne Schieble (later Simpson), an American graduate student who went on to become a speech language pathologist – eventually married. Together, they gave birth to and raised Jobs’ biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson. Jobs experimented with different pursuits before starting Apple Computers with Stephen Wozniak in the Jobs’ family garage. Apple’s revolutionary products, which include the iPod, iPhone and iPad, are now seen as dictating the evolution of modern technology.

 

SOURCES: Isaacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs the biography. ISBN 1451648537, USA: Simon & Schuster;  instagram.com/historyofarmenia.

Hosting Thor Heyerdahl Junior

While the whole last week I spent on passing mid-trem exams, I was generally thinking what interesting did I experience this week, about what should I tell my readers. And then, here you come, I have experienced something, that really was amazing. I met a person whom I’d never thought I could meet. I mean obviously I have read and heard a lot about him and his family, but hearing those stories from him was very appealing. That person is Thor Heyerdahl Junior. He visited Armenia on his famous traveler father’s  100th anniversary. As he himself claims, that it’s a great experience to visit one of the most ancient countries in the world on 100th anniversary of his father.

Heyerdahl_banner_700-web

 

Those who don’t know who is Thor Heyerdahl, let’s just have a quick review on his biography. Thor Heyerdahl Senior  is a Norwegian adventurer and archaeologist, who started a journey around the globe on a raft Kon-Tiki in 1947 and later wrote an international bestseller on his adventures. And not only him, but his wife and son also became part of his adventures, they have gone through all of that together. And today we hosted  his son Thor Heyerdahl Junior, his wife Grethe Heyerdahl and marketing manager Halfdan Tangen Junior from The Kon-Tiki Museum in our University after Valery Brusov. During the seminar Mr. Heyerdahl told us the story of his family and adventures that they had. Obviously I’d like to share it with you my dears.

Kon-Tiki stort

Famous raft Kon-Tiki

So, let’s start from the beginning, Thor Heyerdahl Senior was born in 1914 in Norway. He studied zoology at Oslo University. As his son claims, the adventurer spirit he has got from his mother’s upbringing, because instead of reading fairy tales for him, his mom read Darwin and evolution. In 1936 he left for the island Fatu Hiva in the Pacific, with his first wife. He spent a couple of years there studying the indigenous plants and animals. During the 2nd World War he served in Norwegian Military.  Mr. Thor Heyerdahl Junior recalls. “When my father  was leaving for the war, my mother told me, that this may be the last time I see my dad. We were not sure, will he come back, or not. But fortunately dad survived”.  After coming back from war, Heyerdahl built raft Kon-Tiki and together with his crew of five started his journey across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands. They spent 101 day at sea, under the open sky. During this voyage they happened to face every kind of danger that man could come across in the sea. Later he wrote the book Kon-Tiki about his adventures, which became the bestseller of its time. And then the documentary based on the same journey won an Academy Award in 1951. By the way this film is the only Norwegian Oscar winning film.

WP_20141027_004

Thor Heyerdahl Jr recalling his famous father

The next one was archaeological expedition in Galapagos islands in 1953 and the book The Secret of Easter Island, written in 1958 was based on this trip.  Then followed trips and explorations in Morocco, Bahamas, Egypt, Tucume Pyramid, Spanish island of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, southern Russia and many other places.

WP_20141027_010

HalfdanTangen Jr tells about Mr. Heyerdahl’s adventures

So I really feel lucky enough to hear much more of those adventures and stories from the first hand. Our students also were curious about our guests’ impression of Armenia during four days spent here. Mr. Heyerdahl Jr. told us that had many positive impressions, he did like the fact that Armenia is very ancient country and it’s difficult to describe what you feel here. In the end he told us “When I’m back in Norway, I’m going to be the ambassador of Armenia there.”

10402772_838911526153740_3070845681003780044_n

ArMania members with Thor Heyerdahl Jr and HalfdanTangen Jr

 

Besides he said that they are thinking about some projects in Armenia, which I think is going to be just as much amazing, many students even claimed the participation in possible projects. So obviously everybody is looking forward to see our dear guests in Armenia again and we hope that further cooperation will be very prosperous.

My 2nd day in Armenia 2014: Awesome places!

After the wedding party yesterday, I visited some great places on the second day during my stay in Armenia, 2014. Have you actually visited some great sites in Armenia? What is your most recommended place to visit from your experience?

So, on the second day, I left my wife’s parents’ place in Armenia with my brother in law and his wife around 9am to meet a friend of mine who is working in a travel company. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day and forecasted to be rainy later. Also, it was a bit cold.

We arrived at Khachaturian statue located in front of the opera house in Yerevan at 9:30am and met my friend there. Maybe it was due to morning or because the season was approaching to winter season (late October), there were few people walking on the street.

Then, we went to my friend’s office and waited for another staff to join us. The staff turned to be actually our guide on that day. She sounded very nice and professional as a tourist guide. After she came to the office, we finally started the tour by car.

It was almost 2 years since I had had a tour in Armenia in 2012 when I visited there with my father. The moment we were driving on the street which came out of the town of Yerevan, I felt kind of nostalgic. The land around us already became brown as almost all trees and grasses turned to be brown, which was a sign that winter is coming soon.

The first place we visited was a small town called “Ashtarak”. Actually, I became a fan of this town and personally thought it was more attractive than Yerevan because there are a lot more trees and it showed a more real Armenia which is less influenced with Soviet style/culture. In the town, we went to several churches (I forgot their names so please only enjoy by looking at the photos). After the churches, we took a walk to explore the town on foot. The narrow ways between houses were really different from the atmosphere of Yerevan, giving me the impression that it was something very warm.

P1000339P1000342 - コピー P1000343 P1000347P1000353P1000356P1000362

Then, we visited Byurakan, an observatory located in Aragatsotn. The observatory has been used by astronomers locally and even from other countries too. Actually, the observatory itself may be not very interesting for most of tourists unless you are very enthusiastic to astronomy. Yet, the land around it is spectacular. So, I enjoyed walking in the field of the observatory with our companions but felt so boring especially while I was being given a lecture about stars and the history of observatory especially because most of the information was something I had already encountered on TV in Japan.

P1000392 P1000398 P1000402

After we almost spent 2 hours there (it was killing me! Unfortunately…), we headed to a restaurant located in Mt. Aragats for lunch. We drove the car along the carved rocky road leading to the top of the mountain. On the way to the top of the mountain, we came across magnificently solemn views in which I felt the greatness of the nature. Cloud was being generated as we moved forward on the street and chased after us becoming larger and larger. The view was so amazing and powerful that I would not be able to see the same scenery in my life again. (You can see it in the photos below).

P1000407 P1000410 P1000418 P1000426

However, actually, when we climbed up the mountain to a certain level. We found out that the road started to be covered by the ice so that it would be too risky to move forward on the way. When I went out the door, I felt so freezing actually. It was maybe under 0 degree outside. So, unluckily we decided to go back to descend the mountain as we all did not want to die on the day! As a result, I could not try Hash (an Armenian soup usually eaten in the winter to warm up) although it was my favorite dish in Armenia.

We then headed to Amberd which is a fortress of Armenia that shows how powerful and strong Armenia was in ancient time. The way to Amber was very mountainous where there are lots of up and down with lots of curves. But after the way, Amberd came into my site standing powerful even in distance.

P1000427 - コピー

I realized that Amberd is really huge in size when I arrived in front of the structure. It is all made of huge stones. Many parts of the structure were destroyed but this condition seemed to strengthen the impression of fantasy (it is really one of the structures which you may imagine in the story of fantasy). It was almost 3pm when we reached there but did not have lunch yet. So, we decided to take a short excursion in Amberd (Amberd consists of relatively large area and slope at high sea level so that it is tiring actually to explore all of Amberd) and then have lunch later in one of the small shops at the site.

P1000438 P1000449 P1000450

The lunch we ate was very simple one which was made with baked potato and salad. So, it was not something we really could enjoy the taste but we anyway could take a rest and gained some more energy to continue our trip.

By driving a car for another 30-40 minutes, then we arrived at the site of Armenian letters which is a place most tourists would be taken to especially they visited Armenia for the first time.

Then, we went to Saghmosavank. It started to rain a little bit when we got there and it became much colder. Saghmosavank was put on the list of my favorite places when I saw it in my eyes. What was astonishing was the combination between the monastery and the nature and landscape around there. The landscape is very harsh with very deep and steep cliff which seems very dangerous really if you try to reach the edge of it. In addition, on the other side of the cliff can be seen a mountain. These combination make the site really worth visiting showing the power and beauty of the Armenian nature with its history.

P1000461 P1000462 P1000463 P1000472

We left the place around 6pm and arrived in Yerevan at 7pm on that day. We dismissed and my brother in law left for home with his wife while I stayed in the city to see the members of ArMania to take them to a Japanese restaurant to let them taste the dishes. We had very good time for dinner of course.

P1000478

It was very long day in the end with many things I newly discovered in Armenia. You can enjoy some photos from the day below. I really recommend you to visit some of the places I visited this time.