Carahunge: The Stonehenge of Armenia

Located near the city of Sisian in the province of Syunik, the megalithic composition of Bronze Age tombs and over 230 standing stones called “Zorats Karer” (also known as Carahunge) is one of the ancient archeological sites on the territory of Armenia. We arrived here on a windy November day, hitchhiking from Vayk. Our drivers told anecdotes and funny stories of which I remember only one: “The sign ‘thumb up’ on the road in the US means someone’s asking for a ride; the raised middle finger means he won’t get it”. They dropped us off at the turn to the historical complex, and as we walked along the rocky road another car stopped for us. Turned out that the driver, a young guy named Andranik, owns the little souvenir shop at Carahunge. He and his friend Samvel invited us for a cup of coffee and told the story of the stones.
A panoramic view of the stones of Carahunge
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A Night in Tatev Monastery, Armenia

We arrive in the village of Tatev on a foggy evening of November 19th, 2012, to visit one of Armenia’s most popular tourist destinations – the 9th-century Monastery of Tatev. The monastery is our next stop along the Silk Road of Armenia. Failing to find a shelter for the night in the village, we walk to the monastery in a drizzle, and as we reach the gates, few people walk out, and upon seeing us, they give us some fruits. They get to their car, and while me and Emée are trying to decide what to do, they come back and give us bread, cheese and a tomato. “Are you going to stay overnight in the monastery?” they ask. We don’t know for sure. As they drive away, we enter the monastery gates and find ourselves in the yard.
The defensive walls of Tatev Monastery, Armenia
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