Selim Caravanserai, Armenia

As we leave the city of Martuni in the Gegharkunik province of Armenia, we cross into the Selim Mountains and head for the Selim Caravanserai. And although the people who offered us a lift did not plan to visit the medieval inn that sheltered traders in the past, they nevertheless drive us all the way to the place before joining their friends fishing on a nearby river. Upon arriving, we take our backpacks out of the Jeep, thank the driver and his passengers, two chubby women in their forties, and waving them goodbye we go to explore the Selim Caravanserai.
Selim Caravanserai, Vayots Dzor province of Armenia
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Noravank Monastery, Armenia

The next morning after the Areni Wine Festival in Vayots Dzor region of Armenia, together with my friends we decided to visit the famous 13th century Noravank Monastery. Leaving the village of Areni, we walked along the road until the Novravank intersection and from there hitchhiked an old red school bus full of 10th grade pupils who sang The Beatles and Bob Dylan songs with us all the way to the monastery. Meanwhile, the mad driver was doing his best in attempts to scare us to death cutting the sharp curves of the road through the Arpa river canyon without slowing the speed. When we arrived (thanks God, in one piece), the school teachers offered as a ride back. We thanked them and together with youngsters went to explore the monastery and its surroundings. According to a legend, Noravank is said to have housed a piece of the True Cross stained with Christ’s blood, found by a mysterious stranger who discovered its origin after it performed a miracle raising a child from the dead.
Noravank monastery, Vayots Dzor, Armenia
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Areni Wine Festival 2012

Saturday, 6th of October, 2012. Six o’clock in the morning. We – me and my friend Manu are on Arshakunyats avenue in Yerevan, trying to hitch a ride to get out of the city to the M2 highway that will take as all the way to the village of Areni in Vayots Dzor region of Armenia. Since 2004 the village hosts the Areni Wine Festival. Our plan was to hitchhike to Areni, spend the day tasting different wines, get drunk and then…come what may. A taxi driver offered as a lift for couple of kilometers. “Good luck and may Jesus Christ be with you,” said he when he dropped us off. Jesus stayed with us, unlike the luck, since the rest of the road to the highway we had to walk, following the scent of the freshly baked bread. Two guys picked us up on the outskirts of Yerevan and drove to Artashat. From there – another lift to the city of Ararat. The changing colour of the snow on top of the mount Ararat was an evidence of imminent sunrise.
Mount Ararat early in the morning
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