Iran Journey 2015: Hitchhiking to Tabriz

Read Nane’s version in Armenian

Thursday, November 12th. The morning greets us with light rain as we leave the “Haer” B&B in a rush. Marieta who is the owner of the place needs to go to her work. Collecting all of our stuff, I forget my guitalele in the corner of the room and realize it only when we are on the road. Not willing to go back, we decide to pick it up on the way back home. Marieta’s son drops us off at the main road. There are few cars going in the direction of the border, so we take a taxi (costs AMD 1000 from Meghri to the border). The Armenian part of the border is easy to pass – we get our backpacks scanned and passports stamped in less than 5 minutes. An e-bus, apparently hired by a mid-aged Iranian Armenian businesman who invited us to join him, drives us to the bridge over the Araks river that connects the two countries. From here we walk our way into Iran.
Truck and hitchhikers on the road from Armenia to Iran Continue reading
Advertisements

Iran Journey 2015: Hitchhiking from Yerevan to Meghri

Read Nane’s version in Armenian

Wednesday, November 11th. We wake up early in the morning. There’s a long way from Yerevan to the city of Meghri ahead. We finish our breakfast and pack for one last time, cramming some more food and clothes into our backpacks. With our goodbyes said, we leave for the train station on a taxi. From there, a Yerevan-Vedi bus takes us to the village of Pokr Vedi. While waiting for the bus to depart, a group of tourists, heading to Khor Virap monastery joins us. “Salam,” says one of them, a young Korean guy, to me. I look at Nane and smile. There couldn’t be a better beginning for our journey to Iran – a Korean traveler greets us, Armenians, in Persian on this very morning when we finally hit the road. At 11:15 AM, we get off the bus on the highway that runs all the way down to the Armenia-Iran border. On our right is the snow-caped mount Ararat shining in the beams of the sun.
Snow-caped mount Ararat, view from Khor Virap monastery, Armenia Continue reading

Photographs. Areni Wine Festival 2015

Areni Wine Festival 2012
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2012: Part I
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2012: Part II
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2013. Part I
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2013. Part II
Photographs. Areni Wine Festival 2014

Our way to the Areni Wine Festival 2015 we’ve hitchhiked… as always. The driver who gave us a lift was a young guy named Aleksan. He lived in Nagorno-Karabakh and became a father a few days ago. “I hate to be alone on the road, so it’s good that I met you,” he said. We got off at the village of Areni, wishing him a safe journey. While three of us, me, Nane and our friend Edgar, walked to the village centre where the main events were taking place, I couldn’t help but notice that the wine festival was transforming into a barbecue and kebab festival. There were probably more food vendors than wine makers offering to taste their old and new wines. But in four years, the festival for us got more meaning than just driking madness, so we ignored these changes and spent some wonderful hours with our friends before hitchhiking back to Yerevan.
Trinity wines at Areni Wine festival 2015 in Armenia
Continue reading

Photographs. Areni Wine Festival 2014

Areni Wine Festival 2012
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2012: Part I
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2012: Part II
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2013. Part I
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2013. Part II

We were six people hitchhiking in three groups to the village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia to attend the 2014 Areni Wine Festival. Me and Nane were the last to arrive in Areni. We rode trucks, and our drivers preferred slow driving. By the time we reached the festival, our friends were already soaked in the wine madness. People around us were dancing, smiling, drinking, eating, and enjoying the moment. And the wine was flowing at Areni.

Bottles of wine in a rusty bucket, Areni Wine festival 2014 in Armenia
Continue reading

Photographs. Ruins of Horomayr Monastery

November Highlands: Hiking to Horomayr Monastery

The architectural complex of Saint Nshan monastery of Horomayr, first mentioned in the 7th century, consists of two parts – the lower one situated on the cliffs of the Debed canyon, and the upper one on the vast plateu above. The monastery derives its name from the main church of the lower part – the Saint Nshan, built in 1187 by princes Zakare and Ivane. Its bell-tower was built later in 1290. Other structures of the lower part of the complex are the ruins of Saint Arakyal chapel (1216), a small chapel built in 1201, to the north is the square-schemed chapel built in 1301. The cemetery of the monastery with cross-stones and tombs dating back to 13th century is spread around the complex.
The ruins of monastery of Horomayr, Lori province, Armenia

Continue reading