Saturday, April 30, 2005


stuck in the mud...

...and the soviet jeep to the rescue 

our 7 year old tour guide of the Ijevan botanical garden 

lake sevan

Today we had a group outing to see the Makaravank monastery. It is located just beyond Ijevan, probably about three hours northeast of Yerevan. As the pictures will attest, it was not particularly easy to reach the monastery, but certainly well worth it. One of the churches (there are 3) was built in the 12th century and all of the original walls are still in tact. There are an incredible amount of monasteries that have survived for hundreds and even thousands of years. The reason for this is that Armenia always built churches in the highest areas, both for symbolic reasons and to protect the churches from the frequent invasions.

From the road leading down from the Makarvank monastery, we were able to see the Azerbaijani border.

After the monastery we returned to Ijevan and walked through a botanical garden—a 7 year old child who lives nearby accompanied us as a tour guide. It is so interesting to be here. People are absolutely fascinated by the idea of tourism in the rural areas of Armenia. Our tour bus was stared at by each and every Armenian we passed.

Tomorrow is a trip to the grand opening of the Armenian zoo.