Sunday, May 15, 2005

Ohannavank to Saghmosavank Hike

Sunday was one of my favorite days since arriving in Yerevan. We hiked from Ohanavank (yes, another monastery) to Saghmosavank. The hike was organized by an Armenian named Après (that name means “good for you”), and he organizes hikes twice a month for people living in Yerevan. What made the trip especially interesting was there were only five volunteers in a group of over 25. It was really interesting to talk to some of the Armenians, especially those that our close to my age. One girl I spoke with really wants to travel, but the only place she has been is Georgia (not the state). She has never seen the ocean.

We reached Saghmosavank and had a great lunch while watching a professional dance group perform. They were actually filming the performance for TV. After they finished filming we joined in a group dance which was lots of fun. I certainly have a ways to go in terms of my Armenian dancing, or I suppose, dancing in general. On the topic of dancing, Armenia is in the process of organizing the largest circle dance in history which will be held on May 28th to commemorate Independence Day. This is actually Armenia’s first Independence Day, which was declared in 1918. The Republic only lasted for two years, however. The dance will be around Mt. Aragats (not to be confused with Ararat). We will be camping out the night before and then dancing on Saturday. Many people are skeptical about whether or not the Armenians are organized enough (think Italians or Greeks and you have an idea of how Armenians view time and organization), but I’m hopeful.


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