Hallo der ute - her er hjemmesiden min!

5th fantastic day in wonderful and exciting Armenia/Hayastan

We had an early start from Goris, unfortunately with a couple of guests having some stomach trouble. With some cute-talk and some coke, they both got on their feet, ready to go for today’s adventure: The caves of Khndzorek Village, the Tatev Monastery Cable Car, and Jermuk, fantastic hot SPA village situated far up in Armenia’s mountains.

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We had a 30 minute sightseeing in th village of Goris. Hripsime, our local guide, had lots and lots of very intereseting information about Goris and surroundings, including the fact that both the cable car – actually the one that covers the longest distance in the world with no stops on its way to the final destination – also in the Guiness Book of World Records. She talked about the Nagorno Karabkah situation and how the region had to be defended by soldiers both from Armenia and Artsakh, and how Spyurk Armenians had sponsored a safe road and connection between Armenia and Artsakh.

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Sheep, cows, tractors and lorries prevented the bus from getting anywhere at times. Some sight for us – we were amazed! Then, after a while we got to the Cave Village. Caves everywhere where people had lived and thrived for centuries were nowadays used for guestrooms, storing of items and food, cool areas for animals and so on. All of the caves were common property for the inhabitants of Khndzoresk. We had a nice stroll in typical Armenian nature surrounded by cows, calves, sheep, high grass and trees – and yes beautiful mountain views.

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Everybody loved it until Hripsime started talking about poisonous snakes in Armenia. But – no reason to panic! Nobody hardly ever sees them, and if one should be as unlucky as to be attacked you need to see a doctor within 8 hours, so there is no place in Armenia so remote that you won’t get to one in time. On the average one person dies from snake bites each year, and these guys generally don’t know that thet were bitten! But we were from this moment well informed!

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Next stop – World’s longest Cable Car ride. The guy who made this fantastic attraction materialize is a Russian Armenian businessman who arranged for donations among his contacts to help Armenia construct this wonder. Nobody believed it would be possible, since it actually “flies” over a very deep gorge, and people were not sure how to construct it with all the safety requirements met. But – the guy got the world’s best constructors to come – Swiss ones. And yes, they  haven’t done much else in their lives except from constructing cable cars.

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So it is a gem, a wonder just to see it – and even more so riding it. When we got to the destination after a fantastic view on the deep valleygorge, there is the Tatev Monastery, UNESCOlisted, and probably one of the most beautiful in the world.

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After some education and interesting facts on Tatev, vodkatasting was coming up. A local villager had brought his equipment in order to show us how he produces and destilles his local vodka (oghi in Armenian). We all got tastes, as many glasses as we could bear. Strong stuff, 70% alcohol – and it had a taste of pear, since it was made of pears (tanzer in Armenian) this time.

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We took the Cable Car back, and what happened to me here is probably one of the extra highlights of the entire trip. Two young men came with our group in the Cable Car and it was enough with my sweater (Armenian flag) to get them going. We had a long chat – the guys were brothers – one a soldier defending Artsakh, the other working for s State Security in Artsakh. Their father is the owner of the best hotel in Stepanakert (The capital of Artsakh, Nagorno Karakbakh). They were so eager to invite us to come. They wanted to fix everything for us, and this is when Hripsime and myself started planning my next move – my next trip to Armenia. Artsakh. And my guests were thrilled!!!. Most of them signed up then and there. Threse two guys were so nice, so humble – so Armenian.

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Off to lunch in a small village at a restaurant situated within some kind of tourist compound where the actual huts were formed as barrels with views directly down a spectacular gorge. The compund had geese, ducks, dogs, cats – and extremely nice people. Again, we ate more than necessary and had a pee and even more before we went on to Jermuk and from there back to Yerevan.

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After all the consumption of water, beer, wine and vodka it should come as no surprise that my guests requested pee stops on the long way back to Yerevan via Jermuk. But this time – it felt more than a peeing orchestra than ever before. One had to pee, I said wait. Next one after a minute, and then the whole bus. So we made a stop. After an hour or even less, new peestop – and a third peestop – and then we reached fantastic Jermuk. And yes – really fantastic.

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Jermuk has got hot SPAs, great hotels, fantastic nature – all kinds of facilities. One can even rent a jeep, drive along off road tracks and foind one’s own natural SPA. The town is idyllic and as clean as Switzerland. Really beautiful.

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It was getting late, so we had to leave in order to make dinner at the hotel in Yerevan. On the long haul back home we enjoyed dudukmusic, sunset and beautiful Armenia.

 

 

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