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   Updated 9th November 2019
Yeravan and Armenia 

Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel. Can be recomended.

Khor Virap Monestry close to the Turkish Border. Interresing story with Saint Gregory being kept here for 14 years

From the Cave (more like a well) St. Gregory was kept for 14 years.

At the Geghard Monestry up on the mountains East of Yerevan

The whole gang getting a good snow dump at Geghard Monestry


Very questionable road conditions

Garni Temple is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnated building in the former Soviet Uniona. Built in the the village of Garni, it is the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia.Buylit in the first century, so almost 2000 years old.

Sashlic, salads and wine.


Local shop lady in Garni

Tasting Brandy at Ararat Brandy Factory


Vladimir Vladimirovish's barrel

The gang at disco club.


Carpets Galore across the road from the hotel on Sunday morning

Amberd Fortress


Wne tasting (a lot of tasint actually) at Voskevaz Winery

In the wineyard with Mount Ararat in the background

Sashlig squers shop.

Mount Ararat as seen at sunset from top of the Cascades in Yerevan






We had a long weekend in connection with the celebration of 1917 October revolution and since Lenin and his boys adjusted the calendar to account for not having leap years before the revolution the 19th October is now 4th. An to keep in the spirit of Soviet Union we selected another FSU country - Armenia. Previous year was Georgia and Uzbekistan

7 of us. 3 Belgians, 3 Norwegians and the token Canadian. All from the Wine and Food group we are part of in Moscow. Flew down Friday night and had an early start Saturday morning to make it to the 3 sightseeing sights, lunch and brandy tasting.

Started driving south to Khor Virap Monastery pretty much on the border with Turkey and the closes point to Mount Ararat you can come in Armenia. Unfortunately overcast and rain, so we could not see much of the mountain.

Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for about 14 years by King Tiridates III. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king's religious mentor. In the year 301, Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared a Christian Nation. A chapel was initially built in 642 at the site of Khor Virap as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the "St. Astvatsatsin" (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel, the monastery, the refectory and the cells of the monks. Now, regular church services are held in this church. It is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia.

Then headed back to Yerevan and out East to Geghard Monastery and Garni Temple. SERIOUS snow up in the mountains and we were all a bit worried about driving the unsecured rather steep hills with summer tires. A bit scary. With the snow we also missed the scenery in the valley, but the snow made it quite spectacular and a different experience.

Lunch at a restaurant near Garni Temple with some sashlik and salad. Typical Caucasus food and of course accompanied by a good bottle ort two of local red wine.

Last stop for the day was Ararat Brandy factory for a tour and tasting of the brandy. Pretty good brandy they have there actually that you do not see in Western Europe. We are missing out there.

A quick trip in the market across the road from our hotel before dinner followed by a visit to the club with dancing and indoor cigar-smoking. Quite a blast from the past there......

Sunday was a later start with heading up to Amberd Fortress. Seriously miscalculated time to get there and time we took there, so schedule for the day was out the window already from the start. Finally made our way to Voskevaz Winery. Run by a returned Armenian from US with his 2 brothers being creative contributors. Quite a place and very good wines at very reasonable prices.

Tours were arranged by Diana at Yerani Travel. She did a good job and was very responsive. Can recommend her if anyone else going.


Best regards,

Veerle, Joannes, Mirgul, Rita, Arve, Lynne and Atle