November Highlands: Hitchhiking from Yerevan to Dsegh

Another crazy night. At some point I give up fighting the mosquitoes, and then the next thing I hear is the alarm clock. Boots on, hot tea in the thermos, lights off, door locked. And here I am walking from my work (a time club in the heart of Yerevan) to the bus stop near the Opera house. The city has different vibes early in the morning, when there are few people on the streets. The sun is shining up in the sky, but it’s cold. I visit a supermarket on my way to exchange Armenian drams to Georgian lari. Nane is already there at the bus stop when I arrive. About 40 minutes later we are on Yerevan-Sevan road again at our favorite junction. In about 3-4 minutes we hitch our first ride.
Snowy road to the lake Sevan, Armenia

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Photographs. Makaravank Monastery

The legend goes that a certain craftsman named Makar built the Makaravank monastery together with his son. As the walls were growing higher, Makar was spending nights on the walls of the monastery, while his son was preparing the stones for him. One day he noticed that the stones and the patterns carved into them now looked different. When Makar found out that his son passed away, he committed suicide jumping off the church’s top. The villagers buried him under the walls of the monastery and named it after the craftsman – Makaravank (monastery of Makar).
The main gates of the Makaravank monastery, Tavush province, Armenia

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In Search of Makaravank Monastery

More than a year ago, when I was visiting the monastery of Goshavank with a group of friends I had a chance to exchange few words with one the ladies selling candles and postcards there. It was from her that I first heard of the monastery of Makaravank – and the images she showed me on the postcards were impressive. But ever since I didn’t come back to the region, and that’s why we decided to dedicate the second day of our 2-day trip to Tavush Province of Armenia to the 10th-13th century Makaravank monastery located about 6 km west of the village of Achajur, on the slopes of Paytatap mountain.
On the road in Tavush province, Armenia

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19 Free Things to Do in Yerevan

Are you planning a visit to the city of Yerevan? Then here’s a list of what you can do in the capital of Armenia – FREE of charge. I’m sure there are more activities that can be added to this list, and I’ll update it from time to time upon finding new information. As for now, here’s the list of 19 free things to in Yerevan.

1. VISIT THE CAFESJIAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Fernando Botero's The Smoking Woman, Cafesjian center for the arts, Yerevan, Armenia

The Smoking Woman, Fernando Botero, Cafesjian Center, Yerevan

The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. You can visit its open air exposition of sculptures in front of and on the stairs of the Cascade, as well as visit the galleries inside. The galleries on the first two floors are free.

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Photographs. Matosavank Monastery

The monastery of Matosavank was built in 13th century and its structure actually consists of adjoining small churches, gavit (narthex) and book repositories with vaulted ceilings. A medieval cemetery is located southeast of the complex. The church of Saint Astvatsatsin (it’s sometimes also called the church of St. Astvatsatsin of Pghndzahank) was built in 1247 AD by Avag Zakaryan, the son of Ivane Zakarian of the Orbelyan dynasty.
Matosavank monastery, Dilijan, Tavush Province, Armenia

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