Saturday we got an early start to visit Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery, but first stopped at Ararat Arch to get a great view of the famous Mt. Ararat. According to the Bible, Ararat is where Noah’s Ark came to rest, and is a huge national symbol for Armenia. It is now within the Turkish border, but the Armenians still consider it to be theirs and you can see it everywhere you go in Yerevan. It truly is magnificent.
After Garni, we headed further up the mountain to Geghard Monastery, a Catholic church built in the 4th century and believed to have the Holy Lance that pierced Jesus’ side on the cross. The name of the monastery actually means monastery of the Spear. Parts of the monastery site are built into the mountain, creating cave like rooms, and in the main church there’s a natural spring that is considered to be a fountain of youth…of course I drank from it!
We’d had enough of the mountain roads and headed back to roam the city, which didn’t get old being the country girls that we are now. Although it was chilly, the sun was out and it was amazing to just stick my face in it! The vitamin D was much needed and having a reason to wear sunglasses was a highlight of the trip (oh, the small things.)
Back at the hostel we met other TLG teachers that were in the 2nd group to arrive in Georgia, and we began to swap stories. It turns out I had read one of their blogs when researching the program…it was like a Georgian celebrity sighting! Continuing on our international food journey, we had pizza for dinner, mmmmm. With fulfilled bellies, we moseyed into about 10 different bars searching for our preferred atmosphere but ended up back at the hostel with a bottle of pomegranate wine, something Armenia is famous for but was really nothing to write home about…although apparently I am, hmph? We finished the night at a disco (club) that played only house music and encountered one too many men wearing white.
Read more about Rachel’s Armenian adventure…