Sunday, 4 January 2015

Memories of Armenia

We spent four or five days in Armenia in mid May.  The reason why I'm unsure is that our itinerary for Georgia and Armenia was only loosely followed by our lovely guide Zaza.  Search for Armenia and you'll find the two posts I wrote shortly after we visited.  I'm writing this posting in January 2015 while sitting in a hostel room in New Zealand, so this has the benefit of perspective of almost eight months. Hope you enjoy the photos - I did when I finally got a chance to download then from my camera.

The thing about our visit to Armenia was how hard they are trying to be independent in a sea of hostility - borders with Turkey are closed because Turkey does not recognize the border (Mt. Arrarat is in Armenia and is a Turkish icon) and refused to admit that the Armenian genocide occurred. Azerbaijan also doesn't recognize that Armenia even exists - maps in that country simply say that all of Armenia belongs to them.  Between the two countries is a no man's land that Armenia recognizes and Azerbaijan does not. There is almost no industry in this country because outside countries are unwilling to risk investment.  As our guide stated, nobody is too sure how many people live in Armenia as so many have had to move for work.

On our way into Yerevan, we passed this display of sculptures -
letters in the Armenian language, important historical figures
and other random bits of things that tell Armenians that they are who they are.

I had been waiting for almost a month for Mikkel to find
some interesting creature to share with us.

Fascinating sculptures in Yerevan - paid for by foreign philanthropists.

I wish I remembered the story of this flower seller - the statue recognized
an actual person.

Memorial to the Armenian genocide.  Simple yet powerful.
The flowers are laid one by one by family members coming to
remember their loved ones.

Our hotel was on the riverside.  Not convenient to the CBD
and museums, but a great place to walk and explore.
Where there is water you will find fishermen.

Our last campsite in the Lori (honest) region on our way back to Georgia.
All covered up in rain gear to keep us dry from a lovely storm that passed through.
I just love the next series of photos.  Our guide, Zaza had this knack for finding a small track off the highway that would lead to a lovely place for lunch.  Kitchen group would get busy and the rest of us would explore or visit.  On this occasion, there was this great tree...and there were a number of cows who had been tied so they could graze but not run away.  I was wandering around watching what was happening and casually taking photos.  In numerical order, it makes a great suspenseful story.  What will happen next on the tree...and will the cow get freed?

Steve started it.

but then Jason show off all those years of gymnastics
 as a kid are skills you can always call on

Then there is the distraction of a pretty flower.

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