Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Biblical Mtn Ararat but where is the ark?

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:07 PM
"It's there on the right" and everyone frantically whipped out their cameras and snapped, snapped, even through the bus dirty windows. Well, it was our first sight of the biblical mountain since yesterday's cloud and mist shrouded it from our view from atop the Haghtanak Park. We had no patience to get to Khor Virap to admire it. Then we stopped at a vintage point where we're warned of snakes because the day was so dry and hot, that offered a clear view of the mountain on the Turkish side. Local farmers looked at us with a mixture of annoyance and curiosity. The view was fantastic but not close enough. When we finally made it to Khor Virap, the snow covered Ararat was in front of us, probably the closest we will ever get without crossing the border to Turkey. It is huge but not quite as majestic as Kazbeki, simply because Kazbeki was surrounded by lower mountains which gave it the feeling of towering over all others. Ararat stood alone, with no others around to compare it with. We did not see the ark anywhere. We are now so close to Turkey that we could literally touch it if we simply stand our arms out. Strange that it was so close and yet it belonged now to someone else. Once upon a time, the mountain range was Armenian, so we were told.

Next we visited Noravank, 2 churches nestled in orange rocky hills that resembled the dry cliffs of Arizona. Same color and texture. The churches were quite interesting. One offered a narrow double staircase that led to the upper chamber. Climbing them was thrilling. Then we had lunch at a restaurant just behind the churches, where it was open to the orange and beige cliffs. Felt like eating in Sedona.

We returned to Yerevan for an afternoon of souvenir shopping. While shopping we came upon the Italian Arezzo day parade with flag acrobatics and complete with a marching band. We had a light dinner of good soup back on the street near the Opera House and returned for the fountain light show at the Republic square. Good way to end another day at Yerevan.

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