Sunday, June 19, 2016

Back to Armenia

Today we had a long drive from Stepenakert in Nagorno-Karabakh back into Armenia, ending up in Hermon, a resort town near Lake Sevan.

We stopped in Khndzoresk, just over the border into Armenia, to view the Capadocian-style 
caves in which people hid from the bombing during the 88-94 war with Azerbaijan.

While in Khndzoresk, we saw men scything a field and working on some rusted farm machinery,

I also took a picture of this colorful shack, of which we saw many during our travels.
Perhaps they are repurposed railroad cars.

It threatened to rain all day, and did for a while, but while the rain held off 
the valleys were filled with low-hanging clouds.

This was the rudimentary gas station at which our van stopped for refueling.

Arriving at Hermon, we transferred to Russian-made jeeps for a trip up the mountain.
On the way, we viewed this wall built largely of junked cars.

Atop a steep mountain, we explored the ruined walls of 5th C Smbataberd Castle.

The surrounding fields were full of colorful wildflowers, including these vivid poppies.

We then drove over to the neighboring mountain to view the small 
but wonderfully situated Tsaghats Kar Monastery.

Nearby were the remains of the Catholicos' Palace, surrounded by beautiful wildflowers,
An almost perfect classical ruin.

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