Our TransCaucasus trip is drawing to a close. Today we left the pleasant mountain resort of Hermon and drove northwest to the shore of Lake Sevan, where we enjoyed a good fish lunch before returning to Yerevan. Of course, we stopped at several notable sites along the way. However, instead of posting yet more pictures of imposing monasteries and beautiful scenery, I decided that today I would post photos of some of the more offbeat things we saw.
Life-sized garden gnome at Hotel Lucy in Hermon. Note the fig leaf.
Entrance to Orbelyan's caravanserai (14th C) along one of the Silk Road routes.
On the grounds of the caravanserai, a man was selling bottles of fruit extract
(some perhaps alcoholic). Trade still goes on along this route.
Across from Lake Savan, a beautifully aged and colored hill, fronted by a modern monument.
Near Lake Sevan is Noratus Cemetery, notable for a huge collection of khachkhars, ancient stone crosses. To my surprise, the entrance was populated by a number of old women trying persistently to sell us knitware, beads, and other crafts. Fair enough, I guess, since neither we nor they were there for holy purposes.
A small flock of sheep, from whose wool the caps and mittens were presumably knitted.
Detail of a khachkhar, charmingly showing the happiness of the afterlife.
Interior of the church of Hayravank monastery (9th–12th C), with surprisingly modern images.
Outside the back door of the Hayravank church, a winsome collection box.
Our lunch restaurant was just below the Sevanavank monastery complex, which we had visited earlier. Along the road leading up to the complex were booths selling a variety of crafts, including sweatshirts asserting, in a range of languages and colors, "I am Armenian."
Under a blue canopy and perched on costume jewelery, Hello Kitty waves.