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Monasteries, Iranians, and ancient bread

On our second tour with Sati Tours (I haven't posted about the first one...yet), we went back to Lake Sevan, but only made a quick stop…

…and then Goshavank Monastery in Dilijan, which was built in the 12th century and nestled in a picturesque mountain village…

…and is home to one of the most famous lacework khachkar…

We took so many pictures at Goshavank! The building is beautiful, the surrounding landscape is beautiful. It’s fascinating to realize how old it is and incredibly wonderful to have it in such great condition. It no longer functions as a monastery but still attracts masses of tourists. Visitors: please use it with care. I want it to still be around for a long time.

The next stop was Haghartsin Monastery (yes, another monastery) from the 10th century. A lot of the monasteries we’ve toured have been remote, but Haghartsin was especially isolated. We went up a mountain quite a ways and deep into the forest. It was being renovated when we got there. The work is being funded by an Arab from Dubai (yeah, I don’t get it either lol). This monastery doesn't operate anymore but has an interesting feature: a “bakery” with a brick oven making and selling bread. What’s cool about it is that it’s the same ancient oven that was used by the monks hundreds of years ago! It still functions. We bought some delicious, right-from-the-oven goodies. Those monks were living large, I tell ya.
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Our next stop was another monastery called...something, in...somewhere. I sort of had an overload of these ancient structures and can't tell you anything about this particular visit except that it was raining.

Part of the tour was stopping at a local resident’s house in Dilijan for a home-cooked Armenian meal. Here’s our tour group.

The two on the right are newly-weds from Iran honeymooning in Armenian. Next to them is a couple from Switzerland – an Armenian girl and Italian guy – also on their honeymoon. Then there’s the lady from Australia; beside her is Armine, our spectacular tour guide; and our bus driver at the head of the table. On the other side, which isn't visible, is a couple from NY, and my mom and sis. The “traditional” Armenian meal was good, but nowhere near the caliber of my mama’s cooking. Thanks though :)

Posted by NatalieSLC 06:40 Archived in Armenia

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It was a nice sunny weather in Dilijan on June 2010, the time when we arrived to spend our holidays.
We found the city a bit boring, but rich in nature. we thought there will be much more to see but 2 days
was enough to cover Dilijans tourist atractions. The museums, churches and the old city are the main ones.
We faced food poisening in the B&B service we stayed in, Dili Villa House hotel, I was not sure of that place
from the begining, it was dirty, the owners rud and careless. Surprised about such a hotel specially when you
find its advertised in a good manner in the internet at www.dilitours.de it made us build trust but it was a lie !!
After 2 days we left to Ijevan and back to Yerevan.
Dilijan city is a nice place with calm and atmosphere good specially for old people.

by Fritz111

Fritz111 - I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience. But I'm not surprised that you didn't find the town diverting enough. For what I understand, it's the kind of place that people go to for day trips, not extended visits. I would have to agree that 2 days would be more than enough to see all that it has to offer. However, I cannot speak enough about its natural setting. The area is beautiful! The kind of place where one can relax and appreciate God's creation.

by NatalieSLC

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