Wednesday, Sep 21 was truly a day where all the emotions that have been bottled up inside started to surface. I have heard many stories and seen many pictures of the Armenian people. My people. My countrymen. My brothers and sisters. Seeing them with my own eyes and hearing the stories with my own ears has been very different.
My posts have mostly been a summary of our days, I have not been able to express to you my innermost feelings. Not because I do not want to but because I cannot. When we get back to the 'Hueranotz' (hotel) I have not been able to deal with my feelings. They are too raw, too fresh.
I do know though that I want to share the story of these amazing people and if you are interested I will do so once I am home. I will tell their individual stories one-by-one.
On this day we got an early start to visit the Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery on the way we stopped at the Ararat (Charench) Arch. This great arch was erected to give the visitor the perfect view of Mt Ararat. Noah's ark came to rest of the tip of Mt Ararat and it is truly a national symbol for the Armenians. It is now within the Turkish borders but still considered by Armenians as their own. No matter where you are in Yerevan you can see the tip on a clear day.
From here we continued the drive up the mountain (for those who may not know Armenia is a very mountaineous country) to Geghard Monastery built in the 4th century. It is partly carved out of the side of a mountain and later the main cathedral was built in the 12th century. The path leading up to the monastery is lined by vendors selling souvenirs and snacks (sweet 'sujukh', lavash (bread) and gata).
These carvings are 'khachkar' which means 'stone-cross'. No two carvings are alike.
To be contd: Garni Temple, watching lavash being made and visitations.