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Armenia: What We Have Not Yet Learned

Published: 4.4.2014
If you are tired of climbing, just go to relax on Sevan Lake. It is a mountain lake (1900 meters) and the largest lake in the Caucasus. It is located in the Armenia Highlands. The lake is surrounded by plain hills. The whole place is very quiet. Large waves appear on the lake when it is particularly windy. Beware of cancers while swimming. It is not very pleasant experience being bitten by their claws. But, on the other hand, they are worth eating.


Another kind is a trip to Zorats Karer (or Armenian Stonehenge, or Karahunj). It is close from Sisian (southeast of the country). There are menhirs, i.e. vertical stones. These stones are particularly interesting for the holes in their upper part. They were made in Prehistoric age in various angles. Thanks to them the Prehistoric people were able to know the time. When wind blows through them, it makes a whistly sound.


To those who would miss mountains I recommend to visit Ughtasar lake (3 200 meters). There are located very important petroglyphs in Armenia. There are dozens engravings in rocks among the peaks of beautiful and colorful montains. These engravings are the symbols of Armenia. They are used, for example, on cups or wall paintings in restaurants. There is a way leading to the lake, ascending. According to the locals, a hike to the lake would take several days. But you can pay for a driver there. He owns a Soviet UAZ 4x4. He will take you to the hills.


It was a really fascinating experience. Not only the drive itself (he was always filling cooling liquid, repairing gears…) but also the landscape and the view of Azerbaijan hills; it is close to the border. You can hire a driver in Zorats Karer as well. A young man will call his friend owing a UAZ. Perhaps he will take you to an adventure similar to ours. When you will find yourself up in the hills I recommend you Vorotan Hot Springs located nearby.


The surroundings of Tatev is another very interesting place that you will certainly like. Every tourists knows Tatev mostly for its 9th century monastery. A masterpiece if you stand in the right direction. The monastery is located on beautiful cliffs. This view will remain in your memory. The monastery is close to the village of the same name, Tatev. We speak about a place 250 kilometers away from Yerevan, Syunik Province. It is a bautiful region that differs from the rest of the country with its flora. It is a region with forests, glacier canyon through which the river Vorotan flows. This canyon is truly breathtaking. You can drive it through on a road, or you can see the canyon from above on a cable way. The cable way runs from Halidzor to Tatev.


An information center is located in the village. You can read through several book guides and plan your climbing trip or a touristic trip to local hills. The staff of the cable way will certainly help you to get the right direction. Also, do not worry to ask kind locals.


Climbers should go to Halidzor village. You can climb there. Another option is Tatevi Anapat in a valley. A place where the Vorotan flows. Also, you can climb above tha parking lot by Devil’s Bridge (between Halidzor and Tatev). Or also right by Tatev monastery, near one of the cable way stations. There are many tourist trails in the area as well.


Text/photo: Martina Brožková

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