Noravank and Yerevan
Leaving Goris proved a minor drama (see ATMS) with cash machines not working.
My panicking taxi driver agreed to find a ATM back in Yerevan which I did.
If going to any city outside of Yerevan then it is better to take out money before leaving than relying on finding a working ATM.
On the way back I visited Noravank, which for me is one of the most beautiful locations for a very beautiful monastery in Armenia.
Built in the early 12 century although the surviving churches are from the 13th it follows the tradition of built upon a high cliff race. The ride up was attractive and the sight from the monastery is yet another sweeping and pretty panorama.
The churches themselves are decorated with exquisite patterns and writing.
From Noravank I proceeded back to Yerevan having seen some of the most beautiful sights I have seen anywhere.
Back in Yerevan, I took Tata’s advice and visited the Sergei Parajonov museum.
The museum displays many works of the genius artist and film maker and it is recommended to take an English language tour. You may have a wait as I did. There is also a separate fee for pictures, you can pay after the tour if you wish.
The museum itself is fascinating and again a tour is needed to fully appreciate his works if you are not familiar with then. A great museum, and I hope to visit again.
Arpine introduced me to Gohar, another welcoming and kind Armenian.
Later I joined Gohar and the Armenian Volunteer Corps at a dinner where I met the lovely Zaruhi, and others.
I was then invited to an Irish pub. The theme was Halloween which I do not celebrate. However there were plenty of people in normal costume. I had a very enjoyable time.
On another day I met Zaruhi, and Mark by chance after meeting Tata in the Segfrado coffee shop. Zahuri kindly invited me to join her at a live music event which was fantastic.
Such places in Yerevan have a wonderful atmosphere however with one drawback. Yerevan is very much geared for smokers, even in small confirmed spaces. Going there meant that even my bag smelt so strongly of cigarette. The heath benefits (of not) and dangers of passive smoking haven’t permeated Armenian society yet.