In the morning it turned out, that it's not that easy to leave Goris: central streets were closed for cars due to some weddings (well, it's a small town, thus a wedding is a big event here), so we had to find some other way around to exit it.
It's not that easy to reach Tatev by car. There is a heavy serpentine road on the last part of the way. However there is an other way around: cable car over the serpentine. We could make this part just in 12 minutes by a cable car, instead of 40 minutes on the serpentine.
I wasn't lucky with the weather. It was cloudy, thus everything looked a bit grey.
In Tatev there was not just a religious life, but also a political. In the beginning of 20th century here was founded a separate state -- Republic of Mountainous Armenia. However 6 months later is was simply included into Soviet Republic of Armenia.
Or just fool around a bit (:
There was not a lot of visitors here. Though it wasn't a surprise for me. Tatev is quite far from any other interesting location around. We were in doubt if it really worth to visit this place just for Tatev.
A lot of tourists come here on a way to Nagorny Karabakh, however we didn't plan to visit it. Anyway we decided to visit the monastery in the end, and I believe it was the right decision.
I had an impression, that it worth to spend here the entire day. One can easily find some stuff to do here. Downstairs there is a spring, and it might be fun to swim there a bit. Unfortunately we didn't have time for that (:
You might noticed, that photos from the monastery garden are not that interesting. So I went a bit up, from where I could observe panoramic view on the monastery. It really impressed me.
Reconstruction work a bit spoils the view, but still it's beautiful.
I can't say that Tatev hit me so hard that I fell in love with it. However together with the road I made, picturesque views along it (and the way back) it was cool experience. I'm really happy with it.
Time waits for no man, so we had to move back to Tbilisi.
On the way we made a stop to visit Selimian caravanserai. We simply couldn't pass it by without a stop. It's very old (almost a 1000 years), however it doesn't work already :) It was empty and wet inside. So we had to go further.
Some photos from the way:
After a while we reached lake Sevan. Pictures of the lake are a bit more below. Right now here is yet another ancient monastery -- Ayravank. In this place they have way too many khachkars (memorial stele bearing a cross). Looks beautiful.
Next to monastery there was a group of guys who came here to have some rest and drink some vodka. They asked us to join and even the fact, that we were drivers didn't stop them from asking one more time (:
Anyway we had neither time, nor desire to stay with these guys, so we moved on. To Sevanavank.
From where I could observe one of the highest lakes in the world.
In the last century people started the project to lower the water level to increase water usage effectiveness and also use the land under the water. However it turned out, that the land is not really fruitful and the low water level is not good for the nature. So the project was stopped and now people still are trying to increase the water level back.