When travelling, I tend to use more local means of transport like bus, minibus and train. In Armenia, however, it is organised in such a way that almost everything goes to/from Yerevan and you don’t have soooo many connections in between. And so it would have taken me quite a long time to get to my next destination with a diversion via Yerevan. I took a look in my wallet: I had spent much less than calculated (40,-/day). So I treated myself to a taxi ride – which is not particularly expensive. But it was also an experience I enjoyed.
I started in Goris and said goodbye to Mrs. Mira, owner of the hotel of the same name, which I thought was very good. And Mrs Mira is also a warm good woman
When you ask people to take a photo and they agree, they often raise their hands in greeting and beam into the camera. Not so my taxi driver. He roared up in a Mercedes, his trousers bristling and his face frowning. His name is Garik and he doesn’t speak English.
Garik drove very fast and snappy and I don’t know how fast because his speedometer was broken. He was good at multitasking, talked on the phone all the time and avoided all the pitfalls of the road brilliantly. Music was playing the whole time, very very sad-sounding Armenian songs. The sun was shining at the start
There were many Iranian trucks on the road – it is the best connection between Iran and Yerevan.
There was one place where they were all standing around and you had to stop. I don’t know why exactly. But small cars were soon allowed to drive on
We also passed 2 big posters with Putin, but what exactly they said: no idea.
And we met cows on the road which stopped us
And then we met camels! A man was walking along the road with two of them. Garik also thought this was worth seeing and drove at camel pace speed for a photo.
We also saw herds of sheep, not on but next to the road.
Slowly the sky became cloudy
Here Garik was keen to stop and disappeared with the gentleman into his hut and soon came out again. Dubious business??? Otherwise, the gentleman sold dried or smoked fish draped along the road
Do you have any idea now where I was heading? Yes! To Lake Sevan! One of the largest lakes, 78 km long and situated at 1,900 m. It is a protected area, which means that fishing is limited. The fish on offer were not too many either.
Then we came to an old monastery on the shore. I wanted to stop for a visit. Garik looked completely irritated. I insisted: stop! Stop! I pointed at myself and said “Touristi”. Then something like a smile crossed his face, he pointed at me and said “Touristi” and then at himself and said “Taxi”. So we clarified our relationship well again. And he stopped and I visited.
I didn’t find the monastery really remarkable and didn’t take a pretty picture, only of the few other tourists who were also there. I also took a picture of the lakeshore. In pictures, Lake Sevan always looks so pretty in turquoise blue. Not in overcast weather.
And then we were quite quickly in Sevan, a place in the northern part that I thought was the centre of bathing tourism. Whether that was true and what it was like there – that’s in the next blog post!