The internet said that the cable car to Tatev does not run on Mondays. It was Monday – decision taken 😀. No, I wouldn’t have gone anyway, 1. I’m afraid of heights when there’s no solid ground under my feet and 2. I wanted to go hiking. But while I was doing that, I saw that the cable car was running after all.
So I left the signs of civilisation behind me and headed for the gorge!
At the beginning I met a lot of people, a young man with a red face and an English greeting hurrying up the slope, a young man with a dog overtaking me and hurrying down the slope (also greeting in English, the man, not the dog) and an old man standing on the slope greeting me.
Soon I reached Old Halidzor
Old Halidzor captivated with old abandoned church
and a graveyard
And then it went straight down. One of today’s pitfalls was thorns. There were plants with these really long thorns and blackberries. Most of the blackberries were dried up red or black. But I managed to find a few tasty ones. It was definitely a good idea on all treks here to wear long trousers even if I sweated more in them.
And then I was down there looking for the bridge to cross the river. I was also looking for the river, too
With this impressive gorge, I imagined a somewhat more exciting river.
On the other side, there was a long stretch. First the path was wide, then narrow and then a horse stood across. Nearby three bigger boys were busy harvesting trees. They didn’t really understand my horse problem (I’m also a bit afraid of horses – besides, it was blocking the path and was tied up) and then there was an additional problem: a yapping dog. The boys were able to hold him back and I then made a larger turn in the undergrowth around the horse.
The path continued, sometimes a little uphill, then downhill again, the gorge became narrower, a larger group with fishing rods came towards me and then it was really uphill.
On the way up, there was a stop at the abandoned Great Hermitage of Tatev. And at the top there was the great famous Tatev Monastery. Both get an extra blog post along with more explanations about the Armenian religion.
So I climbed back up about 700 metres in altitude that I had previously descended, and slowly and steadily it wasn’t really a problem. Nevertheless, I was quite happy when I reached the top.
And from higher up, the gorge looked quite different again.
On the top is the village of Tatev with nice accommodation and sheep on the main road
On this tour I did not write anything about the accommodation, which was not as remarkable and fine as on the first tour. An uncharming drive-through hotel, an overpriced B&B and in Tatev a quite nice guesthouse with a very charming, radiant English-speaking tall daughter who also runs a restaurant and baked an insanely delicious honey cake the next morning,
This was the end of the little trek. Quite different from the first one – they can both stand side by side very well.
And what it was like in the Tatev Monastery and the Hermitage etc.? – about that in the next blogpost!