Syunik – old settlements, landscape and more landscape



So in the morning I walked this asphalt road again and had a new dog problem. A man was also walking down the road and he had a big dog that ran back and forth and yapped a lot. I was afraid of him (maybe unfounded, but I have been afraid of dogs since childhood). I thought: no problem, I’ll just keep my distance and then I’ll turn off soon.


But it was a problem, the man kept stopping, looking, talking on the phone, smoking, looking again. I also kept stopping. But I wasn’t really making any progress that way. At some point the man even came up to me – fortunately without a dog. He said something. I tapped on my translation aid that I was afraid of the dog. He looked funny and went on saying something. I don’t know what the translation told him. He then continued walking in the direction of his dog, I slowly followed at a distance, he stopped again often and looked at me. And then finally came a turn-off, which was not the correct one, but I could find my path over it. Whew, I was relieved when it was finally over!


Dog left in field, poorly visible


So now I went down this gorge slope a bit and then I could see all the great scenery. Wow!


view ahead




You can already see the next person approaching. Fortunately with a horse and without a dog.


Man on horse


This was a very nice smiling older gentleman and even eager to take photos. He told us about a group that was coming and sure enough! Shortly afterwards, another rider, a guide and 2 tourists came along! However, they were not eager to talk and trudged down. Later I saw them again and heard a few words – I think Russian. They seemed to have a car with them and it was clear that they were not on a long hiking tour. So you can obviously travel differently here 😀.


Their and my first destination was Old Khot, the abandoned settlement. And it was indeed worth seeing. Sandstones, ruins, entrances, abandoned houses, everything there to discover and climb around!


Old Khot




abandoned houses


Actually, I don’t have much else to report about the hiking hours. It was mainly along this side of the gorge, sometimes up, sometimes down, sometimes on a narrow path, sometimes on a wider path and always pretty to look at. The views changed and so I took one landscape photo after the other. I hardly met any people. But there were some who still had vegetable gardens or fruit and nut trees there.


view back


Across the way, a clear path pointed upwards, but that was not mine


many rocks, many shrubbery, many beautiful


a single tree


If then there is some shade: all the more pretty


small hut with small garden


I met one of them briefly, he was kind of wandering (but he only had an almost empty mini backpack and a big water bottle with him) in the opposite direction. He was Armenian and had a girlfriend in Dresden. But he had never been there. And before I could ask more, he hurried on. Here you can see him as a little man on the wide path.


small armenian-dot


Old Shinuhayr was not so exciting and I only went through Old Halidzor the next day. This day I went back up to the plateau to New Halidzor, where there was accommodation.


Halidzor has a celebrity and it is this one:


cable car


Yes, that’s right, a cable car! But not just any cable car, the longest on a rope! It is 5.75 km long and leads across the gorge to the famous Tatev Monastery opposite. It was built by an Austrian-Swiss company and is supposed to make tourism even more attractive. I now had the choice: down to the gorge and up again on the other side – or a 12 min cable car ride. The decision comes in the next post 😁.