As the weather was grey and misty, with no view at all, we were looking for other entertainment, for example a stop at a huge bakery/restaurant. But we also came past the Armenian alphabet, a cross to commemorate the long history of Christianity in this country, and finally an astronomic research station. Oh yes, and there was a monastery too 😉
Like in Georgia, the typical bread is made in an oven called tone, where the dough is stuck to the wall until it is done. In Aparan we came past this huge bakery, a must stop for everyone.
In 2005, the Armenian alphabet celebrated its 1600th birthday. All 39 letters were carved from stone and put into the landscape.
Today we went only to one monastery, there would have been more, but we don’t want to get sick of monasteries. This one is Hovhannavank monastery, where the oldest part is from the 4th century. The monastery stands on the edge of the Kasagh River canyon.
In the late afternoon we took a chance and drove to Byurakan, to see if we might be able to visit the observatory. When we arrived there on a Sunday at 4pm, it was possible to get a guided tour in English, which we found exceptional!
Founded in 1946, the observatory was one of the main astronomy centres of the USSR. The observatory has discovered special star clusters — stellar associations (1947), more than 1,000 flare stars, dozens of supernovae, hundreds of Herbig–Haro objects and cometary nebulae, hundreds of galaxies.
We were looking for a spot for the night, preferably outside of town, but it got dark and we had no luck, so we ended at a parking close to the centre of Yerevan. More about the capital of Armenia on our next post!