We stood in the sun, in the shadow of Ararat, and descended vertically into the pit of st. Gregory the illuminator at Khor Virap Monastery before arriving in Goris, a picturesque town in the south. Its probably changed very little in the past 20 years. It's our stop for the night and was the jumping off point for our visit to Tatev, a beautiful monastery on the edge of a gorge, which apparently few visitors to Armenia actually travel to see.
After bouncing along in our van up paperclip mountain turns we arrived just in time to see the monastery before the clouds blanketed it completely. It was breathtaking. And from there we set out on foot to explore it - peeking through doorways and windows that look out on the mountains, observing a worship service, and (some of us) braving a climb along its severely aged infrastructure. We ate dinner overlooking this incredible sight, toasting our skilled driver, thankful for the treasures we saw.
Pretty much a perfect day