It's day two in Yerevan and I'm loving this city more and more...I've even managed to avoid sun burn (knock on wood). We went to a jazz bar for dinner and met some locals. My grasp of the language is still awful but everyone has been surprisingly tolerant. Even the physical atmosphere is great. The sun never sets before 10 pm and parks are filled with families until 2 am. Armenians are night birds, like me.
We were lucky to have the opportunity to visit Garni and Geghard today. It was interesting to see the remains of an Armenian church physically built on the side wall of a 1st century B.C. pagan temple. It makes me proud to descend from a tolerant culture that respected and remembered their past. Tourists flocked from Iran and neighboring countries. The temple and fortress of Garni had something to interest everyone, from Greek-style baths to rolling hills and streams.
Geghard was completely different than anything I've ever seen. It was a monastery built into a mountain, almost like an extremely elaborate cave. I won't lie, if I lived with the views the monastery of Geghard had, I would have been a monk, too. It was surrounded by gorgeous waterfalls and stunning mountain peaks. The cool interior even provided much-needed relief from the 105 degree F heat. I was absolutely amazed with Armenia.
We're off to eat some fresh food in Ashtarak tomorrow. Ts'tesutyun for now!