Border Guards, Ruins, and a Dungeon; All before lunch!
Khor Virap Travel Blog› entry 7 of 17 › view all entries
Leaving there we headed through the Ararat valley. It is a flat barren area with poverty ridden towns dotting the road. We saw people working in the fields and around their houses. From every angle we had unobstructed views of Mt Ararat. It was another clear, bright, and very sunny day. Our next stop was at the Artashat Ruins. It was a capital of
Moving on to Khor Virap Monastery we were set to see the dungeon where St Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 12 years. He was secretly fed by Christian women who dropped food down a hole to him each day. We all stood in a jumbled group in a corner of the church. There was no clear direction as to what to do or what we would see. Our guide had pushed his way to the front and was trying to direct things. It was really hot and the air seemed thick with sweat. I and a couple of others gave up and went outside. Rob stuck it out and went down the ladder mounted in a narrow hole to the dungeon. It turned out to be round room that is 4 meters diameter and 6 meters tall.
We were all getting hungry at this point as it was now early afternoon. We went to the village next to Khor Virap. The owner (an artist) and his family hosted us. The house they live in had been constructed the previous year by Habitat for Humanity. Their old house which sat next door had been practically demolished. The remains served as a barrier and parts of sheds. They had many cactuses on the patio. In the demolished section they had a coop with large chicks. The bathroom was an outhouse out behind the house. It had a simple hole in the floor you squat over to use. Just across form the outhouse in a pen by the house was a young pig. Further behind the outhouse was a vegetable garden.
Lunch consisted on fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, an egg and peas dish, lavash bread, fried potatoes, and beef patties. Everything was delicious and very fresh. We all were able to eat well and enjoy. After lunch we were all full and sat around chatting for a few minutes. Nates took the opportunity for a cat nap.