Noravank Monastery sitting in the cayon
Bellies full we headed on to Noravank Monastery. It is set back in a canyon in the Areni region. As we drove through the canyon we were all in awe of the landscapes. It reminded me of Arizona. The rock faces rising from the green valley. Noravank is unique because it a two story church. It was designed and built by an architect to impress a king. He fell in love with the king’s daughter, but because he was just a poor architect this would never be accepted. He went to the king and as was told if he could impress the king then he could marry the daughter. So the architect built this new and different church. The king was impressed and knew he would have to fulfill his promise, so he sent his guards to the church and told them to kill the architect when he laid the last stone.
This is such a sad story for such a beautiful building. One of the other churches in the complex has the only representation of God on an Armenian building.
We climbed up the hill behind the monastery some while Gevorg told us to watch out for snakes. Once again Rob was thrilled. The views were so insanely beautiful it was like being in a postcard. It just was not real. We made our way down with lots of cameras going. It was time to move on to the last stop for the day. On the way we had a pause at the entrances to caves in the canyons. There are extensive caves with stalactites and stalagmites in them. We didn’t have time to explore so we were off.
Just down the road we stopped at the Areni Wine Factory for a tasting.
The Areni grapes are said to be the nest in Armenia. The wines have won numerous awards. They also make wines form other fruits from the area. We tried a red that most of the others like, but Rob and I were not impressed. We thought it was just too dry. The next was a semi-sweet red. We thought it would be wonderful for sangria and you wouldn’t even need to add sugar. Moving on to the fruit wines, I really enjoyed the pomegranate and cherry wines. I had to buy one of each to bring home for sharing. We also tried a white that wasn’t even labeled. It wasn’t very good and just tasted dry. No one really cared for it and a single glass was passed around and not finished. We passed on that one.