Monastery at Haghartsin
Next it back into the mini-bus and down into Dilijan again. We were able to find the meat this time and Rob grabbed a couple of Snickers bars for a snack for us. It was a good thing too, because lunch was not until 15:00. Meat in hand we start towards Haghartsin, another monastery. We started snaking back into the forest. A quick stop for firewood and we were on. When we arrived at the monastery it was covered in scaffolding as it is being heavily renovated with money from a sheik. He came for a visit as his financial advisor is Armenian. He loved the church so much when he saw it he decided to donate the money for the renovation. The interior of the church was very similar to the last one, but it had a water trough around the outer edge of the outer room.
Behind the church there was a tree which looked like it was hollowed out buy fire or lightening. Supposedly if you stand inside the tree and make a wish it will come true. There were dozens of Armenian people lined up to do this. We waited and made our wishes, too, my was three part. There was also a tree with many pieces of fabric tired to it. Gevorg told us that it is good luck to tie a piece of fabric on a tree near a church. The views were so spectacular.
Chandelier at Haghartsin
We began to get a little crowded with all of the children so we headed back into the forest to find a place for the barbecue. The first site we stopped at didn’t have benches so we moved on.
When we agreed upon a spot it was time to start the fire. This old guy came along (looking like trouble) and was having an argument with Gevorg about a fee that was due and he wanted to charge much more than Gevorg thought was fair but, didn’t want to argue anymore and paid it. The wood that we bought wasn’t dry enough so it took a while to start the fire. There was a lot of smoke and eventually a fire. I went for a walk down the hill and along the stream. There was a really great tree easy to climb up into with a view of the stream. Gevorg and the driver began cooking. The pork pieces they had were big and juicy. For me, they made potatoes. To rounded out the meal with cucumbers and tomatoes and Armenian flat bread called Lavash. It is flat and similar to a tortilla. The food was very delicious and Rob ate so much meat he could look at it any more. Gevorg actually out ate Rob. He must have a hollow leg, because he is a very skinny guy.
Majestic view from Haghartsin Monastery