We walked across the bridge between Iran and Armenia pulling our suitcases and removing our headscarves. There was a duty free shop full of alcohol and a young women who worked there in a very short dress.

The Armenian guide immediately made a joke about having barbecue pork for lunch which we did with Armenian beer.

The narrow steep valley was the same
But in Armenia there were cows instead of sheep as in Iran.

Meghri Pass 2450 m above sea level.

Meghri Pass 2450 m above sea level.

Facts and Figures

Armenia is now 75% mountains. The population of Armenia is 3 million with a diaspora of 12 million. You are quickly told that it was the first country to adopt Christianity in the 3rd century, that the design for the churches of Europe originated in Armenia and that much of Armenia’s land is now controlled by other countries especially Turkey.


Churches and monasteries on hilltops and rocky outcrops are very much part of the landscape and history.

Sisian Plateau has possibly the oldest settled area at 4000 BC.

Carahunge Armenia's Stonehenge

Carahunge Armenia’s Stonehenge

About 200km from Yerevan, near the Sisian River, stands Carahunge – a seven-hectare astronomical observatory complex consisting of 204 stones, ‘sitting on the hill like soldiers, huddled in formation’. Referred to as ‘Armenia’s Stonehenge’,

For more information download… Carahunge

Armenian Cross

Armenian Cross

Armenia was part of the Soviet Union until 1991. It has since had a war with Azerbaijan over disputed territory, there is now a cease fire. Armenians require visas to enter this territory. The border with Turkey is closed because Turkey refuses to acknowledge the Armenian genocide in 1915-17.
Armenia has close ties with Russia. Russia helps manage the border with Iran, has a nuclear power plant in Armenia which is staffed by Armenians and supplies natural gas to Armenia. The guide used the word Armenian “independence” in inverted commas.

There are many deserted Soviet factories in Armenia which ceased to operate when the Soviets withdrew which was also the time of the war.

Monument to the 1.5 million Armenians killed in the genocide by Turkey.

Monument to the 1.5 million Armenians killed in the genocide by Turkey.



Filed under From Beijing to Istanbul

9 responses to “Armenia

  1. Chris

    Hi Pat once again a great report – F’s friend from Eygpt said Armenia Christianised by St Paul himself -very proud of “fact” – amazing you’ve been there


  2. Valerie Ingham

    Pretty amazing Pat, to think one million people were killed by the Turks and there really are not that many to begin with.


  3. Glenda

    This is an amazing trip you are having. Is there maany other tourist travelling to these wonderfull places. Glenda


    • There were other European tourists in Armenia and Georgia. There were also others in Tashkent, Buhkara and Samarkand, they fly in for 7 or 10 days Silk Road, mostly of similar age to us, 60 plus.
      We met one group in Osh Uzbekistan who where going from Venice to Shanghai on the Silk Road, they had flown over Iran. They were mostly from France.
      There were 4 mobile homes in Kashgar who were travelling in convoy with an organisation called Peking to Paris. They were also French of the same age.
      We have not seen any in This part of Turkey but we are still 600 km from Istanbul except last night in Sinop.


  4. emma parker

    Hi love the bigger pictures!


  5. I like the little chapel…which reminds me Barbara is thinking of buying a deconsecrated church in Tassie, but not one as cute as your photos. She doen’t get the pews or the alter with the deal though. The nave will take a whole heap of heating to live in of course but she seems determined…


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