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[Dispatches From Armenia]: Saghmosavank, Kazak, and Ashtarak.

July 15, 2010

By Erin Henk

We have had the privilege of seeing the drama of Armenia’s landscape unfold before our eyes and it has certainly grabbed a hold of me. Today we got to depart from the cosmopolitan streets of Yerevan and delve into the dramatically sloping hills and cliffs of the Armenian countryside. At Saghmosavank we stood at the edge of a gorge, gazing out over a sheer drop down to where the River Kazak cuts through. My quasi fear of heights didn’t get in my way too much as I soaked in the strong sun and gazed out at the surreal scene before me. Next, many of us tested our bravery by climbing up rocky footpaths to the top of the Ambert fortress in Ashtarak to gaze out into a dramatic valley below. To watch the land change from smooth highways into craggy cliffs with hairpin turns is absolutely amazing, even if they summon car sickness because these long rides also unravel stories from my fellow travel companions.

I love learning more and more about their previous experiences in this land or the impressions of those who are visiting for the first time. So, more to come.

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Credit: Samantha McQueen

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