I recently took a trip back to Georgia, and I went to Armenia too. I’m not much for travel writing, so I’ll just give you the itinerary and some photos. Then I’ll point out updates I’ve been able to make to past posts.
Before that, however, I’d like to explain this blog’s new header image. For the past two and a half years I’ve used an image of some old Georgian calligraphy that I pulled from Wikipedia. That was fine for a while, but aside from the fact that it wasn’t my own image, it now strikes me as too limited. For while this blog started out as being only about Georgia, regular readers will have noticed that its scope has expanded somewhat to deal also with the regions and cultures surrounding and influencing Georgia. So this new image is fitting: the decayed ruins, covered in Russian graffiti, of an Armenian church in Tbilisi.
Now, on to the trip.
- First, we (my travel companions and I) flew from Istanbul to Tbilisi.
- Early the next day, we left for Armenia. To do this, we took Envoy Hostel’s “Enlinking the Caucasus” tour, which takes you from Tbilisi to Yerevan (or vice versa) while stopping to see the sights. I highly recommend this tour. (If you tell them I sent you, I might get a discount in the future, so do that if you get the chance.) Along the way we saw:
- After that came two days in Yerevan. There we saw:
- Echmiadzin Cathedral, the oldest and most important church in Armenia, along with the large complex surrounding it;
- The Matenadaran, i.e. the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (this was closed while we were there, but we still saw the outside of the building);
- The Sergei Parajanov Museum, which I cannot recommend highly enough, even if you don’t care about Parajanov himself;
- and the dazzling Blue Mosque of Yerevan
- Next we went back to Tbilisi, where we spent one evening. [If you’re thinking “Hey, Nick came all the way to Tbilisi and didn’t want to hang out with me? What an asshole!”, I can assure you that I would have tried to hang out with you if I had had more time, but I really was only out and about in Tbilisi for a few hours.] There we saw:
- The aforementioned Church of the Red Gospel (Destroyed in an earthquake or deliberately blown up? You be the judge.);
- Holy Trinity Cathedral, the current seat of the Georgian Patriarch;
- The Armenian Pantheon of Tbilisi, much of which was destroyed by the construction of the above church;
- and the Ateshgah (ათეშგა, sometimes spelled Atashgah), an old and not-worth-seeing Zorastrian temple;
- So much for the cities. Next we went to my old village, Norio.
- After this we headed west to Imereti to visit Gvishtibi, the old village of another former TLGer.
- And that was pretty much it. Then it was back to Tbilisi for the night, and back to Istanbul the next morning.
The following posts have been updated:
Coincidentally, I’ve also updated Tbilisi: The Palace of Ceremonies, though that update doesn’t really have much to do with my trip.
So those are the updates. I’ve been quiet the past few months, but I swear more posts are coming. (Maybe it’s just winter malaise? The same thing happened last year.) Some posts will have to do with my trip, and other have been sitting idle for for quite some time. I’ll be doing more movie reviews too, because I felt like my last one was a success.