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Old 10-09-2013, 09:24 AM   #991
Dickyb OP
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Location: Kas-Antalya,Turkey
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Well rested, well lubricated and with bearings bearing up it was time to head for Yerevan, the capital of Armenia







passing some interesting structures along the way









A cross made of crosses, how bizarre









Popped into what I thought was a petrol station, turned out to be for LPG Here in Turkey LPG is fed into a car's tank using a hose the diameter of a baby's arm and all sorts of quick release, secure sealing wizardy. Armenian folk use a pipe akin to what you would blow your tyres up with. The stench of gas was everywhere. They also have blast walls between filling points








Good job, really






...............................
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:57 PM   #992
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.................On the way into Yerevan we hit traffic, lots of it. Seeing a short cut I rode across some waste ground and back on to the main road only to be pulled over by a chap with a rather fetching cap








He and his oppo went through the usual nonsense demanding 90 quid for my misdemeanor. Having ascertained they didn't speak English, I gave them a mouthful, rummaged around and came up with 20 quid and the option of taking it or leaving it. They took it, we left to find our hotel with it's stunning view of Mt Ararat and Little Ararat, allegedly









Downtown Yerevan was a revelation, wide avenues and impressive buildings


















and a definite cafe culture with beautiful young woman catching up on gossip over a cappuccino before perhaps buying something for the little one








or the old man









Mind you, the weather forecast looks favorable









..................
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:23 PM   #993
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I'm envious. I'd like to end up in Turkey when I can retire in about 14 months. Your report thread makes it look very appealing indeed. Keep it comin'!
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:05 AM   #994
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....Thanks Taranaki Armenia has a mum too Mother Armenia, a hefty lass fashioned from hammered copper who keeps an eye on the eternal flame and her feet firmly planted on the War Museum on which she stands.








After paying our respects we headed out of town to Khor Virap Monastery at the foot of a cloud covered Mt Ararat








Khor Virap is Armeny speak for "deep well" and it was here that the pagan King Trdat 111 imprisoned Gregory the Illuminator in a well for 12 years. Local women secretly fed Greg which was fortunate because he was then able to cure King Trdat of the madness which befell him The king converted to Christianity and St Greg became the first Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church and set about building churches on top of pagan temples and teaching the faith



These churches are beautiful in form, well to me anyway















...........................

Dickyb screwed with this post 10-10-2013 at 04:28 AM
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:40 AM   #995
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Talking

Since I have spent several days in Antalya, I can see why you chose this area. Nice place, really is
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:10 AM   #996
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Hi David!
Here's a photo of me - Georgia, Abano Pass

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Old 10-13-2013, 05:30 AM   #997
Dickyb OP
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Hey Ivan, great to hear from you and thanks for the photo Can I pinch it and send it to the kids? We rarely get photos of us together Hope you had a great trip and that you will post more pics on Advrider.

All the best from sunny Turkey

Cheers,

David
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:36 AM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickyb View Post
Hey Ivan, great to hear from you and thanks for the photo Can I pinch it and send it to the kids? We rarely get photos of us together Hope you had a great trip and that you will post more pics on Advrider.

All the best from sunny Turkey

Cheers,

David


Ok!
Turkey is great!

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Old 10-13-2013, 08:04 AM   #999
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..........Then it was off, over the hills and far away (as Planty may have sung)









to Noravank, or New Monastery, founded by Bishop Hovhannes in 1105 dramatically situated at the end of a long valley














Climbing the narrow outside steps of Surp Astvatsatin Church









enables a good view of the dome inside









Wiser folk than me say the church is reminiscent of towerlike burial structures created in the early years of Christianity. The smaller Surp Karapet Church








is the original shrine built by the miracle-working Bishop Hovhannes. Noravank once contained a piece of the True Cross stained with the blood of Christ, acquired from a mysterious stranger, allegedly



A stunning place to visit in a beautiful setting. However, we couldn't dally if we wanted to get to the north western area of Svaneti in Georgia..........
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:50 AM   #1000
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...........Not wishing to take part in any more chariot races through Tbilisi we decided to leave Yerevan and skirt along the southern edges of Armenia and cross into Georgia at Bavra with the days end hopefully seeing us in Bakuriani near Borjomi


The roads were wonderful








Never seen so many eagles and birds of prey. They were parked on rocks, overhead pylons and fences though inevitably when we parked up to snap them the pesky blighters flew off







The day went on and just got better












Bellies rumbled, time for a snack. Little bloke waved his paws about









Good job he's partial to TUC biscuits









Mid afternoon saw us in Akhalkalali in Georgia I'd stopped at a junction and asked a couple of guys in my best Russian if we were on the road to Bakuriani. "да" they replied. Juliet asked how much further to go. Sucking a bit of atmosphere through my teeth I settled on the number 2 and added hours on the end. The road started well enough though









but soon turned to corrugated nonsense. "Wont last long, luv!" I optimistically opined as she bounced around behind me. After half an hour and no respite I asked a couple of local lads if we were heading the right way. One of them started waving his arms about and gesticulating. Half an hour later the penny dropped. He'd been trying to tell me that I was a knob and should turn round and find the main road. Feeling particularly knobbish I carried on reckoning we must be more than half way by now. Two hours later we were at 2500m and the Mrs was at her wits end








"Ok Marco bloody Polo, you'd better tell me where we are or you I'm going to shove this wedding ring.................." she ranted








Three hours later we arrived at our destination battered, bruised but still talking, albeit barely ............



A couple of beers soon relaxed us and we were best mates again. We wanted to get up north to Ushguli in the Svaneti region of Georgia which apparently looks like this (photo knicked off the interweb)







The weather forecast wasn't promising but we decided to give it a go. After a night in Kutaisi we headed towards Ushguli with the aim of reaching Mestia. The day started grim








and got much worse









Three days of thunder storms and torrential rain up in the mountains had caused major flooding. Soaking wet through we returned down the road to Lentekhi. Stopping at some dilapidated government offices I went about searching for somewhere to stay. No one spoke English and I had exhausted my limited Russian by getting us well and truly lost a couple of days previously. Wandering over to break the news to Juliet I heard a sweet voice whisper "Bonjour, je peux vous aider?" Sweet voice belonged to a sweeter French teacher who the locals had phoned up on seeing our dilemma. Lovely folk, those Georgians French teacher got on the blower and called Maia. Maia is a local lass who works for the local health authority looking after unfortunate folk for the princely sum of 180 Euros a month. She also looks after her husband, who is recovering from a stroke, and her mother in law. Not having enough folk to look after she also takes in lost souls on motorbikes in inclement weather. Maia lives in a rambling old Georgian house







with basic facilities










but my word, the girl can cook









Maia looked after us for two days while we waited for the weather to change, it didn't. If you are ever in Lentekhi look her up. A woman with a heart as big as her smile










.............................

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Old 10-18-2013, 04:03 AM   #1001
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.........With the weather forecast not to improve we decided to head south and see what eastern Turkey had to offer. Plenty, as it turned out.
First stop was the ancient ruined Armenian city of Ani









The city of a hundred gates










and a thousand churches









At one time Ani was home to over 200,000 and such was the magnificence and size of the place that it had no match in the west. In the east the city gave Cairo, Baghdad and Constantinople a run for their money. The Mongol raids, a severe earthquake in 1319 and the advent of Tamerlane eventually destroyed the city forever A splendid place to wander for a couple of hours soaking in the atmosphere


































Geographically we were about 30 miles east of where we had been 10 days ago but we had to travel about 240 miles to get here. Then we were in Armenia, now we were in Turkey. With no open border between Armenia and Turkey we had to gain access via Georgia. Bloody politics!


The site of Ani itself is next to the Armenian/Turkish border and the watchtowers and barracks of Armenia border guards can be clearly seen as you bimble about.










Our next stop was Doğuybayazıt, or "Doggy Biscuit" as it is sometimes referred to, passing Mt Ararat on the way. Still covered in cloud









Doğuybayazıt is the rather drab frontier town which serves as a crossing point from Turkey into Iran. We were there to see the pleasure palace of Ishak Paşa









Built in around 1800 by Ishak who was a feudal overlord the palace dominated the lucrative silk caravan routes from its vantage point on the hillside. We got there at closing time so had to settle with a view from above










..............................
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:48 AM   #1002
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Hi Dave,

enjoying the pictures & write up keep up the good work..

PG from the rainy UK
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:03 PM   #1003
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Bloody smashing Dicky, i'm planning on getting over that way next springish
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:23 AM   #1004
asilindean
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Great trip, beautiful places, nice pics and a grey storyteller

It seams to me that you enjoyed your trip :)

Keep it coming.

Where to next?
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:27 AM   #1005
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This is front page material




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