Laura's Bed & Breakfast
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Travel Blogs from Stepanavan
The time was escaping these two travelers and the conundrum of how to use it became more difficult. At last they decided that Stepanavan would be a nice place to see a bit of Lori Province.
Alas, their marshrutka endeavors were not so smooth this time. They learned 'Stepanavan' in Armenian (Ստեփա 398;ավան) and easily found the correct marshrutka. As before, they climbed on and waited for the vehicle to fill. ...
We left Tbilisi around 4pm and headed towards the Armenian border. The drive took only an hour. Just before the border we filled up with petrol to the last drop that our tank could take and went to the crossing point. We went through the georgian border checkpoint where they initially didn't recognize our car registration documents and were asking for the car passport. So we said that this is the one and we were finally let through. We stopped at no man's land in ...
... give up.
One thing that is visibly different here is the new police station with big windows--sort of the symbol of a new transparency Georgia wants to have with its law enforcers. Actually, as I've heard, as part of its effort to get a clean start and be serious about Westernizing its country, the government just fired all the police officers, hired new ones, and put them in these see-through stations.
... realize: here the river is the border between Armenia and Georgia--and I just crossed illegally into Georgia and back! Good thing it wasn't Iran, or this story could've ended quite differently. I continue on through one last peaceful village where I can finally get a good full meal, trade in my Armenian currency, and bid this beautiful country ...
... are kind of all very similar. But this monastary complex is actually really cool, tucked into the forest, partly overgrown, it definitely has an Indiana Jones-ish feel to it. Here you can wander from from chamber to inner chapel with khachkars (intricate stone engravings in the shape of a cross) and read about the monks who suffered torture and death protecting the manuscripts hidden here.
Definitely glad I didn't pass this one up.
The Way Down