12 November 2013

Cavorting in the Caucasus: Sevanavank

The last place I visited before I crossed the border to go to Georgia was the monastic complex of Sevanavank, found on the peninsula facing Lake Sevan. I went here together with three other travelers as we all hired a taxi for the day. Some people told me that Lake Sevan is a nice place to visit, but unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed.

There are two churches here, Surb Arakelots Church and Surb Astvatsatsin Church. Both are still functioning. In fact, when we went there, it was a Saturday, and therefore there were plenty of people. There were busloads of tourists from Iran, and in fact, we wanted to eat lunch there, but since there was a huge amount of tourists, we were told that there would be a 2-hour wait. So we decided to check out the church and monastery complex before having lunch.

There were also plenty of wedding parties that wanted to go inside the church. In fact, I think we saw at least 3 wedding parties that were in line to take their pictures and have the ceremony inside these very dark and cramped churches. It was unbelievable.

Anyway, I figured I'd just watch the action from afar. As much as I wanted to take photos, I didn't take much, as there were too many people in there. I guess this is what a good transportation connection does to a place, it becomes very commercialized.

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