Amberd fort

IMG 3650The mists around the top of Mt. Aragats had dispersed by the early afternoon, but after eating the meat and drinking the vodka I could only hope to be still able to put one foot in front of the other. Moreover, the boys and the father were going to drive home in their jeep and they would drop me at the turning to the ruins of Amberd. I would have still about 6 km to walk.

I was dropped at the turning to Amberd. The distance of 6 km which I'd have to cover soon weighed down on me as if it was a leaden ball on my ankle. It would be, in the best case, a trundle of one and a half hours on a tarmac track under a fiery sun. After the initial elation of walking, I imagined how quickly the passing cars could drive me to destination. Hitchhiking was the only way out.

I waited only a short time before the Lada stopped. In front were two young fellow, behind their old father and his brother. I made an attempt at small talk and when they discovered I was Italian, the uncle said one of his relatives lived in Italy. Hoping to stretch this thread of conversation a little further, I asked if he knew in what city that was, but I was met by an utterly blank look. His brother, however, came to his rescue and suggested an answer: Was it not Jerusalem? At which I started giggling and spread my hilarity to the driver who was watching my expression in the rear-view mirror.

I got to Amberd, a ruined fort perched in a dominating position over the valleys and the plain. There was a path leading down along a ravine, which would save me from backtracking on the asphalt road. I followed it until I was once again on the road, surrounded by a big flock of sheep. There would be 5 or 6 km to Byurakan, so I set out to ask for a lift. A Lada stopped again, and guess who it was? The same family as before!

IMG 3657I got dropped a little before the village, walked down to the observatory where I urgently needed to make sure of something: had I really left my thermal top anywhere in the room? As it was nowhere to be found, I had to conclude I had left at ... three days before, the night I'd spent with other guests out in the garden. I immediately wrote an email to the guesthouse asking if they had any one staying who would come down to Yerevan in the next day. I would so be able to recover my garment...