Exploring the Aragats (Saghmosavank, Armenian Alphabet, Amberd Fortress)


Amberd Fortress

Exploring the Aragats, finally it happened. I really wanted to see the ruins of Amberd Fortress. It seems I was in the area for the third time but I didn’t able to see Amberd. For a reason that I realized later, it will happen in a perfect time in a craziest way.


Off to Aragats Province, Armenia

Supposedly, we have to explore the region a day before but we landed in a police station. And yet, nobody can hind us to explore the next day. We were all staying in one hostel. It was easier to plan and wake up each other. We planned to leave at 09:30 am.

We were just waiting for the two guys to wake up. Lucas woke up at 9am and he woke up Jeroen saying, “Dude, we have only 30 minutes to be ready.” After saying that, Lucas went back to sleep and Jeroen woke up after 10 minutes.

And yet, exactly 0930 am we were all ready to go to Aragats Province.

The car that Lucas hired was spacious and comfortable enough for the five of us. Having been at the police station the previous day, all we did was laugh and laugh at the experience. Reminiscing everything that happened only led us to burst in laughter. So that day, started with laughters.

Our first stop was in Saghmosavank Monastery and it is my second time here. Still, I went around and it is still fun with different group. We saw a dog and named him Lucas. One went inside a room and he was another person when he came out. Another one showered us with water from the hose as we pass by. Tsk, tsk… It is fine anyway, keep thy inner child as we say!


Overlooking the Saghmosavank Gorge

We had our next stop in Armenian alphabet. It is a large field where letters were built. Lucas being half-Armenian showed us letters corresponding the first letter of our names. We went to each of our letters and climbed. Then we were calling each other because no one will take our photos.


The Armenian Alphabet


The sun was up and it was getting hotter until we went to Amberd Fortress. Amberd is too impressive. Its setting and surrounding views were amazing:

The green lush meadows with flowering wild plants,
A scenic Church in the middle,
A waterfall from afar,
The weather is better,

The sturdy ruins of Amberd,
And most of all, we might be the best group ever that explored Amberd Fortress.




Vahramashen Church

We took a longer time in Amberd. The ruins were still strong that we had fun climbing and clambering through its walls. The two guys were too active exploring. It seems they were having fun. Vir and me was tempted to climb the ruins also. And yes, it felt so good. The views from the top were breathtaking. Shane went around and for sure her selfies were for the win.




We went down from one wall and went further to the top of the ruins. Lucas challenged Jeroen to climb one wall within 30 seconds for 200 drams. All of us heard 200 dirhams (60 USD). Jereon took the challenge and yes he won the 200 drams.

Another challenge was set. The second one wasn’t timed. Jeroen should reach only the top of the wall for 60 USD. He said he will try. He went and tried and it seems it was really impossible to climb up to the top. As he went down, it was a bit dangerous if he would take a wrong step. So Lucas went and guided where Jeroen should step.

The walls of the fortress really went alive because of the craziness of these two guys and all we can do is to laugh and laugh.

The fun continued but I can’t just share here how creative and talented and full of abilities they were. Vahramashen Church is a witness.

From Amberd Fortress, we had a stop in Oshakan Village still in Aragats. We have to visit another Church, the Saint Mesrop Mashtots Cathedral. I was getting tired already and sat down on the pews. But Lucas was telling us the reason why we are there. We have to see the burial place of Mesrop Mashtot, the one who created Armenian alphabet.

We had lunch, our last stop. Before taking our orders, Lucas wanted to show us some of his stunts. I walked a little so I can take a better photo of him until I heard a splash in the water. When I looked back, I saw Lucas in the pool and wet. For sure, his stunts gone wrong and he fell in the water. And that deserves a good laugh again.

We went home that day and we can’t stop laughing until we reached the hostel. These guys never get tired and they went to bar in the evening. I stayed. But eventhough I didn’t join them, they didn’t leave me alone. I can’t let go of my phone because of the crazy conversation in whatsapp group with a topic of bromance.

It is amazing, if how big this universe is and I have met these wonderful people. Doesn’t it make traveling more fun? And would you even stop traveling if you meet these cool amazing persons?


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