Alaverdi is such a beautiful place. It is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Monasteries. But by the name itself, I’m not really familiar with Alaverdi.
Thanks for visa restrictions that I have to cross borders in between Georgia and Armenia that I have to know about Alaverdi.
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Alaverdi is 2 hours by car from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. It is also 4 hours travel by car from Yerevan, the Capital of Armenia. To avoid confusion, I’m talking about Alaverdi in Armenia.
I’m really grateful for Gayane Hotel, who gave me complimentary stay for two nights. Gayane Hotel is located in Haghpat Village, built on an idyllic plateau on a beautiful setting.
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What did I do and see in Alaverdi during my stay?
The best is to snuggle on the comfort of the room in Gayane Hotel or gaze at the amazing mountain view. Eat. Walk around and enjoy some of the amenities of the hotel. Chat with the staff with my 10 combined Russian and Armenian words.
Alaverdi Walk took me also to a hike from Haghpat Monastery to Sanahin Monastery. That was a combination of easy and difficult trails. What’s interesting is that the trail we took were where the monks passed by also in the older times.
Before the hike, I was able to explore the 10th Century Haghpat Monastery…
These holes in the ground can be seen in the refectory hall. The holes were being used to keep and preserve food for the winter.
As much as I wanted to stay more in Haghpat Monastery, we have to start the hike to Sanahin Monastery, a 10th Century Monastery also.
A stop in Aknar Village for a rest…
Picking up and eating wild blackberries along the way…
It was a long walk that we ended up hitchhiking when we were on the highway to reach Sanahin Monastery. But before that, I have to enjoy the wondrous nature around…
As there was much information about Sanahin Monastery and Haghpat Monastery, I wasn’t able to digest them all… Information overload or maybe short-term memory… which is which, please understand me. To be honest, I’m not really a fan of history.
What can I remember still is that Haghpat Monastery houses a piece of the Cross relic where Jesus was crucified. In Haghpat Monastery, it was kept in a frame high on a wall. As short as I am, I didn’t see it. The halls were designed base on their functions. One hall was designed for good lighting, another one for good resonance and many others.
Sanahin Monastery is mostly for studies so there are old books that are kept there until now. You can see many khachkars/cross stones also in both monasteries.
Since I will be leaving the next day, I took the time to take a walk around Alaverdi. I cannot totally relate when people say Soviet Regime. How’s the living situation during this era? For Armenians, it really matters. People are divided. There are some who prefers the USSR Regime. Others love also the free Armenia.
In Alaverdi, it seems the Soviet Era has really left a big impact on the lives of people there. Soviet buildings are still being built around same like other places in Armenia. But in Alaverdi, they have the copper factory.
A factory that keeps on emitting smoke non-stop. Yes, the factory employs most of the people in Alaverdi. It is the main work provider in the place. Though the effect of the factory on health and environment isn’t really good. So it applies here the benefits outweigh the risks.
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Another must-see in Alaverdi is the legendary 12th Century Sanahin Bridge, another UNESCO World Heritage.
The legend is about a couple who after 2 years of being married, the husband passed away. Through a dream, the husband told the wife to build a bridge connecting and going up to Sanahin Monastery. The wife obeyed that dream.
Alaverdi place gave me lots of beautiful memories to look back with. But I have my favorite.
Waking up early in the morning, awakening the senses, feeling the cool mountain winds, walking up to a hilltop… I even opened the closed but unlocked gate of Haghpat Monastery. That was a wonderful experience.
When everything was calm, I was alone.
And I can see my beautiful world spread around me.
I felt that inner clarity and sense of freedom away from my little chaotic world before.
At that moment, I wasn’t dreaming. That was a reality, no matter how short it was.
I wish to have a little more of life like that. That in every breathe I took, I could only thank God for planting those small seeds of dreams and for all His guidance to nurture those dreams.