Yesterday, our group made the 9-hour round trip drive to Tatev, with a stop at Noravank monastery. While the journey was long, it was filled with beautiful scenery and red colored cliffs. Driving through the canyons was surreal and it reminded me of the southwest region of the United States. Of all the monasteries we have visited, Noravank has been my favorite, by far. A defining characteristic of the area was the abundance of caves, high up in the cliffs, seemingly untouched.
After our short stop, we continued on through the Armenian countryside. I loved how we had to stop every few miles because a swarm of cows was sharing the road. I can imagine this would be irritating in an everyday setting, but having this new experience was exciting. Cows and livestock seemed to be everywhere, it was a rural area with little rules, it was almost as if it was a culture shock from my current culture shock of Yerevan. Sometimes it is hard to remember that not everyone lives the same way I do in Massachusetts.
Finally, after many miles of cows, we reached Tatev. My favorite part of the final destination was the town and nature. The monetary itself was wonderful, but the area surrounding was just breathtaking. We took a sky tram up the mountain and could see waterfalls, gorges, winding roads, and rural communities. Despite the long ride, I learned a lot and got to see some of the beautiful lands that Armenia has to offer.