Howanawan and Oschakan
The Karmravor Church in Ashtarak
Barbecue at the River Kassach
Karmravor Church in Ashtarak

In the Northwest of Erevan lies Mars Aragazoten, a province full of historic buildings, churches and monasteries. After a drive on a Highway with many confusing exits, through a landscape, burnt by the sun, where many unfinished buildings remind of the unsolved economic problems, we came to the small village Howanawank. Here we visited the main church St. Karapet, the first of six churches at that special day...

straw storage
Nothing is thrown away, everything will be recycled in a poor country and so this old bus found a new purpose: a storage for straw and dried dung.

The local Univermag offered detergents, some deepfrozen fish, icecream, school books and some bottles with Cognac or other alcoholic drinks. Here I bought armenian cognac from Nagorno-Karabach, the label still derived from soviet times. The content also? I was not so sure that the cognac was really four years of age, maybe older? Well, later in Moscow, we enjoyed the cognac deeply.
In the village shoplocal supermarket

The poor goods reminded me of the nearly empty shops which I saw in WhiteRussia some years ago.

Karmravor Church in Ashtarak

The Karmravor-Church in Ashtarak is one of the most known churches of Armenia, and it is a very special one: It's not only the tiled roof, which is very seldom in this region, it's also the size of the building: the cruciform church is only 6 to 7 meters big. It's more a chapel than a church and I could understand the suggestion, that it could have been a private chapel.

Marianeh ChurchThe Marianeh Church in Ashtarak is not very old (compared with other armenian churches): she was founded in the 13th century. On the other side of the street is the local drugstore.
local drugstore
Unfortunately, the shop was closed. Otherwise I could have bought some very interesting kitchen tools.

Waterfall at the river Kassach fresh mutton for barbecue

The city of Ashtarak is situated on a plateau, which is surrounded by the river Kassach.

An old bridge from the 17th century crosses this river and when you follow the river on a very bad track, suddenly you pass by a real wonder:

in dry, burnt landscape a strong waterfall!

Kassach River
I am sure that people from the steppe invented the barbecue:

as they always celebrate big festivities at rivers, lakes or in an oasis.

The same here: a sheep was slaughtered by two strong men, while the youngsters still swam in the river and enjoyed the fresh water, jumping from a small bridge.

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