Photo Essay: Northern Armenia

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Welcome to the potholed roads of Armenia, where the old Lada is a much more common sighting than bordering Georgia
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The town of Alaverdi is an industrial town
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…and the smokestacks are one of the biggest visions of this town
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But with a certain sense of ruin
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Soviet style apartment blocks line the city
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and when combined with the Soviet style cars
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and buses!
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and even more dreary apartment buildings
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But tucked into the town is the Sanahin Monastery Complex
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For a while, I was the only one inside the complex besides maintenance folks
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It was just magical
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For aesthetics, I suggest heading northbound to Haghpat, which sits perched upon the green valleys around
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beautiful religious art in stone, but don’t expect any sort of ornate work in these old churches
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a pack of birds are fluttering about inside Haghpat
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Stop along the main road for a view over the alley
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before arriving at the northernmost of the monasteries, Akhtala
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I had the place to myself
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A sign of the Soviet past – atheism by way of burning the faces on religious paintings
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but these have been either restored or preserved
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The surrounding hills
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Life just feels so different in Northern Armenia than bordering Georgia.

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