|Beyond the Black Sea: Tbilisi|
Armenia had figured in our travels already. In cities everywhere including Calcutta, Rangoon and Colombo, we noticed that the oldest churches - unimpressive to behold but obviously ancient - were Armenian. All originating from a sliver of a country thousands of difficult miles away. Why?
|A genuinely great read|
So what did we see?
Well, first of all, the road sent us through the country next door, Georgia, and that was another revelation. In fact, ironically, we spent far more time there than Armenia.
Georgia has mountains as high as the Himalayas. It is so green that the Russians regard it as the original Garden of Eden (perhaps why they illegally squat on a quarter of its land). It has its own delicious cuisine, including sublime grilled aubergine slices folded around a walnut/garlic filling. It invented wine - and its wines are unusual to say the least. Despite Soviet baggage it's an economic success story.
|Armenia's icon, Mount Ararat, sadly part of Turkey these days|
We stayed there for longer than planned because the car's front differential was chewing itself to bits and needed fixing (as previous blog post). But then we headed south to the border.
|Dan Brown eat your heart out|
It's a frustrating country to describe because its culture and history are so much bigger than the place itself. It's said that all European medieval architecture derived from here, that significant mathematics and philosophy were born here. And let's not get started on the seminal language and script.
So there it is. In some ways we enjoyed this part of our trip more than any other. That's because we learned so much, and because we feel particularly lucky to have visited.
Click here for more of our photos
|Thanks to this chap for the tip-off|