Day 105. 80km. Ayrum – Vanadzor

Posted: June 12, 2015 in Armenia, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

’44? I wish you marry very (very) soon and have many children. Then you call: Ashot – I return to Armenia with wife and children.’
We toast (again), downing more of the 25 year old herbal alcohol beverage dating back to his friend’s wedding. And all this takes place in the Dutch language in his friend’s living room. Armenian hospitality at it’s best.

image

We met him in the mobile phone shop. James and I were huddled over our phones with super fast Internet like herion addicts getting our first hit for weeks, injected directly into the arm.
‘I saw James’ orange shirt and I thought – they are from Holland. I am so happy.’
I took over as the translator, and James and I found ourselves in Ashot’s humble abode eating sausages and bread, and drinking an almost pure alcohol vodka poured from a coke bottle. Then his friend came and we were invited to his place for even more hospitality.

Our friends in Vanadzor

Our friends in Vanadzor

In the living room, watched over by the dead parents’ portrait above the wall sized carpet hanging, Armenian music pumping out from the 5 thigh high loud speakers, we danced, hugging each other and collapsing into neighbouring armchairs. Ashot’s preficiency in Dutch meant we covered topics like the Armenian genocide, the role of the wife, and many configurations and permutations of how wonderful it is that we met and could share the first night of our lifelong friendship together.

Our friends in Vanadzor

Our friends in Vanadzor

And this, after a spectacular day cycling up an amazing cliff adorned valley in the beautiful warm sun and lovely tailwind.

I passed 8000km at a small village and celebrated with James and a young frenchman who is hitching around the world.

8000km

8000km

And then onwards and upwards. For this valley, it’s a case of pictures tell 1000 words.

Rubbish valley

Rubbish valley

Alaverdi

Alaverdi

Alaverdi

Alaverdi

The road to Vanadzor

The road to Vanadzor

The road to Vanadzor

The road to Vanadzor

Armenian hospitality and Armenian landscape. What a wonderful combination. As Ashot would say:
‘I wish you have many many special days like today!’

Comments
  1. ton smeets says:

    I am sure that you will have much more of these beautiful days !!

  2. Coucou de Gilles et Yvonne
    ” la terre est si petite dans l’univers ; on y trouve un peu d’amitié mais beaucoup de haine . Les héros d ‘aujourd hui sont ceux qui tendent la main aux autres ,ceux qui enseignent l’amour ,ceux qui apportent un peu de douceur aux êtres fragiles , ceux qui sauvent des vies , ceux qui aiment et ceux qui pronent la PAIX”

  3. Wat een mooi verhaal, Matthew!

  4. valerievolk says:

    What a great day. Closest I’ve been to Armenia is an Armenian restaurant in St Petersburg …. Sight of rubbish valley appalled my OCD housewife’s psyche.

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