The border crossing turns out to be very complicated even after successfully leaving Georgia. First we zigzag for a long time until we come to the Armenian post. We have to leave the car there and have new Armenian documents issued for the car in a house full of bored, smoking officials.
Despite the enormous air pollution, an impressive number of flies buzz in the office. Our passports are also checked very critically.
We are then allowed to pass a barrier with the car and … have to have documents issued for a nonsensical Armenian insurance company in a barrack again.
The evening is approaching and we are driving through a rather barren landscape. We spend the night in a field and follow the motorway south along the still desolate landscape. We stop at a farmer’s stand selling his fruit. In the travel guide I read that Armenia is the land of apricots. So we have to eat some too.
When Uli and I choose a handful of apricots, the farmer seems to be amazed that we only take so few. He laughs and just gives us the fruit. We are touched.
At the next opportunity we stop at an ugly roadside café, eat spicy Börek and drink Turkish coffee and Ayran.
We cross the capital Yerevan very quickly. It’s dirty and the traffic is heavy. We don’t like it. We drive on and visit a church that is right on the cliff. Particularly for Armenia are the cross stones – large rectangular stone tablets that are incredibly beautifully decorated. These are used to decorate coffins and graves, can be found in churches, but also on the roadside.
Many churches and sites in Armenia are ancient. The country is the first Christian nation on earth.
Uli pays at least as much attention to the man who is tinkering around the corner on his UAZ as he does to the church on the edge of the ravine.