We entered Goris – a town in south-east part of the country – when it had already got dark. According to locals, just a few hours ago the weather was sunny and it was +18°C. But we were met with fog and snowflakes.
The aim of the whole trip is the Tatev monastery and Tatevatun restaurant, where I shot dishes. And although the weather was great for shooting (diffused light coming from huge panoramic windows allowed to shoot all dishes without additional light), I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to see that beautiful nature I had been told so much about for the last several days.
On the whole, I’m so surprised and charmed with diversity of Armenian cuisine that I can talk about it for hours. It has lots of things: meat, vegetables, great number of various cereals and legumes, which Armenians create splendid fine cuisine from.
But I’ll tell about cuisine in a separate post, and now I’d like to come back to Goris and Tatev. The Tatev monastery is a great example of road’s significance for the prosperity of the whole region.
Till 2010, there was a very difficult and dangerous road leading through a gorge. One needed nerves of steel to climb it. That’s why there were no more than 2,000 visitors every year. The region was a dull and boring place.
But in 2010, a group of enthusiasts, and I can’t name them somehow differently, who were in love with their country and people, constructed a cable way which broke world record both in height (350m) and length (6 km).
And the situation has changed dramatically. Numerous tourists started coming here solely for 12-minute trip on a cable road and gorge views that could drive you crazy.
People begin building restaurants, hotels and other places of entertainment around this place. Everything has changed. For the last year, more than 120,000 tourists have visited the monastery.
But I wasn’t lucky. Strong fog has spoiled all impression of splendid views. All I could see was white gaze and snowflakes falling right into my face. And a lonely Japanese, who was sadly wandering around monastery yard.
‘Everything’s fine, – Armenians said with buoyant smiles. – You’ll get one more chance to visit our country.’ They were comforting me and tapping on my shoulder to cheer me up.
‘Meanwhile, we’ll show you these views on our iPhones’.
This picture is not mine. It’s from one of those Armenian iPhones. Unfortunately.