|Sweets shop on Mashtots|
But the most striking part about my visit to Armenia - that which makes the country a necessity to visit - was my trip to Geghard Monastery and Garni Temple (the former, a largely thirteenth-century cave monastery; the latter, a rebuilt Roman-era pagan temple), both of which were overwhelming, overpowering, striking in their austerity.
I'm always looking for that in the Caucasus. Something to get me outside myself, to free me from my mental repository of comparisons, from that endless self-reflection that separates me from geniune, immediate experience.
I could say I found it there, but it wasn't quite by chance. The Armenian government, apparently, was piping in gloriously subtle Armenian folk music via loudspeaker. I may have been subliminally brainwashed towards ecstasy.
Fleur's Verdict: Yerevan worth it for a half-day of modern-art-scouting; Geghard and Garni unmissable sights of a lifetime.