in Syunik

Traveling in Armenia brings many new impressions and emotions. Change of environment, new faces, unique feelings.Have you ever considered to spice up your travels with different experiences?
My direction is Syunik. This time not only a new environment, but also habits and peculiarities that are typical of this region. How to have an organized Weekend? I will present to you with my own experience what meaningful weekend means. I can assure you, you have never had such a journey before.

DISCOVER!

DAY ONE:

In the museum representing history, culture and life pf Syunik, you can see exhibits excavated from nearby archeological sites. This time I will not tell about the items in the museum, but about the “trees” that carry stories. Unfortunately, the idea of ​​having a family tree has long been forgotten in many families. Here they will present the whole meaning and significance of the family tree. It turns out that among Armenians, the memories of the national family are often depicted in the form of a tree, which is not surprising, as the tree is considered a natural model of reproduction and development. My grandfather told us about our family when I was just a kid and not paying much attention like any other child․․․

I was asked from which branch of the tree I knew my family history. I started to think and then․․․․ Emotions, emotions. It was a torrent of feelings, only then you realize the power of the saying “the more you remember your ancestors, the more they are alive”. The experience moved the dusty box of my memories ․․․ I realized that I don’t not know my relatives, a cry for help – a call to the parent. Tree planting was the best way to communicate with ancestors.

SOMETIMES WE FORGET THAT WE ARE HEIRS, SUCCESSORS, EACH OF US IS A LINK IN A CONTINUOUS CHAIN OF LIFE, FROM THE PAST TO THE FUTURE, FROM OUR ANCESTORS TO OUR GENERATIONS. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER WHERE A PERSON CAME FROM AND WHO HIS ANCESTORS WERE

SISIAN HISTORY MUSEUM:

Tel. + 374 28323331

www.sisianmuseum.am

Facebook: @sisianhistorymuseum

I AM IN A HURRY TO BASEN HOTEL, SOVIET CITY TOUR.

We start the story of the Soviet Sisian from the yard of the hotel, this is where the Soviet Sisian airport was. From here flights were operated to Yerevan until the mid-1980s. The local elders remember funny stories about the airport. For example, how chickens or other diverse items were transported to Yerevan. Sisian is rich in fountains. People in the region are wellspring-worshipers. Wellspring-making has a very old history.

In Sisian you can find monuments dedicated to the victims of the Patriotic War. There is a fountain dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, a monument to the fighters for the establishment of Soviet rule in Armenia, there are three sculptors of the latter, and one of them is Teresa Mirzoyan. And in front you will see the names of the Sisian people who died in the civil war. Raikom, a library building, when you look carefully, you realize that every corner of Sisian is steeped in the stories of Soviet rule. I presented only a part of my discoveries, for the rest you have to visit yourself. I will only say that the Basen Hotel has interesting tourist offers with SUVs from the Soviet period.

WHERE TO STAY?

If you are familiar with my previous Sisian visits, you know that during my visits I spend the night in Basen, spend the evening with Hasmik, with whom we not only discuss the tourism opportunities of the region, but also share familiar, very personal topics.

BASEN HOTEL AND TOURS:

Tel. +37493434727 Hasmik Azoyan

www.basenhotel.am

Facebook: @Basenhotelandtours

ARE YOU HUNGRY, THEN TO THE BAKERY?

I’m welcomed by already very dear to me Vahagn and Zara from Sisian ceramics.

The ancient Armenians have always said wise beautiful toasts. Before Zara brought the traditional Sisian kyalagyosh, Vahagn presented the correct sitting arrangement if the table. I found out:

– They sat around the table according to age,

– The woman who is “responsible” for the table, sat in the corner of the table

– Another table was prepared for the children.

They chose a toastmaster with the first toast, if the toastmaster was the head of the house, the toasts started ․ “Welcome, may the table be blessed and plentiful” and together with that glass they drank the toast of the moment.

The second cup is the toast of the parents, and if there is a need to choose a toastmaster, the first toast is addressed to the toastmaster.

One of the most important toasts is to raise a glass for the unmarried young people sitting at the table, they are wished to become parents by all means, and since the obligation to become a parent was brought up, the next cup is the toast of memories.

The kalagyosh served by Zara is widely spread in Syunik and Artsakh. Both khash and kyalagyosh are ritual. They gathered with relatives, drank vodka, people generally did not eat kyalagyosh alone at home. Onion, lentils, garlic, dried lavash and, if desired, ghaurma are an integral part of kyalagyosh.

HATSATUN BY SISIAN CERAMICS:

Tel. +37477554925 Zara Gasparyan

Facebook: @SisianCeramics

Day two

WHAT TO DO?

“18 KM ․” HEAVENLY MOMENT

The next morning, we are going to the village of Ltsen with our local guide Katya, from where we have to walk 18 km to the Tatev Monastery. The road is very rich with forests and beautiful canyons; beautiful scenery accompanies us all the way. I always use the services of local escorts. Why? Because they often know stories that do not even exist on the Internet. For example, the former names of Ltsen are Liz, Litsin Tsac, Ltse. According to the legend, during the Mongol invasion, the inhabitants were throwing stone hail from the top of the mountain, and the religious Nerses Kertogh encourages his fellow villagers, saying “Fill it, fill it (In Armenian – Ltse, Ltse)”, from which the name of the village originated. According to the tax list of 1781, the village paid 2250 throne fruit tax to Tatev Monastery annually. “18 km ․” A paradise moment. We must constantly remember nature, find time to communicate with it. Be careful, as you walk you will hear different sounds: the rustle of leaves, bushes, the song of birds, the buzzing of insects, the chirping of locusts. Do not overlook the surrounding plants, see their great variety. Admire the width of the fields and breathe the scent of seasonal nature. If you have been in contact with the people of Syunik, you will have noticed that the Vorotan River is an incomparable value for them. The main river of Syunik will make the walk attractive, it will soften the whole process. The hiking route will be interesting for both skilled hikers and beginners.

MYTENT TOURS:

Tel. +37498937860 Katya Babayan

Facebook: @mytenttours

WHAT TO EXPECT?

ASPARAGUS SECRETS:

My eco-journey continues, and Grandpa Zhora will help me to appreciate and use the goods of nature. Born in Vaghatin, Zhora is connected to this place by intense warm memories, his childhood was spent on the river bank and, as he says, the area was previously neglected and deserted. Decades ago he decided to leave the city life of Sisian and move to the steppe, which today has turned into a green valley, thanks to years of hard work. Today, not only locals can be met here, but also guests from different countries. Grandpa Zhora presents ecologically clean fruit and vegetable gardens. Have you ever seen an asparagus in bloom? Yes, I did. According to Grandpa Zhora, he was never indifferent to asparagus, when he noticed asparagus in the flower beds, he was filled with envy. Tried to grow asparagus,Thanks to many long experiments, Grandpa Zhora offers his guests organic asparagus made with a unique recipe on the fire, by the way, the kitchen changes according to the season.  Grandpa Jora, the guardian of the forest’s spirit, asked me only one thing to add to the article. 

“I INHERITED LOVE FOR NATURE FROM MY FATHER, KINDNESS FROM MY MOTHER, DEVOTION FROM MY SISTERS, LOYALTY FROM MY BROTHERS.”

VANKI TAK WILD GASTRONOMY:

Tel. +37493650693 Artyom Hambardzumyan

Facebook: @wildgastrosisian

SO, ARE WE GOING TO SYUNIK?

This article was created as part of the My Armenia program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Smithsonian Institution. The contents of this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the Smithsonian Institution or the US Government.

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