Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Did I mention monasteries?

And so another eventful few days has gone by in Armenia where life is spontaneous, amusing, charming and lately very hot! I have experienced nights out at Paplavok Jazz Club with a little man called "Forche" entertaining the masses followed by a friendly gathering on the steps of the Cascade overlooking Yerevan with the Birthright Armenia volunteer crew and bizarre alchoholic fruit concoctions. I have been rejected from the closest swimming pool in Yerevan due to a high number of applications (and the line - don't you know who I am didn't seem to cut it just yet)!. I spent a day of madness with avid monastery fans cramped in a small white Niva hopping from one awesome monument to the next. Upon making a wrong turn in the road we found ourselves at the top of a mountain looking right at the peak of Mount Aragadz. Scattered before us were shepherd tents and horses and donkeys grazing on what was some of the most spectacular terrain I had seen. What a lifestyle far from our own. (Those lucky jackasses - the donkeys not the shepherds). At this point the horses seemed to take a very keen interest in our car. I wonder if cars make it up there normally! We picked up the son of the local shepherd to show us the road back which he had obviously only ever done on horseback or foot and he hadn't negotiated for big rocks and the art of tackling them with a car. Fortunately for us we had an experienced driver and only hit one big rock once and managed not to pierce anything!
The monasteries were interesting - some in ruins and some still standing in all their glory. After a lunch of local cheese, bread, tomatoes and cucumbers we made our way to one very beautiful one nestled in a valley. Fields of vibrant flowers lined the roads as we ventured through Western Armenia and a red and purple sunset, followed by a massive yellow moon escorted us home.
I had the priveledge of being introduced to "Ardashes" kebab which if anyone has a love of the "kebab" must venture out to Armenia just to have this gastronomical overtaking of all the senses. The barbequed mushrooms scored very high on the "if I eat more I shall go insane from joy" category, the veal barbeque was spicy and delicious, the chicken melted in the mouth, the vegetables and potatoes were another example of supreme divinity... I highly recommend it.
As for recording, we have had a very successful session yesterday evening with the standard of the string quartet at a truly superior level. We start preparing for our concert on the 27th and all is slowly but surely falling into place - now if I can just remember all my words when I sing!
Regarding the school renovation, we will start soon with a final meeting with the mayor of the village this Thursday. Will look forward to seeing it in action. Off for another venture.
From the hot summer sun of Yerevan I bid you all sunshine and flowers.


Blogger christina said...

Hi, Sonya,

I really enjoy your blog! And the enthusiasm which is contagious:-) Thank you!

You mentioned about a concert of the 27th? Is it possible to give more details? When is it and where? A couple of friends and I would love to hear a fresh sound:-)

7:40 AM  
Blogger Sonya Varoujian said...

Hi Christina,

Thanks so much for the feedback. Glad you like the blog! The concert is at Naregatsi Art Institute on Tuesday the 27th of June at 8pm. The address is Vardanants 16/1 and it is on the left of the Vernisage sort of downstairs. Admission is free so do come along and say hello too!

10:30 AM  
Blogger AramK said...

Will be there enough place for me and my friends too ?:)

11:42 AM  
Blogger christina said...

Sonya, thank you very much! I'm already looking forward to the concert!

Good luck with the premiere!

2:24 PM  

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