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Morning Trip to Geghard Monastery

It was my last day in Armenia and I hadn't yet visited 4th century Geghard Monastery (Geghardavank (Գեղարդավանք). The day was clear after previous few days of rain. I had few engagements later in the day so I decided to use the free time to visit the monastery. I got a taxi and we drove to Geghard. The whole trip was through picturesque Armenian country-side. The Mt. Ararat was finally visible in its full glory. I kept asking the driver to pull over so I could take photographs of the beautiful scenery. We got to Geghard around 7:00am. The sun hadn't yet risen over the surrounding moutain side. The entire area was in beautiul blue morning light. I was the first visitor so I used this to explore the monastery complex. As I approached the entrance of the main chapel I could hear the priest singing inside. It was very soothing sound. I entered the chapel and stood there for a while listening him sing. He then started to walk around and spread the smoke from the insence burner in all the rooms and prayer nooks. I followed him and managed to take few photographs as he was praying and blessing the area. I had heard that the chapel on the second floor, which is constructed entirely into the solid rock, had an excellent acoustics. I entered, stood in the middle right under the copola and started to chant. My voice quivered from the power it generated. I felt the vibration throughout my being. It was powerful and beautiful experience. I explored some more and took few photographs. As I was returning about an hour later I have noticed the tourists starting to arrive. It was a great and mystical experience I'll never forget.

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