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Pictures of our trip to Armenia – part 1
- From Juli 2 to 9, 2013 Georgia - Akhtala - Haghpat - Dilijan - Lake Sevan - Selim - Arates - Nagorno-Karabakh
Georgia Part 2a June 24 to July 2, 2013: Azerbaijan Border - Tbilisi - Armenia Border
Azerbaijan June 13 to 24, 2013: Georgia Border - Balakən - Şəki - Lahıç - Baku - Xınalıq - Quba - Laza - Baku - Gəncə - Georgia Border
Georgia Part 1 June 4 to 13, 2013: Turkey Border - Ajaria - Tbilisi - Kakheti - Azerbaijan Border
Turkey May 28 to June 4, 2013: Iran Border - Esendere - Hakkari - Van - Doğubayazıt - Kars - Ardahan - Hopa - Georgia Border
afterwards in the Caucasus:
Nagorno-Karabakh July 9 to 17, 2013: Armenia - Stepanakert - Gandzasar - Martakert - Tigranakert - Tnjri - Shoushi - Armenia
Armenia Part 2 July 19 to 22, 2013: Nagorno-Karabakh - Goris - Tatev - Noravank - Khor Virap - Echmiadzin - Geghard - Gyumri - Georgia
Georgia Part 2b July 22 to 31, 2013: Armenia Border - Ninotsminda - Tbilisi - Mtskheta - Kazbegi - Kutaisi - Zugdidi
Georgia Part 3a – July 31 to August 5, 2013 - Zugdidi - Swaneti - Zugdidi - Abkhazia Border
Abkhazia August 5 to 13, 2013: Georgia - Sukhumi - Tsebelda - Novyy Aton - Lake Ritsa - Gagra - Pitsunda - Georgia
Georgia Part 3b – August 13 to 15, 2013 - Abkhazia Border - Poti - Ferry to Ilyichevsk/Ukraine
Armenian Map
Mid-East Map          Caucasus Map
latest picture: July 7, 2013
  • click a picture to see details

July 2nd, 2013: “Tourists?” asks us the immigration officer at the border post of Bagratashen, when we hand him over our new passports that we just received the other day from our Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi/Georgia. When we confirm he quickly adds: “Welcome to Armenia”. He chops the entry stamp on the last page next to the Georgian exit. A few steps away, a customs officer is already waiting. He asks the same question, opens quickly each door and sends us to the hangar next door. “Well, now it seems that we have to unload – since New Zealand, 5½ years ago, the first time”, I worriedly say to Emil.
001  Armenia is known for its many
monasteries. 15 miles from the north-
easterly border post of Bagratashen
lies the Akhtale Monastary from the
13th century, situated at the edge
of the same named village .....
002  ..... it is mainly appreciated for
its fine frescoes. The almost surreal
power of the coloring is characteristic
of typical Byzantine art while the
themes are more Armenian
003  The setting on a high plateau
and the peace surrounding the fortress
church of Akhtale make it an ideal
spot for a relaxed picnic
Cheerful chirping of birds greets us at the hangar. Swallows fly busily in and out. Glancing at the ceiling I can hardly believe my eyes. Swallow’s nests made of soil stick side by side. I count 30 being still intact. But crumbled ones give evidence that there were many more. From tiny slits little black heads appear once in a while. The sight is so heartening that I spontaneously declare this border crossing to be my loveliest ever – it is our 490th altogether!
004  After Akhtale we drive through
green forested hills to the next
“sacred building” .....
005  ..... the Haghpat Monastery,
situated on a lofty plateau only 8 miles
further on. It is praised as pearl of a
monastery and was given UNESCO
World Heritage status .....
006  ..... in its bright stone walls there
are niches with beautiful reliefs of Smbat II
Bagratuni, King of Armenia, and his junior
brother Gurgen I, King of Lori. A similar
relief is in the Sanahin Monastery (pic # 20)
This nice experience is fortunately not marred by any annoyances. The well-meaning customs officer just points to our roof rack and inquires whether the ten gasoline jerry cans, which we carry along since the beginning of our epic journey, would be full. They are always an issue. But with our convincing “No” he is however soon satisfied. Together with his colleague he studies and comments our country band before he guides Emil to the next office. We pay there US$80 on road tax etc. and €19 for the compulsory third party insurance valid for one month. This done, we officially entered our 175th new country coming now from Georgia.
007  The northwestern corner of the
Haghpat Monastery: Right „tower“
St. Astvatsatsin Church; left ”tower“
St. N'shan Church
008  Gallery and academy of the
Haghpat Monastery. The cross stone
on the plinth is called ”Amenaprkitch
Khachkar” dating from 1273
009  A swallow peeks curiously from its
earthy nest, built on a vaulted ceiling of an
archway of the Haghpat Monastery.
Ruins are a heaven for birds
Our first impression is that the landscape is hilly, green and densely wooded. But there are also many rusty ruins of former Russian factories standing around. The many pigs that are roaming around with their offspring definitely show that we are in a Christian country again – unthinkable in Azerbaijan. We follow the very potholed street along the Debed River with its many lay-bys. Unfortunately all of them are rubbish-strewn. Soon we reach the turn off to the Akhtale Monastery, situated on a hill.
A modest church altar and intricately elaborated cross stones are part
of the spacious area of the Haghpat Monastery hidden behind thick walls
The ravages of time have left their traces at the outer walls of the 13th century monastery. The interior, however, impresses with its well preserved fine frescoes in strong colors, characteristic for the Byzantine art. First, we are flirting with the idea of spending the night at this remote peaceful spot, but then continue to the only 8 miles further lying Haghpat Monastery. Sitting on a lofty plateau on the other side of the valley, it is praised as the "pearl of monasteries". It belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
013  The first rays of the sun reach the
Haghpat Monastery with its wonderful
free standing belfry (right on the picture)
014  The dining hall in the service
building along the northern wall
015  Stone inscriptions in Armenian
The sun is almost disappearing when we arrive. Immediately we realize that this busy and uneven car park with the many souvenir shops is not suitable as sleeping place. While we are on a brief discovery tour of the site in the warm evening light, Maya and Wilfried from Germany turn up with their Toyota Hilux. They are also on the lookout for a place to spend the night. Quickly the two husbands are exploring the possibilities and after a short bumpy ride across farm tracks they find it.
016  Emil is swapping tips with Maya
and Wilfried from Germany. We
camped together on a little meadow
with view to the Haghpat Monastery
017  A still working factory from the
Soviet era on the opposite side of the
Debed Valley ejects stinking smoke
into the sky. Today most of them are out
of business and are just rusting away
018  Further down the "Monastery
Road" dense mountain forests dominate
the landscape of the Lori province
It’s a little flat meadow with a stunning view of the monastery. Soon some unusual visitors turn up: First four grunting pigs and then two curious horses. Frogs are croaking close-by. We feel wonderfully at ease! Maya and Wilfried are also retired and travel a lot. Therefore we have plenty to talk about. We only crawl into our warm sleeping bags when our limps are almost stiff. It gets cold at night. We are at an altitude of about 3’300 ft. [1’000m].
019  High over the Debed Valley, flanked
with age-old huge trees lies the moss
covered Sanahin Monastery with its
century old gravestones. It is also a
UNESCO World Heritage site .....
020  ..... the relief of Smbat II Bagratuni,
King of Armenia, and his junior brother
Gurgen I, King of Lori that is cut into the
dark walls spread a sense of vitality. A
similar relief is in the Haghpat
Monastery (pic #6) .....
021  ..... in the overgrown cemetery
there are fenced-in family tombs with
pictures of the deceased
Early morning weird sounds are waking us up: Here they are again – the two curious horses from last evening. They already roam around our LandCruiser. Today a playful brown foal is among them. The grunting of the pigs is not far away either. Time to rise! When we crawl out of the car, the rising sun is just setting the mountain slope behind the monastery ablaze. Shortly after, it also catches the Haghpat Monastery – what a beautiful sight. With this stunning scenery and the sun warming us we have breakfast and exchange our last travel tips with Maya and Wilfried. Their time in Armenia is up. Today they leave the country for Georgia.
022  Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
like we remember it from back home,
with the exemption that here it reaches
an enormous size
023  The Debed River is meandering
picturesquely through the narrow valley.
The road that follows the river bed is the
main artery linking the capitals of Yerewan
in Armenia with Tbilisi in Georgia .....
024  ..... near the stony riverbed we
find a quiet spot for our lunch break
Haghpat merits to be called the "pearl of monasteries". Everything on the widespread area behind the thick walls is well maintained: The free standing clock tower, the churches, the fine reliefs and the intricately carved cross stones. Just a few miles further down the “monastery road” lies the third and the second monastery in a row belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Sanahin Monastery. Together with us three tour busses maneuver the narrow road uphill: ‘Studioso Explorers’, Koreans and Russians. Souvenir shops besiege the entrance. A persistent saleslady even speaks German. The moss-covered monastery, together with its century old gravestones and huge old trees, looks almost spooky. So does the overgrown cemetery with its fenced-in family graves.
025  Between Vanadzor and Dilijan a
fertile valley with vegetable cultivations
is spreading near Lemontovo. Special
looking are the deep corrugated iron
roofs of the farmers houses .....
026  ..... a white wagtail (Motacilla
alba) observes the world from
its perspective .....
027  ..... the neatly divided vegetable
fields and the straight farming village
of Margahovit contribute to the
peacefulness of the rural scene
We follow the Debed Canyon that is meandering picturesquely through the narrow valley and picnic near the stony riverbed. Shortly after we are in Vanazor – an ugly town with ugly department blocks and ugly potholed roads. There, we turn off to the east, to Dilijan, also called “Switzerland of Armenia”. It is a lovely drive along a fertile lush green valley with vegetable cultivations and beautiful flowering meadows. But our main goal is not the famous mountain resort. It is the Haghartsin Monastery, which we reach through the forested Dilijan Nature Reserve. The turn off is 4 miles [6km] east of town. After three miles [5km] uphill on a new tarmac road, the first view of the “fairytale monastery” appears. From the first moment we sight it, we are captivated.
028  4 miles east of Dilijan a good tarmac
road leads to the forested Dilijan Nature
Reserve. After another 3 miles up it stands
in front of us: The Haghartsin Monastery
what means "Dance of the Eagles" .....
029  ..... the monastery has three churches:
For Gregory the Illuminator, for the Virgin
Mary and the chapel of St. Stepanos.....
030  .....it is hidden away in a lovely
forest valley and was built in the 12th century
by two princes of the Bagratuni Kingdom
Surrounded by dense forest, its bright grey-white facade contrasts beautifully with the dark trees. The setting is unique. We are tempted to spend the night on the small even space at the end of the road. But when again and again motorbikes rumble up and down, we decide to move to one of the ‘hidden’ picnic spots of the Nature Reserve. The darker it gets however, the more doubts are creeping on us if the place is safe. We feel like in a mouse trap. Despite that night is falling, we return to the main road and spontaneously follow the sign to the Hotel Tavush. The manager, who speaks very well German, kindly allows us to sleep in our car on his guarded parking area.
031  Close to the Haghartsin Monastery -
in an overgrown forest area - are lovely
medieval carved cross stones
032  Delicate white bells are one of the
many flowers that bloom around the
region of the Haghartsin Monastery .....
033  ..... a pair of clover (Trifolium)
flowers glows from the lush green
It rained heavily during the night and the forest is shrouded in mist. Nonetheless we decide to drive uphill again and have breakfast at the Haghartsin Monastery. While Emil is updating his statistics, I wander around and discover so many beautiful flowers, still covered with morning dew. The cute young ‘monastery dog’ follows me enthusiastically wherever I go. And then the first flicker of sunlight engulfs the monastery, boosting even more its fairytale appearance.
034  A cute gingerbread-style house in
Dilijan. “Alpine” Dilijan is also called
"Switzerland of Armenia". Here was also the
main link between Armenia and Azerbaijan
before the start of the 1988 war
035  No, also here corncobs don’t grow
on trees! They are stuck on branches to
draw the attention to the next street
vendor of hot corncobs
036  Red papaver or oriental poppy
(Papaver orientale) is widespread and
attracts us in its intensive luminosity
again and again to make a picture
Slowly we feel hungry, it is getting noon. In a restaurant at the main plaza in Dilijan we both order an Armenian kebab with pommes and a huge Armenian beer, the beer however not being really our taste. On the lookout for the historical center of the city mentioned in Lonely Planet that seems not to exist, two policemen approach us. Repeatedly they point to our jerry cans on the roof rack. We play ‘dumb’ knowing that the two are just looking for a reason to get some money. However they have to go away empty-handed.
On the old Sevan Pass road (6’936 ft.) from Dilijan to Lake Sevan the explosion of spring hits us with full power.
Wonderful carpets of flowers in white, red, lilac, yellow, pink and blue glow from all sides – the variety of colors, species
and combinations are endless. Each time we think it cannot get more beautiful, there is another accumulation. It is a party
for our senses. And we have all this beauty to ourselves, as people prefer the faster, 7’054 ft. long tunnel
Being already late afternoon, we decide to spend another night at the Tavush Hotel, but this time in a room. We are the only guests and have the huge living area just to ourselves. Until late we are working on our laptops and right at the moment when we want to shut them down, to our joy the car permit for Abkhazia arrives in the inbox.
We enjoy not only the endless seeming flower carpets but also the uniqueness
of each delicate blossom that we discover on the Sevan Pass on the way to Lake Sevan
Well rested and freshly showered, we hit the road to the south, to Lake Sevan, with 480 sq.mi. [1’242km²] being the biggest lake in the Caucasus region, situated on an altitude of 6’234 ft. [1’900m]. Instead of taking the 7'054 ft. [2’150m] long tunnel, we drive the old, longer 6'936 ft. [2’114m] high mountain pass road. It proves to be lonely and very beautiful. Springtime is literally in full swing. To the right and to the left of the road alpine flower carpets extend in an incredible diversity and combination of colors.
The height of nearly 7’000 ft. of the Sevan Pass on the 22 miles long road from Dilijan to
Lake Sevan is almost a paradise for the growth of alpine flowers. We just cannot stop taking pictures!
One carpet is more outstanding than the other – in white, red, lilac, yellow, pink and blue. My enthusiasm never ceases and finally also Emil gets bitten by the bug and both of us get into a real photographing frenzy. When we think that it cannot get more beautiful, there is another climax. No wonder that we spend more than three hours amid this blooming splendor. Also for our picnic we cannot think of a more wonderful place. Carpets of flowers are one thing that never fails to amaze us.
046  Across the carpets of meadows
looms Lake Sevan. It lies on an altitude of
6’234 ft. above sea level and covers 363
sq.mi., and is therefore the biggest lake in
the Caucasus region. The fresh water lake
supports a fish population including the
"Ishkhan" (Salmo ischchan), the prince trout
047  The Sevan Monastery
“Sevanavank” is situated 4 miles
before the same-named village and
offers a commanding view over the
same-named lake .....
048  ..... exquisitely chiseled
ornaments decorate one of the
ancient stone walls
A short descent and we roll along the Sevan lake shore to the Sevanank Monastery. Fresh and smoked fish is sold in many places. On the parking at the base of the monastery we are shocked by the masses of people. It is more a must than a joy to climb up the many steps to the monastery where souvenir sellers and their paintings occupy each corner. Apart from the sea view and a few exquisitely carved ornaments on stonewalls there is little to hold us. Back at the parking we have to argue with the attendant. He wants AMD (Dram) 500 instead of 200. He insists that we are a bus. We are not. He gets 200.
049  The marshland of the Sevan National
Park does not attract the mass tourism that
overruns the Sevan Lake during the ten
weeks’ summer holidays
050  On a promontory 18 miles south
of Sevan stands the 1100 years old
Hayravank Monastery directly on the
lakeshore, built of tuff stones that
cover the landscape in this region .....
051  ..... richly decorated "Khachkars"
– cross stones from medieval times
– line the stairs to the Hayravank
Quickly we leave touristic Sevan behind us. Along the Sevan National Park with its peaceful marshland we reach the 1’100 year old Hayravank Monastery, beautifully situated on a promontory at the lake shore. It is built of tuff stones of the region, covered all over with rust-red lichens. Richly decorated ‘khatchkars’ – cross stones from the medieval times – rise towards a blue sky. It is an awesome sight! Nearby we spot a grassy track leading through tuff stones uphill.
052  A lovely contrast: Tuff stones
covered with rust-red lichens and the
deep blue of Lake Sevan at the
Hayravank Monastery
053  Our wild but romantic night spot with
lake view between tuff stones near the
Hayravank Monastery where thunder and
lightening kept us awake until after midnight
054  Happy horse to be able to roam
around freely in such a lovely place
As evening is approaching, we are flirting with the idea to camp in this wild romantic surrounding. We engage 4x4 and follow the trace and soon we find “our” place. We are just sitting peacefully outside, when in short intervals lightning strikes and thunder rumbles. A dark storm front is racing towards us. In record time we pack up and make our bed – not a moment too soon before the sky opens its sluices. The thundering does not stop well past midnight. Only then we are able to get some sleep.
055  Snow patches still cover parts of
the 11’800 ft. high Azhdahak mountains
west of Lake Sevan, which is situated
itself already on an altitude of 6’234 ft.
056  This is not an isolated case: An
unfinished building including crane from the
Soviet time at Lake Sevan's shore. It should
have become a hotel, but the money supply
was cut off due to the war with Azerbaijan
and it is left now to its destiny
057  Globe thistles (Echinops
sphaerocephalus) that look especially
lovely against a dark rock
The nightly thunderstorm cleared the skies and opened up the view to the 11'800 ft. [3'597m] high Azhdahak snow mountain. An old bearded man is herding his cattle past our breakfast table, and then we are alone again. It becomes mid-morning until we break our camp and head to our next destination: To the big concentration of middle aged stone crosses of Noratus that spread around a huge area. There are said to be 800, carved between the 9th and 17th century. Knitters, mostly of old age, are sitting between the fine elaborated medieval stones. They are trying to sell their handmade gloves and beanies.
058  A bit southwest of the Hayravank
tuff monastery lies the village of Noratus,
famous for its ancient headstones, called
"Khachkars", which are characteristic
of medieval Christian Armenian art
059  The cemetery on the east side
of the village is studded with over
800 headstones and graves, which
were carved between the
9th and 17th century .....
060  ..... and show all kind of
wonderfully elaborated motifs
Following once more the lake shore, we drive to Marturi, where we take the good tarmac road to the 7’907 ft. [2’410m] high Selim Pass. A beautiful tundra-like landscape recalling Inuvik in Canada, and long-stemmed golden flowers along the road highlight our climb. The mountain pass holds two surprises: A far reaching panorama and the old Selim Caravanserai where in earlier times caravans stopped on their “Silk Road” trade route. We are not stopping for long, but start the many switchbacks descent down to the Arpa River valley. With each mile we drive, the hotter it gets. At lunch time we are seeking already the shade of our LandCruiser.
Besides the hundreds of cross stones there are also grave stones with fine details at Noratus dating from the 1st and 2nd century:
061  Crosses with different engravings
062  A herdsman on a horse
and a musician on a chariot
063  A woman in front of a water jar (?)
Reaching Shatin we spontaneously decide to make a detour to Yeghegis. It leads us through a narrow stunning river valley, framed by high mountain peaks. Apricots and walnuts grow in the fertile valley. The apricots are in full season and hang heavily from bending branches. Many have already dropped to the ground. Then we stop and get some if birds have not already feasted on them. There is also an 800 year’s old overgrown Jewish cemetery with a few tombstones with Hebrew inscriptions. The oldest grave dates from 1266 and the newest from 1346. It is still a mystery about the appearance and disappearance of the Jewish community.
064  Recalls the Canadian tundra on the
way to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories:
Landscape south of Martuni at the north side
of our ascent to the 7’907 ft. high Selim Pass
065  On the 7’907 ft. high Selim Pass is
the old Selim Caravanserai where in earlier
times caravans stopped on their “Silk Road”
trade route over the Geghama Ridge .....
066  ..... the interior of the Caravanserai
There are enough churches and monasteries in this region. One of the old monasteries is Arates, reachable by a good tarmac road from the village of Hermon. Past dilapidated huts we climb higher and higher towards the mountains. Almost on the top, where the mountain peaks meet the blue sky, we are there. Disappointment takes over. It this all what is left from the former glory of the three churches from the 7th and 13th century? It looks like!
067  A nicely paved road with many
switchbacks leads from the Selim Pass
down to the Arpa river valley. With
each mile it gets warmer
068  Halfway between Selim Pass and
Arpa Valley we make a side trip from
Shatin to the Yeghegis Valley which is
famous for its concentration of churches.
Here the Zorats Church dating from
1303 near the village of Yeghegis
069  The Yeghegis Valley surprises
with a beautiful mountain scenery and
apricot and walnut plantations
The site is crumbled and overgrown; the stone crosses are covered with moos. "Be careful, I am sure there are snakes", I remind Emil, when we step through the high grass into the moldy inner walls. Apart from a wall with strange inscriptions, nothing survived. But we do see a snake, a red-brown one. It rushes right past Emil's feet and disappears under a stone. Despite of the disappointing site, the drive was well worth it. On an overgrown track below the ruins we find in total solitude a beautiful camping spot with a far view towards green hills. We are on an altitude of 5'900 ft. [1’800m].
070  Discovering a shining beetle on a
flower is always an enjoyable moment
071  Close to Yeghegis village hides an
800 year old overgrown Jewish cemetery
behind a metal door on the south side of
the river. Where the Jewish community
arrived from and why it disappeared
again remains still a mystery .....
072  ..... the tombstones with Hebrew
inscriptions show biblical verses and
names of the deceased. The oldest dates
from 1266 and the newest from 1346
The humming of bumblebees and the chirping of birds surround us at breakfast. We return to the road M10, and drive then continuously on M2 eastwards on a miserably potholed road, all in 2nd gear. In return, the landscape with its white, lilac, pink and yellow flower carpets is a feast for the eyes. The splendor of spring accompanies us already since Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, and now also in Armenia. Who else was able to enjoy such a long-lasting springtime through five countries?
073  Up the mountain from the village
of Hermon sits the Arates Monastery with
three churches from the 7th and 13th century.
There is not much left of the beauty except
the lovely mountain setting .....
074  ..... the wall with inscriptions is
one of the only pieces that survived
075  Liliana prepares breakfast. We
camped on an overgrown track below
the monastery ruins of Arates at an
altitude of 5’900 ft
Continuation to the next Armenian page: Armenia Part 2 July 19 to 22, 2013, from Nagorno-Karabakh to Georgia Part 2b
The "Greater"-Middle East trip 2012/13:
Sharjah/Dubai/1st Traveler's Festival/Emirates National Auto Museum - UAE with car Nov. 2012 to Jan. 2013 - part 1
Western UAE - Liwa - United Arab Emirates  with car in January 2013 - part 2
Oman 2013 - Part 1 - February 2013: Musandam Peninsula
Oman 2013 - Part 2 - February 2013: Sohar - Muscat - Rustaq - Nizwa
Oman 2013 - Part 3 - March 2013: Sur - East Coast - Island of Masirah - Dhofar
Oman 2013 - Part 4 - March 2013: Salalah & Surroundings (Dhofar) - Nizwa
Oman 2013 - Part 5 - March 2013: Western Hajar Mountains
Al Ain, Eastcoast & Ras al Khaima - United Arab Emirates with our car in April 2013 - part 3
Iran - Part 1: Ferry Port Bandar Abbas-Shiraz-Persepolis-Pasargad (between Persepolis and Yazd) May 2013
Iran - Part 2: Pasargad (excl.)-Yazd-Esfahan May 2013
Iran - Part 3: Esfahan (excl.)-Chelgerd-Hamadan-Sanandaj-Orumiyeh-Turkey Border May 2013
Turkey: Iran Border-Esendere-Hakkari-Van-Doğubayazıt-Kars-Ardahan-Hopa-Georgia Border May/June 2013
Georgia - Part 1: Turkey Border-Ajaria-Gori-Tbilisi-Kakheti-Azerbaijan Border June 2013
Azerbaijan: Georgia Border-Balakən-Şəki-Lahıç-Baku-Xınalıq-Quba-Laza-Baku-Gəncə-Georgia Border June 2013
Georgia - Part 2a: Azerbaijan Border-Tbilisi-Armenia Border June/July 2013
Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia-Stepanakert-Gandzasar-Martakert-Tigranakert-Tnjri-Shoushi-Armenia July
Armenia - Part 2: Nagorno-Karabakh-Goris-Tatev-Noravank-Khor Virap-Echmiadzin-Yerewan-Geghard-Gyumri-Georgia Border July 2013
Georgia - Part 2b: Armenia Border-Ninotsminda-Tbilisi-Mtskheta-Kazbegi-Kutaisi-Zugdidi July 2013
Georgia - Part 3a: Zugdidi-Swaneti-Zugdidi-Abkhazia Border – July/August 2013
Abkhazia: Georgia-Sukhumi-Tsebelda-Novyy Aton-Lake Ritsa-Gagra-Pitsunda-Georgia August 2013
Georgia - Part 3b: Abkhazia Border-Poti-Ferry to Ilyichevsk/Ukraine – August 2013