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Pictures of our trip to Armenia – part 2
- From July 17 to 22, 2013 Nagorno Karabakh-Goris-Tatev-Noravank-Khor Virap-Echmiadzin-Geghard-Gyumri-Georgia
Nagorno-Karabakh July 9 to 17, 2013: Armenia - Stepanakert - Gandzasar - Martakert - Tigranakert - Tnjri - Shoushi - Armenia
Armenia Part 1 July 2 to 9, 2013: Georgia Boroldader - 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:
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 21, 2013
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076  Bizarre eroded pillars of tuff stone
rise like spears through the grassy slopes
above the town of Goris on the road to
077  A herd of sheep crosses us unruffled.
As always we stop. The animals are not
screwed up by our LandCruiser and we
enjoy watching them
078  Goris, a town on an altitude of
4’550 ft. of about 25’000 people, lies
picturesquely in a basin, embedded in
greenery. It is a comfortable stopover
between the capital Yerevan, Nagorno-
Karabakh or the Iranian border
Goris lies picturesquely in a basin and surprises with chimneys and cave dwellings similar to those of Cappadocia in Turkey, albeit on a smaller scale. In this sleepy place that counts 20’000 people, we take a room in the Hotel Christie and stock up our supplies in a small grocery store: Beer, cheese, sausage, ham and mineral water.
079  Chimneys and cave dwellings in
the hillsides east of the town of Goris are
similar to those of Cappadocia in Turkey.
According to locals the caves of "Old Goris"
were built and inhabited in the 5th century
080  In Armenia there is no shortage
of lonely picnic and camping possibilities.
Liliana prepares lunch above the
Vorotan Canyon .....
081  ..... close to our lunch spot
grow head-heigh tall milk thistles
(Silybum marianum)
Still on our to-see list is one of the most beautiful monasteries of Armenia: The Tatev Monastery, situated on a dramatic setting high up at the edge of the 2’300 to 2’600 ft. [700-800m] deep Vorotan Canyon. We have heard and read a lot about the obviously infamous adventurous 4x4 track leading there and have therefore a big respect of it.
082  Neatly embedded into a row of
trees lies the village of Halidzor at the
edge of the Vorotan Canyon, from where
a cable car runs to the Tatev Monastery
(see picture #91 below)
083  Slowly nature is taking over again:
Walled Harants Anapat Monastery at
the bottom of the Vorotan valley, a
hermitage that was built in the 17th century
084  The infamous, bad and adventurous
track with narrow switchbacks leading up
to the Tatev Monastery is now improved
by a relatively wide gravel road,
manageable also by busses
Yes, and then we see the Aerial Tramway and read that with each ride it can transport 25 people, that it has a length of 18'865 ft.=3.57 mi. [5’750m] and is the "world's longest cable car line of one section", for which it made it into the Guinness Book of Records. It was built 2010 by the Swiss (of course!) and Austria. What tourist hustle and bustle might we have to expect?
085  The Tatev Monastery is situated
in a dramatic setting at the edge of the
deep Vorotan Canyon (see also picture #97
below). It is a UNESCO world heritage
site (picture taken at evening light) .....
086  ..... we camp on a tiny flat meadow
600 yards above the monastery. Shortly
after we get up, the red ball of the sun
appears behind the still dark
mountain ridge .....
087  ..... and gives the Monastery a
different touch of color than the evening
before. Tatev is rated as one of the
most beautiful sites in Armenia
Not too bad – it is also advantageous for us: Today, the former apparently rough and tough track is newly paved all the way down to the bottom of the canyon. And the narrow switchbacks uphill have been widened by a gravel road that is now also manageable by busses. Thus, the flow of tourists is inevitable, particularly today being a Sunday of a long weekend. Luckily we are late. Nevertheless we are flabbergasted when we see all the parked cars, the huge coach park and the crowd. Therefore we drive right past the monastery complex to the viewpoint uphill. What a lovely sight! Merely a dark cloud hanging over the monastery is dampening the mood. Hopefully it will disappear during the night! We therefore set up camp at dusk on the tiny flat meadow spot right alongside the viewpoint.
088  In the early morning hours a white
cloud of fog sails along the Aramazd
mountain range, southwest of the
Tatev Monastery
089  Breakfast with a stunning view of
the Tatev Monastery, the surrounding
mountains and the Vorotan valley. There
is still complete silence, only the dull
sound of the church bells echoes
through the mountains
090  In the inner courtyard of the
Tatev Monastery stands the mausoleum
of Grigor Tatevatsi, a teacher in the 14th
century, adorned with intricate carvings
The red ball of the sun rises behind the dark mountain ridge shortly after getting up. The village is still asleep and also at the monastery nothing is moving. The wonderful stillness is only interrupted sporadically by the dull sound of the church’s bell echoing through the mountains. We are sitting at our camping table and have breakfast. Emil is cranky, but his morning mood is improving slowly. He slept badly. He did not feel safe: “At least a dozen cars drove past and each time I could not go back to sleep” he complains, and is annoyed about the night spot we chose. Then he points to the cable car mountain station, built just 200 yards away from the monastery. “It’s spoiling the whole place” he lets off more steam.
The Tatev Monastery that earlier was accessible only by 4x4 is now connected by an Aerial Tramway, known as "The Wings of Tatev".
With each ride it can transport 25 people. With a length of 18'865 ft./3.57 miles it is the “world's longest cable car line of one section”.
This record made it into the Guinness Book of Records. It was built by Swiss and Austrians. Was it a gift? It’s just a pity that the summit
station was built just 200 yards away from the Monastery – a disfigurement of the whole place, we find
091  Technical description
(Guinness Certificate)
092  Cabin with maximum
25 passagers and 1 attendant
093  8'888 ft. long free-hanging rope, more
than 1'000 ft. above bottom of the valley
The air in the church is heavy with incense when we enter. Yellow thin candles burn on the altar and in front of the images of the saints. The more of these sacral buildings we visit, the more we have an eye for all the wonderful details and the fine reliefs. At the back of the monastery at the edge of the canyon with view to a sleepy little village and the Vorotan River rushing through its narrow bed below us, we say good-bye to Tatev, one of the most stunningly situated Armenian monasteries.
094  A horseman visits us galopping with
dog and foal. We are surprised how the
still very young foal can compete with
the speed of probably 20 miles/h
095  A rural scene that we often
encounter early morning: A herdsman
guides his cattle in the Tatev region
to a grazing ground
096  A horseman is greeting us. In
mountain regions the horse is still an
often used mean of transport
It is not yet the end of our monastery tour. Another jewel is awaiting us: The Noravank Monastery. Due to the bad road condition our biggest concern is: “Do we make it before sunset?” Emil presses the gas pedal deeper. A 5 mile [8km] long access road forks one mile [1½km] before Areni to the South, which we follow. After a narrow bend, an impressive rock appears, plunged into glowing red by the late evening light. Then we already catch the first glimpse of the Noravank Monastery nestling picturesquely high up at the mountain face.
097  It looks like a fairy-tale castle:
The Tatev Monastery built on a
natural “rock fortress” on the
edge of the Vorotan Canyon
098  In ancient times it was reachable only
on donkey paths: The village on the plateau  
is Bardzravan on an altitude of 5'000 ft.
south of the 2'300 ft. deep Vorotan Canyon
099  Natural pools squeezed into the
deep canyon have been formed at the
Devil’s (Satan's) Bridge over the Vorotan
river, about 1’650 ft. below Tatev
We continue to hurry. Arriving at the parking we hastily squeeze our LandCruiser into the last vacant space and grab our cameras. What a most beautiful site and what luck to be able to enjoy its churches from the 13th century still in the soft evening light! Slowly the car park clears and at 9.30pm we are engulfed by complete silence. The canopy of stars and the half-moon are flashing above our heads when we relax with an Efes beer on our camping chairs and get prepared for a cold night. We are at an altitude of nearly 5’000 ft. [>1’500m].
100  A butterfly – Glanville fritillary
(Melitaea cinxia) – opens its wings
and shows us its beautiful design
101  During the summer weeks it’s
humming und buzzing everywhere:
A black beetle on yellow flowers
102  These delicate white blossoms
would make a lovely bridal bouquet
Strong winds come up during the night shaking everything that is not nailed down. We sleep fitfully. My dizzy spells are especially strong this night. They afflict me lately as soon as I lay down. At 5.30am we are on our feet again according to the saying: “The early bird gets the worm”. Nobody disturbs us viewing the beautiful churches and carvings, watching the white tame doves fluttering around and the fluffy swallow babies resting still a bit unsteady on the portal of Saint Gregory chapel. It is especially these precious little moments that often enrich our traveling life. When at 9.30am the first visitors arrive, we are ready to drive off.
On M2 – the only road connecting Yerevan and Nagorno-Karabakh and Iran
flower carpets in white, pink and yellow stretch along the road. They compensate for the miserable road condition
On the same day, 19 miles [30km] south of the capital Yerevan, we are standing in front of another impressing monastery and famous pilgrimage site: “Khor Virap”. It is especially the magnificent backdrop of the snow covered Mount Ararat on the Turkish side that gives this monastery its peculiar charm. Today however the majestic mountain hides in dense clouds. May be we are more lucky tomorrow! Nearby we find a peaceful spot in a field where we decide to camp. When the sun sets behind the green reed belt with a yellow-red ball, we experience a unique spectacle: The skies darken above our heads. Huge never ending swarms of birds fly past. They are on their way to their night spots at the nearby Khor Virap sanctuary.
106  Not in a village, but in plain nature
near the Spandaryan Reservoir a row of
tombs are standing on a slope: A
Christian cemetery near Gorayk
107  Zorats Karer, mostly referred
(a bit exaggerated) as Armenian's
“Stonehenge”, is located on a rocky
promontory near Sisian. About 223 large
stone tombs can be found in the area .....
108  ..... it is assumed that the circular
holes in the standing prehistoric stones
could have been used for astronomical
At dawn, we excitedly gaze direction Mount Ararat. The 16’854 ft. [5’137m] tall and 19 miles distant snow-capped peak greets us in full glory. Enthusiastically we climb onto the hill above the monastery. The panorama around us could not look more peacefully: At the edge of a tiny plateau sits the fortress-like jewel of the still “working” monastery, just about 4’000 ft. [1’200m] from the hermetically sealed Armenian-Turkish border along the Aras River.
109  The Spandaryan Reservoir southeast
of Gorayk was built around 1980. It feeds
Armenian's biggest hydro power plant
110  We recall cattail (also bulrush)
(Typha angustifolia) as dry ornamental
plants in a flower pot; here we see
them in their natural environment
111  You would think that this beautiful
flower was growing in a garden. No, we
admire it on a meadow. It belongs most
likely to the “carrot” family (Heracleum)
Green and yellow fields extend behind the barb wire border fence below in the valley. They belong already to Turkey. In the distance a white minaret of the Islamic neighbor is greeting. We still have the early morning hours to ourselves. Only when we leave towards 9am, the first vehicle arrives. It is a Rotel-Bus, one of those red German overlanders that we kept meeting on all continents.
112  The evening sun plunges the rock
already in shiny red when we approach
the Noravank Monastery (means New
Monastery) that ranks as one of the most
beautifully situated Armenian monasteries
113  We catch a first glimpse of
this masterpiece from the 13th century,
which was founded in the wild
romantic Amaghu valley
114  What a most beautiful sight of the
Saint Astvatsatsin Church in the warm
evening light: It gleams in the same earth
colors like the surrounding mountain walls
In Masis we turn off to the northwest, to Echmiadzin; today the city is also called Vagharshapat. There, another UNESCO World Heritage Site can be admired – the Cathedral. Before, in rural Dashdavan, we first spot one stork nest on an electricity pylon, then count ten in a row. What an unusual sight! We are amazed about the height of some nests and enjoy watching the families with their offspring for a while.
115  The depiction of Maria with Child
Jesus above the portal of the Saint
Astvatsatsin Church, flanked by two
angels, shows that a master was at work
116  A cross stone (Khachkars)
at the Noravank's Monastery. Again
we stand with admiration in front
of a jewel of an engraving
117  It is real and fits wonderfully
into the chapel of Saint Gregory: A tame
white dove caught by the morning sun
It is noon when we reach the “holy” city of Echmiadzin, the “Vatican of the Armenian-Orthodox Church” about 12½ miles [20km] west of the capital Yeravan and stroll through the park with its shady trees and benches that belongs to the holy place. Now and then a bearded priest in his black robe hurries past. The cathedral ‘Mayr Tachar Surp Ejmiatsin’, which is one of the oldest churches in the world, is under renovation. Despite of its importance as “Armenian Holy See” it looks rather modest from outside. In the interior however the walls are covered with beautiful paintings and frescoes. On the northeast side is the grey building of the ‘Apostolic Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator’. It was built in honor of the visit of Pope John Paul II in 2001.
118  Beside the chapel of Saint Gregory
lies a carved tombstone on the grassy
ground showing a lion-human figure:
It’s the grave of Elikum III Orbelian,
son of Prince Tarsaich Orbelian
119  The depiction of Godfather with
his crucified son that decorates the upper
portal of the Saint Karapet Church is
another lovely detail of the Noravank
120  Three fluffy swallow babies rest
on the portal of Saint Gregory chapel
and look still a bit shy into
their young world
To navigate in the capital Yerevan without GPS is a nightmare for foreign visitors. There is not a single direction sign, only ones to embassies and hotels. And our city map, which we recently grabbed from a hotel in Nagorno Karabakh, is in Russian and of little help. Therefore we decide to transit the capital with its 1.1m people on the express highway. It leads us through broad avenues lined with shady trees. But we still have to ask for directions, which is not easy either, as only a few people speak another language than Armenian or Russian.
121  The complex of the Noravank
Monastery in the morning light: At left
the Saint Astvatsatsin Church; at right
the Saint Karapet Church
122  Most tourists climb the broken
stone steps of the Saint Astvatsatsin
Church for a picture in front of the
portal – so does Liliana
123  "The early bird gets the worm": At
5.30am we crawl out of our LandCruiser.
The parking and the monastery complex are
still empty. At 9.30am when the first visitors
arrive, we are ready to leave – it doesn’t take
anymore long until the crowd will take over
On this very day we experience a particular kindness towards us strangers: First a private driver shows us the way, then a taxi driver. And finally a third one guides us to the turn off to Garni, the jumping off point to the Geghard Rock Monastery – our last sacral building in Armenia. But it is not yet the end of friendliness. By crossing the mountain pass on this very hot day suddenly both petrol pumps go on strike. We have to stop several times to cool down the carburetor with wet rags to eliminate the air bubbles inside. Once a pick-up truck stops and the driver offers to tow us to Garni. But we still hope to make them work again and decline with thanks. It works finally and mid-afternoon we reach exhausted our destination.
124  Road over the 5'890 ft. high Tukh
Manuk pass, where the main traffic consists
primarily of heavy trucks rolling between
Iran and Yerevan. It follows for 25 miles
the border of the Azerbaijani exclave of
Naxçivan, sometimes only ½ mile away
125  The Monastery of Khor Virap,
19 miles south of the capital Yerevan, is
a famous pilgrimage site built picturesquely
on a hill. The farmland behind the complex
is already in Turkey. The here inaccessible
Iranian border lies also only
7 miles in the south .....
126  ..... the border to Turkey, which analog
to the one of Azerbaijan can nowhere be
crossed, is marked with a barb wire fence
only about 100 yards away from the
monastery. The Islamic neighbor is greeting
with a slim white minaret and watchtowers
The Geghard Rock Monastery lies on an altitude of 6’233 ft. [1’900m] in the scenic Azat Canyon 6 miles [9km] beyond the village of Garni. According to history, the big complex was cut out of the rock during different eras and has gained the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Impressive is the chapel, cut deep into the rock. With the flickering of the burning candles, it almost looks ghostly. The silence is suddenly interrupted by a fierce tumult. We look around: In the middle of the holy place a group of young men are brutally beating a young monk.
127  Khor Virap is a still a “working”
monastery. It is also used for baptism
or to perform a "matagh" after a wedding
– a sacrifice, often of sheep or chicken.
Here the Church Saint Astvatzatzin that
is found in many monasteries
128  This is the picture book setting of
the Khor Virap Monastery with the back-
drop of the snow-covered 16’854 ft. high
and 19 miles distant peak of Mt. Ararat
on the Turkish side. The entire quadripoint
area (Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and
Iran) is politically fiercely disputed
129  Our camp at the nature reserve
near the monastery of Khor Virap
offers us two highlights: swarms of
birds returning to their sleeping place
and a gorgeous sunset
We fear the worst. But the monk manages to free himself. Are the guys drunk? We offer the picture to the other monks that Emil has taken of the thugs. They appreciate it, but they don’t need it. They have noted the license plate of their car before they rushed away. After this disturbing intermezzo, we are not in the mood for camping in front of the monastery. We return to Garni and take a room in the guesthouse ‘chez Yvette’.
In rural Dashtavan between Masis and Echmiadzin we first spot one stork nest on an electricity pylon,
then count ten in a row. We are amazed about the height of a nest and enjoy the family with their young one
We like it at ‘chez Yvette’. The quietness, the fruit orchard with apricots, apples and pears and the breakfast table in the garden that couldn’t be richer: Even raspberries with whipped cream is served – one more reason to stay another day.
133  West of Yerevan lies the holy city
of Echmiadzin, the "Vatican of the
Armenian Apostolic Church". Its cathedral
“Mayr Tachar Surp Ejmiatsin” looks rather
modest despite its importance as
“Armenian Holy See” .....
134  ..... Liliana steps through
the richly ornated main portal .....
135  ..... the interior of the cathedral
gleams with beautiful frescoes. The altar
is the place where Saint Gregory the
Illuminator saw the divine light
strike the ground
At 10am we wave good-bye to Yvette and drive back over the mountain pass to Yerevan where we make a short stop at the Yerevan supermarket and stock up with all kind of goodies. Then we move on. We leave the M1 in Agarak direction observatory and Lake Kari. The small mountain lake below Mount Aragats (13’420 ft. [4’090m] is our main goal. Luckily we do not know what to expect on road conditions ahead. Often only manageable by 4x4 and in walking speed we fight our way up to 10’470 ft. [3’190m] altitude. And what do we find? Nothing even close to an undisturbed quiet mountain lake, which we have in mind. Walls and buildings disfigure the landscape on one side.
136  Northeast of "Holy Echmiadzin"
at the Komitas Square – stands the new
grey Apostolic Cathedral of St. Gregory
the Illuminator that was built for the visit
of Pope John Paul II in 2001, where he
held also the Ecumenical Celebration
together with Patriarch Karekin II
137  The Geghard Monastery is built
in the scenic Azat Canyon 6 miles
beyond the small village of Garni.
Legend has it that it was founded
in the 4th century – however the
main cathedral only 1215
138  Recent sculptures of the
Apostles Saints Bartholomew and
Thaddeus in the Geghard Monastery
In addition, today a group of noisy militarists are present. Two of them want to impress their girlfriends They take off coat and boots and jump loud yelling in their underwear into the freezing cold water. What an anticlimax! All we do is make a remembrance picture and then leave the site. We descent to 7’220 ft. [2’200m], where we find a place to camp on the overgrown old track, out of sight of the newer road. Below us sparkle the sea of lit up lights of the capital Yerewan. And above our heads the bright full moon lights up the night sky. Unfortunately soon a chilly wind comes up, forcing us much too early into our LandCruiser.
139  According to history the big complex
was cut out of the rock during different
epochs. It is also a UNESCO
World Heritage Site
140  Very impressive is the deep
into the rock cut chapel with its fine
ornaments. It almost looks ghostly
with the light of the flickering candles
141  The carving of a lion and an ox
above the portal to the Katoghike
Church of the Geghard Monastery
Despite of complete silence we did not sleep well. Was it the altitude or the full moon? For our camping breakfast we want to move downhill to warmer ground. Before reaching the M1 road again, we spontaneously follow a sign to the Fortress of Amberd, sitting north of Agarak. It is built in the 7th century and catches our attention already from far with its high stone walls and rounded towers. It is said that this building technique could not be breached in those days by any army.
142  More wonderful artwork
(Khachkars): Crosses that were carved
at the northeast corner of the Geghard
Monastery into the 800 years old walls
143  This richly carved south entrance
of the Katoghike Cathedral (main church)
is testimony of great craftsmanship
144  On the same corner as the left picture
#142 lean ancient "Khachkars" (carved stone
crosses) against a wall. They all look similar,
but each one is an artwork on its own
Situated on an altitude of 7’050 ft. [2’150m], it overlooks farms and the trade routes of the Ararat plain. With this ancient site, our Armenia journey comes to an end and we head towards the border town of Bavra. A police man spots us. He follows us, stops us and points to the jerry cans on the roof rack. ”Documents!“ he orders gruffly. “Turist Shvejcariya” (Swiss tourist) I reply smiling. Like everywhere, it helps also here. He then walks around our car and inspects the insurance sticker on our windscreen. Then he walks away without losing one more word.
145  A remembrance picture of the
unspectacular mountain lake “Lake Kari”
at the observatory of the 13’419 ft. high
Mt. Aragats (not to be confused with
Mt. Ararat on picture #128 below), which
we reached on a partly very bad track .....
146  ..... enjoyed however
the alpine flora along the way
147  Below the observatory nomads
have set up their summer camp to let
their sheep feed on the young grass,
despite the chilly temperatures
above an altitude of 10’000 ft.
The last miles to the border with Georgia lead us through nostalgic rural villages with haystacks and cow dung piled to artful pyramids. The latter serve as heating material. At the modest border post we are asked to pay AMD (Dram) 8500 for the exit (approx. US$19). “What for?” I argue, having already paid US$80 on fees and €19 on insurance at our entry. A local guy tries to calm me down saying that they have to pay the same amount. This is Armenia! But Armenia is also beautiful historic monasteries and appalling road conditions. Is the country worth a visit? Our answer is a convincing Yes.
148  Globe thistles (Echinops)
are developing their full beauty
149  The fortress of Amberd from the
7th century on an altitude of 7’500 ft.
north of Agarak overlooks farms and
trade routes of the Ararat plain. No army
ever succeeded to breach its high stone
walls and rounded towers. Left of the
castle stands the typical Armenian church
of Vahramashen from the 11th century
150  Who can resist taking a picture
of this wonderful pink flower? Not us!
Back to the 1st part of the Armenian trip: Armenia Part 1 July 2 to 9, 2013, from Georgia Part 2a to Nagorno-Karabakh
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 May 2013
Turkey: Iran Border-Esendere-Hakkari-Van-Doğubayazıt-Kars-Ardahan-Hopa-Georgia Border May/June 2013
Georgia - Part 1: 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
Armenia - Part 1: Georgia Border-Haghpat-Dilijan-Sevan-Tatev-Goris-Nagorno-Karabakh July 2013
Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia-Stepanakert-Gandzasar-Martakert-Tigranakert-Tnjri-Shoushi-Armenia 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