Photographs with Commentary by Debra Jan Bibel

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We next venture by bus to Armenia; it will take the entire day. Along the way, there is another monastery and a welcoming lunch with a vista.

Before exiting my hotel room, I photograph the grillwork of my balcony. 

Departing Tblisi, we drive by this undulating ribbon building: the Ministry of Internal Affairs and HQ of State Police A couple fisherman in the River Mtkvari. A picturesque bridge and old walled fortress. Our good-bye to iconic Tblisi. A firehouse in all its glory.

Panorama of greater Tiblisi with Soviet era apartment buildings.

A pomegranate tree.

As we approach the border with Turkey, we spot an air force base with reinforced and camouflaged hangers.

Another view of the base: some storage bunkers. Georgia is receiving military assistance of US and other NATO equipment as the Soviet weaponry is junked or and sold.

A folk tradition. The bridal veil with red ribbon or ornament indicates that a daughter is available!

A family of 7 daughters, four of whom remain unwed.

All the houses in the area have gardens with grapes. Into Armenia. Armenia is a mountainous nation. Haghpat Monastery was founded by Queen Khosrovanuysh, wife of King AshotIII, around 976 BCE..
One of the halls; note carved crosses on the masonry, besides the cross design of the two windows.
Small chapel.
Looking upward. View through the arches. Along a darken corridor. This is known as a "cross-stone" and we will see many. It is an ancient art form of Armenia. A group of cross-stones. A side view of the cathedral.
> > > >
Bell tower. The light from above. Rustic gate. Door to cathedral. Inside, Jesus looks down. Stairs to the choir.
Painting of the baptism of Jesus. Note water spirals cover his body. Time for lunch and we are welcomed with a band and bread loaf. Clarinet, accordion, and dhol drum. Into the restaurant. Cheese, lavash flat bread, eggplant, tomatoes  & cucumbers plus wine. Wine.
The feast. ...and the band played on. The view from our perch Industrial, copper town, nearly abandoned. Rust belt. A religious scene in fading light.



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