Today we fly with eagles. We are taking the Wings of Tatev, the world’s longest reversible aerial tramway running 5,752 metres from the terminal down to Tatev Monastery. The journey takes 12 minutes. Two cable cars cross the valley, suspended from two sets of cables running between 4 huge pylons. Below, the sharp faces of the Voratan Canyon are starting to display their autumn foliage.
At one point a relay of three golden eagles ride the thermals around the cable car.
The monastery consists of numerous churches, a university, a library and a refectory and dates from the 10th/13th centuries.
Now it’s time to head northwards across the mountains to Lake Sevan.
The Silk Road is not a single route. Numerous routes crisscrossed the area moving goods between the markets of Europe and Asia. Different routes travelled across this dry, dusty landscape – north-south and east-west. Caravanserai were overnight halts, or inns, where traders and merchants could rest up and replenish themselves and their animals before moving on. Selim was one such caravanserai, originally built in 1332.
Different spaces had specific uses: the central area was for the animals; the sides were to store the goods being carried; there were biars at the edge for fodder for the animals; troughs carried running water for man & beast. They were secure and offered protection to travellers on their long journey between China and the markets of Europe.