7 people sharing 6 days of adventure! At first we hitchhiked to Yerevan. We entered Armenia through the most remote border point and continued with marshrutka all the way to the capital. We couch-surfed at Reza’s place in Yerevan and partied until morning when the first marshrutka took us all the way to Stepanakert where we issued our Nagorno-Karabakh Visa for the rest of the days. We were suggested to stay at Ashot’s place so we were given the dormitory at the basement where we spent two cold, entertaining nights with vodka and late night planning. We all thought the ghost city of Agdam would be an amazing idea for the next day. And so it was! A massive snow storm covered the debris as soon as we arrived making it almost impossible to explore the abandonments the way we wanted. Big surprises were kept for the following days.
The day after we visited Shushi covered with snow with an impressive church in the center of the town. Then we followed the 4km walk to an ancient tree everyone told us about. Burying our footsteps into the fresh snow only with sneakers on, we were more than relieved to finally manage to reach the tree and spend some time exploring its beauty. We booked a local driver and made all our way to Dadivank where we spent the night at a homestay provided by a kind lady. The morning after we visited the monastery of Dadivank and then we drove hoping we will reach the abandoned Sanatorium. Unfortunately, as the driver got lost we ended up in some hot springs barbequing and showering with old local men until the late afternoon when our driver would normally take us back to Stepanakert.
This never happened as we ran out of gas on the way and had to sleep over at the lady’s in Dadivank again. We spent one of the coldest nights at the lady’s place after having been helped by a local policeman who drove us back to the village. The morning after our driver was still waiting for someone to purchase gas from when suddenly an old Volga from 1965 stopped and suggested that they take us all the way back to Armenian borders. We accepted and found ourselves together with the two drivers, total 9 people, riding this amazingly dangerous old car sliding on the snowy peaks of the Caucasian mountains. The rest of the way back was by hitchhiking to Georgian borders and then Tbilisi meeting various local drivers on the way eager to share their interesting stories. An amazing adventure that won’t be forgotten soon!
More photos on our Nagorno- Karabakh adventure can be found here.