Mountain lake Sevan, Dilizhan and Molokan village Fioletovo (Armenia)
Русская версия The next day after excellent shashlyk with Armenian family Arzni and visiting Gegard, we departed from Yerevan towards the lake Sevan.
At first, we reached the Northern bus station by bus nr. 53, and then took mrshrutka to Sevan (600 drams). By the way, marshrutkas to Dilizhan depart from the same place. In less than an hour we were at Sevan bus station, surrounded by taxi drivers (the lake is a bit far from the bus station). We cooperated with a Dutch couple for the taxi, and they recommended to stop by their hotel beach (free to use). As it often happens with the resorts, the beach is divided with fence between the hotels, and you cannot just walk along the lake. One will notice that it is a resort immediately also because the taxi drivers are much more active, the prices are higher, and the locals are more indifferent.
The water in Sevan is very cold, so swimming took 10-15 minutes only. After that, we went to Sevanavank, the monastery, rising over the lake.
Sevanavank was founded in 874, and, as it frequently happens, was used as fortification as well. The walls of the monastery were destroyed in XVI—XVII centuries and the last monk left the peninsula in 1930. Today the monastery is again functioning, along with the seminary.
After the boat trip, we hitchhiked to our next destination – the Russian Molokan village Fioletovo. Our driver was another wonderful Armenian, who apologized for smoking in the car and speaking Armenian on the phone. Moreover, he called his friends to find Fioletovo village for us.
Fioletovo and neighboring Lermontovo are the villages of Molokans – a religious and ethnic group, which was persecuted for their alternative religious views in Russian Empire and largely moved to the territory of Caucasus and current Ukraine. Much later, some Molokans also moved to the US outnumbering 20000 there now. Molokans are different from settlement to settlement, but, unlike mainstream Orthodox believers, they don’t acknowledge icons, saints, the hierarchy of priests. They do not eat pork, watch TV, drink alcohol or smoke, wear very conservative clothes. Molokans are also widely known for the very tasty sour cabbage they make.
Their village, of course, is nothing special if compared to average Russian village. The contrast with the surroundings (of both Armenian culture and landscape) is powerful though. This Russian village in the middle of Armenia is also filled with completely different people – with light skin, fair hair, and blue eyes. We decided not to interfere into their life with talks and cameras, just walked, watched, and said hello.
The road at the village where we hitch-hiked was hilly and old. The driver trying to stop to pick us up, braked so abruptly, that he did not fall to the ditch only by mere luck. While riding with him for about 20 minutes, we experienced genuine Armenian roller coasters, and were a bit angry at ourselves for hitchhiking: sometimes it is too dangerous.
In Dilizhan we stopped by Mimino sculpture (dedicated to the famous Soviet movie), and drank mineral water from its tap.
Having had great food their, we went home, drank Kindzmarauli wine brought from Georgia and went to sleep. The next morning we went to the famous cognac plant Noi and, later, to Tbilisi