Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Garni, Geghard, and Zara's Terrific Sandwich

Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery both deserve entries in their own right, but until I have the chance to blog them properly, I'll refer you to their Armeniapedia links. Our real accomplishment of the day was when, hungry from touring, we came up short for lunch options, and our guide Zara and her young aunt Getzmadzin put together an impromptu post-tour feast for us. We all came back to their house, where Zara dipped next door to negotiate some home-made yogurt and cheese from her neighbors while Getzmadzin picked some choke cherries, black currants, and plums for us to try. One of the country's ever-present sweet and juicy watermelons was produced and quickly divided, and some fresh honey put out as well. The lavash was still warm as we greedily scooped up the yogurt and honey. Zara recommended combining the mild, feta-like cheese made from the neighbor's cow with the watermelon wrapped in the lavash for a swee-and-salty sandwich. It would have been rude for us not to take a bit of cognac, too, so we did so to chase down the stunning meal. Thanks, Zara and Getzmadzin!