Some recent photos for your viewing pleasure...
The Blue Mosque, constructed in 1765 and restored in 2003, is normally closed to visitors, but we were fortunate to find the gates open last Saturday, and basked in the tranquility we discovered within its ornate walls. This religious site serves as a reminder that the area was once part of the Persian Empire -- as well as the amazing fact that Armenia, the first Christian nation on earth, retains good relations with Iran, its fundamentalist Islamic neighbor to the south.
Nathan really liked the reflecting pool in the center of the garden.
More dichotomy: a cab driver's entire arsenal against bad luck -- a crucifix, a mini-portrait of the Virgin Mary, a big evil eye bead, and a string of smaller beads.
Our friend Maria escorts us on our first ride in a marshrutka, one of Yerevan's ubiquitous passenger vans.
After we get off at our stop, we watch our marshrutka drive away. In the distance, you can see the newly renovated Sport and Concert Complex.
Our friend Josh shows us the view from his 12th floor apartment.
This statue, in front of a restaurant...
...and this mannequin, in front of a bridal shop...
...stand only 3 or 4 meters from each other on Kievyan Avenue, the main street in our neighborhood. They make me think of a silly, more twisted version of Hans Christian Andersen's tale of The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Instead of a soldier, the hero is a 19th-century fruit seller; instead of a ballerina, the romantic interest is a wedding dress mannequin; and instead of the hero missing a leg, it's his true love who happens to be headless. (I told you it was silly, didn't I?)
Every weekday, as we drive to work northwest of Yerevan, Mt. Aragats, Armenia's highest peak, appears on the horizon.
Our favorite Indian restaurant, Karma.
And finally, shopping at our local Western-style grocery store, Galaxy Supermarket.
Click here to see all the latest pictures in our March Photobucket Album!