Jacob adores his older brothers. And vice versa, but they don't stare in fascination as their brother solves a Batman maze... (That thing there, that's a tent. Yes, I know. But if it stood upright and as it should, I'd be worried that my boys are up to no good.)
Lake Sevan (Armenian: Սևանա լիճ), former names include Gokcha (or Goycha) and the Gegham SeaArmenia and one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world. The entire lake is situated inside the eastern Armenian province of Gegharkunik. It is fed by 28 rivers and streams. Only 10% of the outgoing water is drained by the Hrazdan (Razdan) river, while the remaining 90% evaporates. Along with Lake Van and Lake Urmia, Sevan was one of the three great lakes of the historical Armenian Kingdom, collectively referred to as the Seas of Armenia, and it is the only one within the boundaries of today's Republic of Armenia. Sevanavank is the historic area near the lake.
What Wikipedia doesn't say is that it's simply gorgeous. A feast for the soul. We drove to the peninsula and then climbed up the many, many steps to the monastery Sevanavank. We couldn't go inside as there was a service held (Sunday, right?), so we continued on to the top of the peninsula and were rewarded withwonderful views. Oh, and some patches of snow which the boys adored - the sun shone, it was warm, and the snow was white. What else could a little boy possibly ask for?
If you are interested in Lake Sevan and its depressing story (its level was lowered by 20 meters) and beautiful surroundings, I'll post more on this when we make our long-planned weekend trip to the lake. In the meantime, here are some pictures to enjoy.
Doug and I have made a pact to not let this posting get us down. You may know, if you have followed this very irregularly updated blog, that the gods seem to have conspired against us. Things have not been easy, and alas, there doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel for us. (Of course, she hastens to add, things could always be worse, so we are not really complaining, just, you know, mentioning. We have a pact. We try to see things positive. Really.)
We're having snow at the end of April (while the sale for pool memberships is going on), we're having troubles getting our last consumables shipment into the country - or out of the U.S., to be precise. And speaking of pool memberships - it seems that this year, we are not able to get a reduced membership via the Embassy, so we can't actually go to the pool this summer what with the price being some $1,000 for the season (and the season could be quite short, given the recent weather quirks we had to endure). And Doug still suffers from what I suspect is walking pneumonia. The antibiotics seem to have helped but he's still coughing, and now he's also getting a cold.
And it snows outside.
Really. Does anyone else have the impression that we ought to leave here? Are these all warning signs about bad things to come?
Who knows. For now, we will settle down in the living room to watch "Batman, the animated series" with coffee, milk, and brownies. As I've said before, things could be worse. Of course, they also could be better.
Second, how much does it actually cost to print up all the posters and banners, to train the personnel in detecting liquids, to collect all the oh-so-dangerous liquids and dispose of them? (Surely they must be removed by a bomb squad, no? I mean, if all those liquids are potential bombing material, why put them in a plastic bin right in the middle of the security check point?) Who do you think is going to pay for that, ultimately?
Third, it's stupid, and useless, and stupid.
Some dim bulb randomly decided that 3 liquid ounces per container in a one quart bag (or, if you are not from the US, that would be 100 ml in a 1l bag) are safe. Sure. Uh. Right.
They even thought of kids, imagine that! When you travel with a baby or toddler, you can bring milk or formula in larger, unspecified quantities, although you are encouraged not to carry on more than you will need. (As everyone knows, you can totally predict how much milk or formula you'll need on an airplane that is drier than the Desert of Gobi.)
So, we have three kids. Arguably, one toddler, two kids. All of which still drink their milks before bed, and when they get up. I'm not even embarrassed about that - it's part of our ritual and it works, so there. Only we can't take milk on the plane. They won't let me. Not if I travel with Alan alone, since he's a reasonable 5-year-old adult by now who can easily understand that airport security is working for the greater good of mankind. Not if I travel with Alan and David. They are too old. We even had milk taken away when traveling with Jacob. You're totally at the mercy of little people with too much power.
I made Doug put all the jetlagged kids to bed and
hid out in the study, playing around with Google Earth (always a big black hole of time).
So this is Yerevan. The tiny little pushpin is our house. [The image gets way more informative when you click on it.] The vaguely cricle-y thing is the center of Yerevan, with the ring road.
I pulled the other pictures not because I'm scared of evil terrorist attacks against us (all that is needed for you to do is come here and ask where the foreigners live), but because they showed the location of a house of a friend. I think the Embassy would have a fit. (Again, nothing that isn't publicly known in Yerevan but people are paranoid.)