7 The Long Journey to Armenia ©2006 Lori Bailey Cunningham
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Rien impressing guests with his toothpick magic The toothpick begins to jump Magic accomplished with enthusiastic response
Dinner at Yerevan's "The Club" restaurant with diasporans from America, Iran and Lebanon. A beautiful view in Shushi Shushi Hotel - Humble exterior, wonderful, warm and nicely decorated interior. Great food!
Shushi is devastated by the war with Azerbaijan. Most of the buildings are in disrepair or reduced to rubble.
After a record snowy winter in Armenia, the grass was just beginning to turn green and trees had not yet sprouted buds... but you could tell the region is very lush in Spring.

Church at Shushi which the Azeri's had filled with ammo, knowing the Armenians would not destroy a church. Note: turkey in foreground
13 Armenians scaled these steep, rocky mountains from the valley below to surprise the Azeris.
This Shushi mountain top resembles the scene in the Sound of Music. When Armenian soldiers reached this plateau, they converged with other small groups in a planned attack to regain Shushi. They left a path of retreat for the Azeris, as their intent was not to slaughter. Armenians in Shushi also left a mosque intact and intend to refurbish it in an effort to show their respect for other beliefs and desire for peace. Impressive.
Father Hovanes and Rien... This priest is one big Armenian! Evidently Armenians grow larger in the region of Karabahk, so we're thinking maybe Great-grandpa Toros has roots there.
Father Hovanes points to the land he says was given to the Armenia's by God.
The Church at Gandzasar, where priest Ter Hovanes led his people in prayer and in war against the Azeris in the fight for Karabakh in 1988-94
Sondra Armenian women are very fashion conscious - black, high-heeled boots and tight pants are a must! Jo and Sondra walk and talk One of many Armenians doing their part to repair the ozone layer. This is not an unusual site outside of the city.
Jo enjoying Armenian vodka at the Hotel Shushi
Lori hanging out with Mashtots, creator of the Armenian Alphabet.
Sondra, Jo and Lori meet up with Armenian tennis star, Sarkis Sarkesian Our last night at the Congress Hotel inYerevan
Peter and Arbi send Rien back to Nashville Mt. Ararat from the plane  

The Long Journey to Armenia ©2006 Lori Bailey Cunningham

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