Travel Moment: Uneasy Neighbors

This picture captures Mount Ararat, in Turkey, from just across the border in Armenia. The structure in the foreground is the monastery of  Khor Virap. Here St.Gregory the Illuminator, one of the most beloved figures of Armenian religious history, was imprisoned for twelve years in a well by a pagan king. He finally emerged upon the latter’s conversion, and the monastery is a modern pilgrimage site. On the Turkish side, Mount Ararat, reputed resting place of Noah’s Ark, rises 16,945 feet above sea level, and is the country’s highest peak.

The animosity and violent history between these two neighboring nations is well-known. But I like the fact that it was possible to juxtapose iconic images of each in a setting of stunning beauty and tranquility.

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