Special Day Trip For ETF Attendees On October 17
Garni, Geghard, Khor Virap … all must-see beautiful sites in Armenia. These are on the top of every listicle, easy to access, and visited by most visitors to Armenia.
Yet, there is so much more to see in Armenia. And let’s be honest, we have all collectively seen a lot of churches and monasteries.
Behind the scenes, we have been endeavoring to create a unique experience that is not part of a typical itinerary.
Aragats Cosmic Ray Research Station
The Aragats Cosmic Ray Research Station perched on Mt. Aragats was founded in the 1940s while Armenia was part of the Soviet Union. At its height over 100 scientists toiled away studying and capturing high-speed cosmic particles that crashed into the earth’s atmosphere. Today, while still operable it operates with only a skeleton crew. Armenia might be compact, but this scientific station may be considered to be remote, in fact during winter it is cutoff from nearby Yerevan and only accessible by snowmobile or trekking.
Our friend and local organizer, Lusine Melkonyan, spoke with the proper authorities who oversee this facility. The station will be hosting us for an exclusive visit and a Soviet-style lunch in their canteen. In addition, we will be exploring some of the numerous buildings and the underground tunnels.
Another Soviet gem which began construction in the 1970s and was active until 1990 is the Orgov Radio-Optical Telescope (ROT54). Unfortunately, it has sat abandoned since the collapse of the Soviet Union. ROT 54 is a giant telescope embedded in the ground and surprise it measures a giant 54 meters in diameter. Another giant telescope sits in the distance partially constructed.
Viewing these gargantuan telescopes is a pure joy, but the added bonus is the adjacent control room, which is kept under lock and key. A giant control room which could serve as the setting of any Soviet war movie from the 1970s coupled with amazing murals.