Khor Virap Monastery, Armenia

Khor Virap is the Armenian monastery closest to the sacred Mt. Ararat.  Because of a combination of fog and cloud we were only graced with fleeting glimpses of the mountain and never got its picture.  But when we got to the Monastery a man pushed pigeons into our hands (he said they were doves) and told us to release them with our fondest dreams so they could fly off to the holy mountain (which is in Turkey, behind barbed wire and watchtowers that the clouds did not obscure from the monastery).  Apparently, by releasing doves we were following the example of Noah, who released doves in his search for land.  That is how they found Ararat, although I don’t think olive trees could actually be growing on the summit.   The pigeons actually flew to their coop on a roof in the nearby village after making a feint in the direction of Ararat.

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