Monday, October 18, 2010

Tatev Monastery and the World's Longest Cable Car Line

"World's longest cable car line opens "
AFP, via Traveller, The Age (Australia) (October 18, 2010)

"Armenia on Saturday launched the world's longest cable car line, a 5.7-kilometre engineering feat that spans a spectacular gorge to the country's ancient Tatev monastery.

"Gathered in Armenia's southern mountains near the border with Iran, guests including President Serzh Sarkisian and the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Karekin II, took part as the cable car link launched its first official voyage over the Vorotan River Gorge.

"The link will allow year-round access to Armenia's ninth-century Tatev monastery complex, one of the country's most important religious centres and a major tourist attraction...."

The article says the cable car goes 37 kilometers per hour (about 23 miles and hour, if I got the math right), making a one-way trip in 11 minutes. Given the setting, that should be quite the scenic ride.

Armenian leadership is hoping that the new cable car line - and other upgrades - will help the country's tourist industry. They're one of many countries digging their way out of being part of the Soviet Union.

The article says that Armenia was the first country to embrace Christianity. Actually, Armenia was the first in a few categories - and that's another topic.

More about that monastery:

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