Armenia Dispatch 14: Road Trip Part 2

Sorry for the confusing nomenclature for these posts, but I feel like I have to break them up, make them “bite-sized”, or people will get bored and bail.

So we were on the road again, passing along the narrow ribbon of road through the Armenia countryside heading towards the region called Lori. We chatted and snapped photos as we sped along, and soon all the lovely hilly surroundings came to an abrupt halt, and we came upon a large industrial city called Vanadtor, where the dead husks of old Soviet factories squatted in a grimy haze under the blazing sun.

This was my first real encounter with some of the industrial mess left behind by the Soviets, and it was not pretty. I would see many more places like this along the way, and always they were the same…awful vast sections of a town or city left to rot. Crumbling concrete skeletons with facades of broken windows, yellowing shards of glass left in the frames; wrecked, rusted machinery being slowly devoured by the weather and weeds; long-dormant smokestacks rising into the sky like exclamation points punctuating the failure of an entire era of human social engineering. These places are a jolt to the system….and yet….and yet…strangely, I find some of these places completely fascinating. There is a cacophonous majesty to them, a jarring, symphonic testament to our sometimes absurd ambitions. Sure, visually, you might find places like this in Ohio, outside of Detroit, but there is subtext of tragic history here that is on display, and when you wrap it all together, the scene and the story behind it…well, it´s a moving experience.

And speaking of moving….moving on….