Colors of Fall: Lake Gosh

It’s been a few years that I wanted to go to Gosh Lake, which is in Dilijan National Park, Tavush Province. Every time I was waiting for the end of October, when the nature paints all forests with different colors. But every time something was happening, and I couldn’t go. This year I decided to go whatever happens. And it’s only 1 week (or weekend) that I had for that, as before that days forests are still more green and after that week the leaves would be already dry and all on the ground.
And thanks to my friends, who created an amazing event, that included a trip to Gosh Lake, walks in nearby forests and much more, about which I’m going now to tell you about.
Again sleepless night, but not because I was busy with preparing the backpack or else, but I was impatience. Too long awaited day-trip was on the way! Alarm didn’t know that I’m awake. Anyway it ringed when it was still dark outside. Half an hour on all and I’m ready. Car picked me up when the dawn just started. This time it wasn’t full of people. Just the most adventurous ones came, as the weather was not probably pleasant: it was cold, cloudy, rainy… But nothing can stop us this time. The lake and colorful forests are waiting for us!
The way was not that short. Usually it takes around 2-2.5h to get there. But we even didn’t notice how time flew, as all the way we were talking, joking, laughing and voila, we’re there, in Gosh village. This is from where our day should start. In the heart of the village, on a small hill there is a gorgeous Goshavank monastery complex (12-13thcenturies) standing surrounded with famous Armenian cross-stones (Khachqars), included one of the best needle-carved cross-stones in Armenia. But I’ll not go into details about the monastery today, as it’s not a part of our trip. We had a very short visit to the monastery and started to walk. The way starts right from the village. The day life had already started here many hours ago, people were already deep in their daily duties. The village itself is situated on the edge of forest, which is part of Dilijan National Park. Once the small “streets” of village ended, the forests start and the “streets” are transformed into large paths. Trees started to be closer each other and finally the houses were left behind.
Lake Gosh
The wild nature welcomed us! We’re going to one of the most amazing places in Armenia, to Gosh Lake, which is inside the forests, surrounded with trees from 4 sides. Before we reached the lake, nature was dazing us with its beauty, seen on every step. Once again I was sure that there is no any painter better than nature. You may find a big palette of colors in the forest, on any tree, on any piece on the ground, which was all covered with lying on it leaves. Green, yellow, red, orange.. all these colors were blinking around. And here is it, the pearl of the forest, Gosh Lake. Usually there are lots of frogs here, but today they were all gone. The weather was cool, sometimes wind was blowing and at that moments golden colored leaves were flying down from the trees, and this looked like the last dance. The water of lake was so calm that it reflected every bough, every leaf of trees on it as a mirror. The best part of this place was that it’s really wild, yet. There are only 2-3 sitting areas for tourists like us, to stay for a while and had lunch. But the nature is untouched. No cafes, no hotels, no people around. Only us, songs of birds, sounds of dancing leaves and water.
Luckily there was no rain, but from the top of the mountains around the big cloud of fog was coming down. Anyway we had a long day ahead and had to continue our journey. So we packed up again and continued our hike. Our next destination was Chermakavank (“chermak” = “white”) monastery (10-12th centuries), which is now all ruined and only part of the front wall is partially standing. The way to it was not easy. It was few hours of walk inside forest, up and down. The fog was becoming denser and the trees and paths ahead could hardly be seen. The forest started to look as a mysterious place. Sometimes it was scary, as you didn’t see who or what could come up behind the trees, but sometimes it was amazingly beautiful as each tree silhouette was admiring with its unique shades. Wow…  
Chermakavank, 10-12th c.
Chermakavank, as almost all Armenian monasteries, was on the top of the hill, still fighting for “life”. There were few small cross-stones and part of ruins nearby. Curious, but the only standing wall was also divided into 2 parts, which looked like a kissing couple (that was an impression from almost all trip participants). After a short break here we again continued to walk until we reached the next village Khachardzan, where the car was waiting for us to take us to another piece of autumn tale.
We had just 5 minutes of ride till we reached the next village Aghavnavank, from where the entrance to Yew Grove was. This was a beautiful park, full of different kind of trees as well as many Yew trees. In front of the entrance to the park there was a small information table, where was a notice about the park and a warning to be careful of bears! But no any bear came to welcome us there. The path was again all covered with colorful leaves, on which, as well as on the grass and moss all around there were still thousand drops of dew.  In around half an hour walk in the park under the last light rays, we reach the last point of the day, St. Akhnabad monastery (11-12th centuries).
The entrance of St. Akhnabad monastery
This was a small monastery, situated a bit higher that a path, again surrounded with cross-stones. The place was so peaceful. Next to the monastery, inside the park, there was a small river running. The light wind was gently playing with leaves, and from somewhere a giant crow flew over the trees. In this silent only the sound of his wings was heard. Imagine how giant he was and how strong wings he had. Wow…
There are also several legends about forests of Tavush, particularly about the places we’ve visited today. If you’re a fan of them, you may find here the stories about Gosh Lake and St. Akhnabad.

We could stay here for another hour, but it started to get dark and was better to go back, to avoid being a dinner for bears. But we came back in time and safe.
The same 2-3 hours drive home flew as just some minutes, with the same talks, jokes and laughs.
Long waited trip passed with success, left full of emotions, some more good hiker-friends and memories. Mission accomplished! Looking forward to the next trip, next adventures, next gems to explore! 

2 thoughts on “Colors of Fall: Lake Gosh

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