27 August 2005. The excitement of accomplishing our goal is out of this world. We look at Mountain Ararat from the balcony of our hotel knowing that we had been walking on the summit the previous day. The Turkish agency has organized a few site visits for today. This day was going to be used as an extra day for the climb in case bad weather conditions had delayed our ascent to the summit. But since we reached our target we have time to wander around. We start driving towards the boarders of Iran passing by many military camps. Our first destination is a meteor crater. A 60 meter deep cylindrical shape hole in the ground. The impressive part for me is the fact that the same volcanic rock formations thatI saw on Mountain Ararat are also located here, deep in the ground. There is no soil on this land, just rocks.
Time to go to our second destination. We drive towards the site where it is claimed to be the resting place of Noha's Ark. This is also impressive. It's clearly visible that the ground has a "ship" formation. Some "research" has been done here by an American who claims that the ark is buried under the ground and that's the reason for the ship formation. I did not see much evidence indicating that any sort of research was done around the area. This is most probably just a natural rock formation of the ground.
A few hundred meters away from the site, a local Turkish villager has build a hut which represents the "Museum of Noah's Ark". In the museum there are posters with all the "evidence" which lead to the conclusion that the ark has rested at that spot. Looking closer to those posters I recognize a familiar shape. A big rectangular stone which has crosses carved on it. Any Armenian would recognize those stones as the traditional and unique religious (Christian) artifact called Khachkar, which means "Cross-Stone". I started questioning the local villager on what this stone is. He tells me that it is the "Anchor Stone" of the Ark. I ask our guide about the site of the "Anchor Stone" and if we are going to visit that area. He replies "That area is not included in the tour." But I insist on being taken there. We finally give the driver some money and we agree to go to the village 30 minutes away, where this stone is located.