By Catherine Tsounis
Who holds the record for Longest non-stop double track cable car in the world? It is in a country struggling to maintain its independence . A poor nation materially, the first Aryans or “Ancient people”, Armenia has the longest reversible aerial tramway built in only one section at the Tatev monastery. Its majestic view is unforgettable.
I remember Tatev because I was the only person of the Holy Martyrs 2018 Pilgrimage who was not warned and drank poisonous juice that landed me in a hospital without adequate plasma. A life experience that had a happy ending, because Father Abraham Malkhasyan sang an Armenian religious hymn, blessing me at the hospital. It was destiny for me to experience all, overcome and remember “The Wings of Tatev” in 2023. Every traveler has an experience that changed their life. Seeing historic Armenia helped me appreciate my Greek heritage. It is the longest reversible aerial tramway built in only one section the Aegean and Western Anatolia because of the courageous Orthodox Armenian people, the backbone of the Byzantine education, spiritual and military establishments.
Flying over the gorge located at the Syunik region, south of Yerevan, presented a once in a lifetime view. The manufacturer is the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group of Austria/Switzerland. In the middle of nowhere, the Caucasus mountains, one sees Western technology. “The Wings of Tatev” was built within the framework of the Tatev Revival Project. The project was conceived by Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend. The aerial tramway was officially launched on 16 October 2010., where it set the Guinness World Record for the longest non-stop reversible aerial tramway.1
The Tatev Gateway is noncommercial. It has one goal: the restoration of Tatev Monastery and the development of the local community. – Tatev, that means “give wings.”2 Flying across the gorge was like having wings.
Special appreciation to Rev. Dr. Abraham Malkhasyan of Holy Martyrs Apostolic Armenian Church in Bayside, NY, the Pilgrimage leader Aram Ciamician and photographer Lara Ciamician, Zarmi Megherian and Armenian mentors scholar Mardo Anastasian and community activist Carol Anastasian.