of the church, King Gagik I of Vaspurakan, and
its architect, the monk Manuel, were both in
their own eternal rest. I began to look for
the lions on the church walls, which are adorned
with the loveliest 'stone zoo' that I have ever
seen. Passing by peacocks, bears, bulls, gazelles,
mountain goats, deer, and parrots, I found them.
One of the lions was winged, and two stood beside
Daniel. Others were hunting prey. Snow had gathered
in the grooves and hollows of the carvings.
They were too high up to touch, but I looked
my fill, admiring the skills of those long gone
craftsmen who had created them. As I boarded
the boat, the gulls screeched with joy at my
departure.I returned to Van for a hearty breakfast
of herb cheese, garlic sausage with eggs, and
honey and butter, and when I could eat no more
of this delicious repast, I set out again on
my 185 kilometre journey over ice and snow.
The weather of Van is full of surprises. After
three hours of heavy snowfall, the clouds dispersed
to reveal an azure blue sky. But the cold was
by no means diminished, and horses by the side
of the road breathed out white