Blogs from Baku, Azerbaijan, Asia

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Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku December 19th 2013

I began to pass through a back street of Baku, edging my way past some parked Ladas. Across the road, a large woman wearing a headscarf was leading a small child by the hand, and above me, leaning over an upstairs balcony was a middle-aged man in a string vest, smoking a cigarette. I carried on past them until I came to another narrow street filled with fruit and vegetable shops. It was just near a huge sandstone-coloured mosque with gorgeous golden domes. I noticed an overflowing bin with a clear plastic bag tied to one end. The bag contained pieces of bread. I’d already read about this strange custom, which had nothing to do with how full the bin was. Bread was regarded as a holy thing in Azerbaijan and could not be discarded with ... read more
The old town of Baku
Side street
The Russian Churh

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku September 12th 2013

The bike ride from Tbilisi in Georgia to Baku in Azerbaijan, even though not the most physically challenging, was the one that hurt me the most. Unbearable heat leading to dehydration, mad drivers, my bike not functioning 100 % and the final straw; finding the contents of my handlebar bag (mobile phone, i-pod and headphones) covered in gooey magnesium sulphate (paste for minor abrasions etc) made for the worst 5 days of my trip so far. I was glad to book into the hostel in Baku and grab a shower. I was sorry to say good bye to Georgia. I had had such a good time in this country visiting beautiful places and meeting up with wonderful people in Batumi as well as Tbilisi. I chose to ride to the northern border of Georgia/Azerbaijan hoping that ... read more
5 days of camping
Azerbaijan Border Good Luck
Gas pipe lines everywhere

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku June 3rd 2013

The Pleasure of Good Neighbors I think almost a miracle must have happened to get me this flat: good price, great location, and, as I have discovered, really nice neighbors, including my landlord and landlady. I must admit, when we first drove up to this place that first Friday, I thought it looked a bit like a shanty town (actually, I still kind of do, but the inside of my room is nice, and there are children around, which I take as fun and a good sign). Several evenings, my landlady has popped by, and she’s always friendly. The neighborhood children run around and play like scamps. The odd board blocking the path to my flat and two others functions as a playpen, and I’ve concluded that the random series of knocks on doors is probably ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 29th 2013

I'll be staying in Baku for an internship my second summer of law school. Since I have to blog for that, I figured I'd post my entries here as well. Since the college trips recounted here, I've worked, lived (and worked) back in Russia, and completed two years of law school. Also, just to note, I have no idea why I had to select Asia as the continent to find Azerbaijan; it's west of the Urals, so it could be Europe, and it's south enough that it could be considered Middle East. It's Asian in the sense of that's what the Romans would have called here... :-/ The morning after I landed I was wide awake sometime between four and five, despite hoping that I’d beat the jet lag by staying up til midnight (conking out ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku September 19th 2012

So I guess its been about 50 days since I have set foot in Azerbaijan, and this means its time for another blog update. The last month or so has been pretty damn crazy. A massive list of random things have occurred and also I learnt a hell of a lot more about surviving in Azerbaijan. Guess we can start with what happened around the 20th of last month. So I managed to get my self food poisoning, which was honestly the closest I have come to wanting to die on the spot. Thanks to the dam Turkish restaurant nearby I ended up spending 2 days alternating between lying in bed trying not to die and throwing up. Not a fun experience but at least Im a LOT more careful about what I eat now days. ... read more

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Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku August 13th 2012

k so its been a pretty busy week for me. Started work, as well as finding my way around here. Ive learnt a few new things and also finally met Tatiana the MCP of AIESEC Azerbaijan and also one of my flat mates. I also learnt how to find a few new places and walk around on my own and generally start building the foundations of living here. Ive also found my arch enemy here. Taxi Drivers. So I guess we can start with work since its probably the central feature of my life. I work as a Study Abroad Manager which is a fancy name for someone that helps students going overseas to study with their university and visa applications. I now know more than I ever wanted to about Germany University and Visa processes. ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku August 1st 2012

So after spending a horrible 7 hours in Dubai Airport I finally made it to Baku. Thankfully I was able to nap on the plane and having a burger made me feel less sick and tired upon landing. The immigration process was suprisngly smooth, I almost laughed when the officer asked me if I spoke English. One of those, dude its the only language i speak moments. Getting my bags through was also scarily easy, they only x rayed my small bag and then just let me through. So I got picked up by Piri, the MCVPTM here and he was nice enough to buy me a bottle of water to help out a very dehydrated me. I think after Malaysia, the heat wasnt as bad and considering itts like 30 + degrees here, im suprised ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku August 25th 2011

Time for a trip slightly more off the beaten track, mainly because I had airmiles to use :) Transport The amusing start to my visit to Azerbaijan starts on the airport tarmac. Usually the pilot is told a gate number then follows the numbering system of the airport lanes and turnings. In this airport, those signs do not exist so a small Lada turns up with large yellow lighting on its roof, flashing FOLLOW ME. It then drives around the airport twice as we follow in the plane. Interesting. Turns out that the majority of people drive Ladas. On the surface you'd think that Baku has a structured traffic system. The roads are paved, multi lane motorways in places, street lighting lines the roads, lanes are clearly marked and there are numerous road signs. This does ... read more
Old meets New
View from Maiden Tower
Maiden Tower

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku October 12th 2010

Um die Umgebung von Baku etwas zu erkunden, unternahmen wir einen Tagesausflug zu den Schlammvulkanen bei Qobustan, den Ölpumpen von Bibi Haybet (dort wurde „The World is not Enough“ gedreht), zur Burg Ramana und dem Zoroastrier Feuertempel Suraxani. Früher entzündete sich das aus dem Boden strömende Gas und wurde vom verbreiteten Feuerkult (Zarathustra) als heilige Stätten verehrt. Per Nachtzug verliessen wir Baku Richtung Tbilisi, jedem Aseri versichernd, dass wir von Georgien via Istanbul nach Hause fliegen werden. Armenien als Feriendestination ist hier unmöglich….... read more
Schlammvulkane bei Qobustan
Auch kleine "Vulkane" können ausbrechen
und es blubbert...

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku October 11th 2010

Unser Aufenthalt in Baku beginnen wir mit einem Spatziergang der Strandpromenade entlang (mit Gepäck, direkt von der Fähre kommend). Wir sind überrascht wie modern und westlich sich die Stadt hier präsentiert. Nach den vielen Städten, die einen klaren sowjetischen Schriftzug tragen, fühlen wir uns in Baku wie „zurück in Europa“, irgendwo in einer Stadt am Mittelmeer. Die vielen modernen, glas- und stahlbetonten Gebäude machen Baku westlich, modern und eben europäisch. Aus einigen Gesprächen der folgenden Tage lernen wir, dass dies noch nicht lange der Fall ist und wir Zeugen dieser Transformation sind. Ebenfalls unser Hotel knapp ausserhalb der Stadtmauern am Fontänenplatz ist wieder „wie zuhause“. Zuvorkommender Service, lächelnde Mitarbeiter an der Rezeption die Englisch können. Im Zimmer funktioniert alles (auch die Sanitäranlagen) und ist modern. Statt Kopftuc... read more
Dom Sowjet
Fassade der Oper
Kuppel im Chanspalast




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