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Published: August 4th 2009
And so the time has come for us to say goodbye to Baku. It's been fun but it's time to move on. We've spent the last week saying goodbye to friends, colleagues and students, and we've also made new friends which is so sad as we were about to leave! It's been hectic, social and very enjoyable.
We thought we should try to get into the old city one more time as it's an area of Baku we haven't really spent any time exploring. It's a nice area to wander around and we just hope that it's beautification and modernisation doesn't go too far. We even managed to get in to see Samir, a carpet seller friend of a friend, who treated us to some refreshing tea and was perfectly hospitable. He didn't even try to sell us a carpet. If you drop down from the Maiden's Tower towards the Bulvar
you' come across his carpet shop on the right and he'll be more than pleased to see you!
On the social side, Russ began with a week to go with an evening of vodka and pork chops with one of his students, Fahrin. He came home surprisingly sober
but happy! We also met up with a load of Couch Surfers
at the Baku Entertainment Centre for an afternoon of ten-pin bowling. It was great fun and we were with friends from Romania, France, Canada, Sweden and Azerbaijan.
Our final weekend was taken up with Friday night drinks in Paul's Place
where many of our friends came to see us off. That was followed with a drink in the Phoenix for old times' sake and a doner kebab en-route! Saturday night was a more sophisticated venue, the Beyrut Lebanese where a small group of us met for a feast and some red wine. The evening was finished off in the Brewery! On Sunday we checked out of our apartment after squeezing our lives into our rucksacks once more. We left our bags at Joe's and once again met up for a drink with friends in the Azar cafe. A Turkish meal followed, and later we drank tea on the Bulvar
which seemed like the perfect way to say goodbye to Azerbaijan. As we got to the train station even Heyder Aliyev looked sad to be waving goodbye to us.
And then we left, on the midnight train to
Georgia. Ok, so it left at 2200 but we were on it at midnight!
So, to misquote Douglas Adams: Azerbaijan - so long and thanks for all the plov/kebabs/dolma/vodka!!!!!!
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