Blogs from Baku, Azerbaijan, Asia - page 2

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Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku June 30th 2016

Thursday June 30/Friday July 1 - So Rasim picked me up a little early, at 4:30pm, and then we were away driving towards the petroglyphs. It was quite a ways away, just under an hour or so. On the way there we past some highly secured areas for BP, as they seem to do all the drilling here. There is oil everywhere. When we got there, we found it was closed. Such a bummer - I didn't even realize it would be a place that could close. I figured it was just some drawings in the rocks somewhere. Rasim talked to the guy and said we could come back a bit later and give him a small bribe to get in. So we headed off to the mud volcanoes. Very cool to see actually. Unlike the ... read more
Mud volcanoes
Mud volcanoes
Mud volcanoes

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku June 26th 2016

Sunday June 26 - I didn't sleep well last night and was up by 5:30, still packing and sorting. Poor Jeroen, having to hear all of that. I also had a weird incident with my cat. She was playing with a plastic bag, which she loves, and found herself stuck it in. This caused her to run like mad and luckily I saw what was happening and caught her as she flew out of the bedroom door. I was able to get the bag off but she scratched my finger in a couple places when I caught her. Band-aid required. Jeroen and I walked to the tram stop but saw the bus coming and had a quick good bye instead. I decided to take the bus to the other tram to be faster. I left at ... read more
A view from my street - those are the Flame towers
Entrance to the little street I take to get to the old town
Gate to old town near shiny metro on left

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku October 29th 2015

The largest city in the South Caucasus region is a controversial place. On one side there is a huge contrast with the rest of the country in terms of education and living standards. While Baku received huge investments and has a relatively high standard of living, the provinces seem forgotten. On the other side its abundant architectural heritage is selectively evaluated and reconstructed. Neoclassical Fin de Si├Ęcle buildings and most of the medieval Old Town are luxuriously refurbished, while typical Caucasian residential buildings with wooden balconies and small vineyards are left to decay. Urbanism Located on the Absheron Peninsula, Baku is surrounded by the Caspian sea to the south, a series of lakes to the north, and hills both east and west. The city center is a compact urban settlement with an orthogonal street grid with ... read more
Urban Taxis
Nizami street
Baku Opera House

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku September 7th 2015

Geo: 40.3787, 49.84010600hrs Sadly Figaro our "adopted fig" has found all the travelling too much as has prematurely ripened....he was found last night alone and squashed in his little plastic bag. Pips were spilling from a nasty wound to his lower abdomen and Cathy was forced to eat him to save him any more suffering.........the good news is that we have discovered he has many relatives locally willing to take on his role.Today is a big sight seeing day and Gourban our chirpy was determined to throw the very best Bakuvian sights at us.0815: Cathy finally gets up....."we are to be away by 0900hrs!!!!!" I gruffly remark fearing fearing the breakfast buffet would be decimated by the "GROUP"......we managed to cram down an eclectic mix of olives, farmyard strong cheese and halal sausages......... 0900hrs our bus ... read more
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Mosque
Sunrise from our Hotel

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku August 8th 2015

So we made it to azerbaijan eventually. We're settled in a hostel for the second night now and we're just waiting for a ferry to take us to Kazakhstan. Though it's a little frustrating not being able to leave, it does mean I finally have time to write a long blog post, so here goes ... My last blog was from the west coast of Georgia. Having not had the greatest opinion of Batumi, my opinion of Tbilisi could not be more different. We drove across Georgia on some interesting roads to say the least thanks to our questionable sat nav. Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia and a genuinely great place. We arrived to a welcoming hostel host who showed us the highlights and where we should eat etc. We then went for a meal ... read more
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Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku October 16th 2014

On the ferry off Baku October 13, 2014 It is a beautiful day and we lie anchored off Baku on our Caspian cruise. We are sitting on a wooden bench with the expanse of the city laid out before us around the bay. As we face West the flag square and Flame towers are on the left. The old city is crowded out by new tower blocks. The docks are to the North. Most places you look there are signs of construction no just of any old buildings but impressive modern architecture. As we have discovered Baku is changing every week. It is certainly set to continue to do so with many major projects underway. The guidebook, LP or local and even the internet, just can not keep up. The transformation from Lahich is stark. The ... read more
The Flame Towers from the Maiden Tower
The new Carpet Museum
Traditional houses in old Baku

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 22nd 2014

18th May Whilst we cleaned up after breakfast, the guys hauled the rest of the large firewood up onto the roof and secured it with tarps and ropes. We'll definitely need to watch the wires with the added height and rolled the sides up in anticipation of the slow drive back to the main road. Just after 8 we were on the truck and left the park gates, waving goodbye to the park rangers. Only 100 metres or so down the road was a freshwater tap so we attached a hose and filled up the drinking water container under the truck, much to the amusement of the local men who stopped working to watch us. It was a slow and tense drive under the wires but event free and we eventually breathed sighs of relief when ... read more
Our first night camping with the Greater Caucasus mountains as the backdrop
Sunset
Relaxing in the last of the day's light

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 20th 2014

Sheki If it is a border crossing day, it must be raining! Another border crossing in the rain. That makes five in a row. The contrast between Tbilisi and the rest of Georgia is huge. Tbilisi is full of BMWs and Mercedes. The country side is less full of old and unrecognizable vevicles and the Sprinter van minibuses with crazy drivers. The country side looks quite poor and provided new traffic hazards to avoid - horse and donkey carts in abundance, and a few tractors with very wide plows. We have seen a few carts before, but today there were dozens hauling all kinds of farm stuff. The Azerbaijan border crossing was less trouble than Georgia. In Azerbaijan almost everybody waves or honks or flashes their lights. Lots of school kids were taking pictures with their ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 13th 2014

They looked edible. Like strawberry-laced fondant, the so called candy-cane mountains go best with a bowl of smooth vanilla ice-cream and a dollop of cream. One of the most bizarre and random sites we have ever seen, we were taken back by these bizarre accidental desserts of nature. Today was our last day in Azerbaijan and we were faced with a tough choice. Laze about in the hotel till noon and then meander in the local museum. Or get up real early and drive out to the candy cane mountains - a single sentence in the lonely planet that the majority of travelers probably wouldn't notice. They had grabbed my attention though because we had been hoping to visit a similar type of freak of nature in Turkmenistan. We decided on the latter, so after a ... read more
Candy Cane Mountains
Candy Cane Mountains
Candy Cane Mountains

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 12th 2014

Driving gives you so much more freedom - freedom to explore, freedom to discover, and as we quickly discovered this morning, freedom to get completely and utterly lost. Today, the plan was simple - hire a car, drive about 1.5 hours south to see mud volcanoes and prehistoric cave paintings, drive another 1.5 hours to see a mountain that has been on fire for 50 years, and then if time allows it, see some old Zoroastrian fire temple. And do all of that without a map. Simple no? Luckily the rental car guy recommended getting a GPS. I've never trusted a GPS in my life, preferring good old paper maps and the old nose to direct myself. But our lack of maps of Azerbaijan suggested GPS would be a good idea. Alas, the stupid GPS proved ... read more
The land of oil derricks
Qobustan petroglpyhs - dancing men
Qobustan petroglpyhs - dancing men, reindeers at the bottom




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