Blogs from Baku, Azerbaijan, Asia - page 5


Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku March 15th 2009

Last night we went to the Baku Opera and Ballet Theatre to watch a production of Aida. Aided by stars from Georgia and Belarus, the Azeri National Opera must be feeling quite pleased with themselves for putting on such a good show. The best part of three and a half hours simply flew by and we never once felt inclined to leave early. We left the theatre with the music ringing in our ears. It was wonderful. Today the sun has been shining and it has been pleasantly warm. As a result we decided to jump on a bus to a small place about 30 minutes down the coast from Baku. Sahil means seaside in Azeri, so we thought we would check it out, despite warnings that it was a bit grim and there was nothing ... read more
What a dilemma
By the Caspian Sea
Sahil Mosque

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku March 11th 2009

March 8th is International Women's Day. In Azerbaijan that means a long weekend! Hoorah!!! Sadly the sun didn't shine so we decided to stay in Baku and see what happened. We also decided to check out a few different places. On Friday night we moved from our regular haunt for happy hour to The Clansman which was rather nice inside and far less crowded. Then we moved on to The Brewery which is a micro-brewery with wonderful beer and excellent (if a bit pricey) food. On Saturday we had an easy day but got to try a new cafe in Baku. La Vita had just opened and it seemed a bit on the expensive side. Still, we were sitting down so we ordered a coffee each (a bit weak) and a chocolate cake which was fabulous. ... read more
The Love Bench!
Laser Show

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku March 4th 2009

Once again it's been a while since we published a blog. The truth is that it's been too cold to go away anywhere and we haven't really been exploring the city too much recently. The last week though has been much better and we've been out and about a bit. Baku is now officially the Islamic Capital of Culture having had the inauguration ceremony a couple of weeks ago. The parks are still being spruced up and the Bulvar (waterfront boulevard) is far from ready for visitors. You get the impression though that everyone is gearing up for the warmer weather to arrive very soon. We haven't seen much evidence of an increase in cultural activities but it's early days yet. Last weekend we went to see a German jazz group called "Berlin Voices". They were ... read more
Berlin Voices
How cute!
Huseyn Cavid

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku January 30th 2009

I've had a few emails recently asking me why I haven't posted any blogs! Well, here you are!!! We flew home for our first British Christmas for several years. First of all we stayed in a hotel in London for a couple of days and caught up with friends who we hadn't seen in ages. We introduced Steve to the age-old tradition of moving stray road signs when you have had too much to drink. Oh dear! The rest of the break was a whistle-stop tour of the UK seeing the family. Unfortunately we were riddled with flu for most of the time, and this continued for another week and a half after returning to Azerbaijan. It didn't make for the merriest Christmas we have ever had! On arrival in Baku, it had been snowing for ... read more
British Boozer!

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku December 17th 2008

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Seasons greetings from chilly Baku. Sub-zero temperatures and a few flurries of snow certainly took us by surprise. Anyway, this blog is just to wrap up 2008 before we head back to the UK for our first British Christmas for a few years. Hope London is warmer when we get there!!! Friday evenings seem to have become a regular night out. Happy Hour in the Phoenix Bar brings good company and cheap beer, usually followed by a nice meal somewhere. So, if you're ever in Baku on a Friday night, you know where to come! Trish seems to have picked up a secret admirer! Outside LSD's city centre office someone (not Russ!) has drawn some graffiti. Sweet eh!!!! Azerbaijan is a muslim country so we have been surprised by a few recent developments. Christmas trees, ... read more
The Phoenix Bar
Xmas Trees

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku November 30th 2008

It's been a couple of weeks since the last blog. That doesn't mean we've been idle. When not working we are still getting out and about around the local area. About 10km north of Baku is the tiny settlement of Yanar Dağ but don't expect any taxi drivers to have any idea how to get there! As far as we can find out, there's no bus either. So what's there you may ask. Well, this is where you go to see a roaring fire coming out of the hillside. You can even sit on the benches for a cup of tea if you wish. We couldn't. Along with our French friend David we were too busy arguing in Russian and Azeri about the price of the taxi. Having negotiated a good fare, he then tried to ... read more
Fire Fire Fire!
Trish's new-found friends

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku November 19th 2008

International football for a couple of quid. Well, Russ couldn't resist the lure of the game, even if Azerbaijan against Albania doesn't exactly sound like the best game you could ever see! I met up with an Azeri friend, Moruq, close to the Tofik Bakhramov stadium, home to the national team and several club sides. The stadium is named after a very famous man in English football history. If you've never heard of Tofik Bakhramov, take a trip over to Wikipedia for the full story. He was the "Russian linesman" who controversially awarded England's third goal in the 1966 World Cup final. He wasn't Russian at all though, he was from Azerbaijan! The stadium isn't too grand really and it was probably about a quarter full. Even so, it was good to be in a different ... read more
Tofig Bakhramov Stadium
National Anthem
Flying the flag

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku November 16th 2008

It's not all work you know!! We have been getting out and about on the social scene a little. Most Friday nights we try to meet up with a few fellow ex-pat English teachers in a bar or two in Baku. Happy Hour certainly helps, and it goes on for 2 or 3 hours in some places! A couple of weeks ago we went to join in the Diwali celebrations with Baku's Indian community. It was a colourful, noisy night with wonderful Indian food. After a chaotic beginning it turned into a great night. We even bumped into some people we had met at another teacher's leaving party a while back. The following week we accepted an invitation to go to the latino community Hallowe'en party. It was fancy dress but we didn't have costumes to ... read more
Live Music
Traditional Costume

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku November 3rd 2008

One of the main sights people head out of Baku to see are an hour or so's drive South of Baku near the town of Qobustan (often called Gobustan as that's how it's pronounced). For once we had a nice Sunday to make the trip worthwhile and we hired Kamaran, one of our school's drivers, for the day. It was good as he has enough basic English to explain things for us from time to time and it was good practice for him! A free English lesson!! As you leave Baku, one of the first things you see is the Bibi Heybat mosque. It's a beautiful building and a popular spot for drivers to stop and and give an offering for a safe journey. Apparently during the Soviet era here, it was one of two major ... read more
Bibi Heybat Mosque
Caspian Dockyards
Bibi Heybat Memorial

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku October 19th 2008

One of the things that everyone does when they come to Baku is travel to the suburb of Suruxani to visit the Zoroastrian "Ateshga" fire temple. Last Sunday we set out to have a look for ourselves. Our first destination was the 28th May railway station. This proved a little frustrating as we were passed around from pillar to post before finally discovering that there were no electrica trains on a Sunday! Instead we jumped on the metro all the way out to Azizbayov station. From there we walked a few hundred yards in gale forced winds, protecting our eyes from the blasting sand and dust, to where the matrushka buses congregated. We just missed a number 84 and had to wait about 10-15 minutes for another one. After that it's simple. You stay on the ... read more
Eternal Flame
Fire Worshippers

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