Blogs from Baku, Azerbaijan, Asia - page 5

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Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 11th 2009

Arriving from the east, Baku seems like the gateway to Europe: a quaint European style old town with cobble stone alleys and narrow side streets, big squares and fountains, cafes and restaurants - in all a lovely place to spend a few days. The slight distraction are all the oil fields. Oil and gas are the country's main assets, and perhaps what it is most known for, and step out of the old town and you can see oil pumps all around, in the sea, across the harbour, and just in land. I team up with Graham, a Brit who turns out to have been a contemporary at uni, and Paul and Scott, two Kiwis, to visit the surrounding areas. Ali, our driver for the day, is full of stories, from how the KGB crippled his ... read more
Palace of the Shirvanshahs
Maiden Tower
Baku waterfront

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku April 15th 2009

Unfortunately the photos for this entry have been lost due to a technical glitch at Travelblog. I will get around to reloading them soon! One day it's lovely and sunny, the next it's cold and grey. Everyone says in another month the weather will be stable and the temperatures will keep on climbing until everyone complains it's just too hot. We can't wait! For now, we make every effort to get out and about in the city whenever we can and our most recent wanderings took us to the Russian Orthodox church. From the outside it's not overly glamorous but inside it was beautiful. The smell of burning incense took us back to Oman!! Outside it was a beautiful spring day. The flowers are beginning to bloom and the blossom on the trees is starting to ... read more
Inside the Orthodox Church
Inside the Orthodox Church
Orthodox Cross

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!
Buskers
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
London
London
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
Graffiti
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
Scorchio!!
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
Diwali
Live Music
Traditional Costume




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