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May 27th 2018
Published: June 7th 2018
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Travel agent "Good morning Simon. Another trip for us to arrange then.....what have you got in mind today?"

Simon "Well, rather than me propose my latest plan, I was thinking that this time you could come up with something of interest."

T.A. "What did you have in mind, and I'll work around your basic description?"

Simon "A place where few tourists go, the cost of living is low, the building styles are worth 2 dozen photos at least, it is friendly, and the place name will make you smile"

T.A. "In that case, I've got just the place for you, a few days and nights in Ganja, the second city of Azerbaijan. May I assume you've not been before?"

Simon "You assume correctly Sir, could you possibly brief me further as to what I will be able to enjoy there...?"

T.A. "Yes, sure, the city centre has a few buildings of note, namely the opera and ballet theatre, a mosque or two, a couple of nice parks, one central shopping mall, a caravanserai, and even, would you grasp, a house made of mostly beer bottles."

Simon "That sounds right up my street, but I might come unstuck here, but only if there aren't enough spots in the surrounding region to make for a fun-filled day out of the city."

T.A. "Well, that's where I've got you covered, as Nizami's mausoleum, Imamzadeh mausoleum and mosque, and the charms of Lake Goygol should be enough to charm any visitor for that day excursion they are clearly going to enjoy."

Simon "Super, but you know how much I love to push the boundaries and cram in visits to places even further afield. Surely you're not going to tell me that I can easily make it to the historical town of Sheki on a day trip..?"

T.A. "No, not as such, I'm actually going to announce that if you caught the right buses, you'd not only make it to Sheki, replete with its Shaki Khans Palace, but also to the town of Yevlakh, where the town hall might not look out of place in central Vienna, and the friendliness of the locals will win you over."

Simon "You're beginning to sound so convincing that I'm thinking of using your recommendations on future occasions rather than my own ideas"

T.A. "Well, you've been such a frequent customer of mine that, truth to tell, I can read you like a book. Once you've visited northern Azerbaijan, will you promise to update your blog with the report so that I can illustrate to other customers how visits to the unknown can broaden peoples' horizons in fulfilling ways?"

Simon "Of course I can, that's a given. One thing I need to be assured of though....would I also be able to combine this leg of the trip with a visit to the nation's capital and its surrounding area.....?"

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