Blogs from Seki, Azerbaijan, Asia

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Asia » Azerbaijan » Seki August 25th 2019

We left Baku for the Village of Lahij. On the way we visited the Juma Mosque in Shamakhy. It was built in 743 and severely damaged in the earthquakes of 1859 and 1902. During the Armenian genocide in 1918, the mosque was then set in fire by Armenian nationalists. The Mosque, Juma meaning Friday (the Muslim holy day), was extensively reconstructed between 2010-2013. It was very beautiful- simple compared to Turkish standards, however I feel as the dome, crystal chandeliers and turquoise-tiled mihrab were beautifully placed amongst the sandstone your eyes really gazed to these items to give the Mosque a ‘less is more' feel. We then ventured onto our next stop, a small village in Shamakhy, to take a look at traditional yoghurt and butter making at a local house. The matron of the house ... read more
Juma Mosque, Shamakhy
Juma Mosque, Shamakhy
Butter making at Shamakhy

Asia » Azerbaijan » Seki June 11th 2018

Took the night train from Baku arriving a little ahead of time at Sheki station at 7am. A driver from Ilgar’s Guest House was waiting for us for the 17km journey from the station to the town. Guide book rated this as a pretty town, after a day of wandering we beg to differ! Lots of stone buildings up a steep hill and off up hills in other directions but not well kept and many empty. Cobbled streets (most of which seem to be undergoing water pipe renovation). Ilgar’is s a quaint home-stay, clean and we have a spacious room. Ilgar is very friendly with good English. Further up the hill is a beautiful summer palace of the Shaki Khans from the 1700s set inside some castle walls. It’s only small but beautifully kept with most ... read more
Caravansaray
Kish Albanian Church
Pitti in Sheki

Asia » Azerbaijan » Seki June 11th 2017

Over the years, the way I travel and the way I look at travelling have changed several times. My motivation, however, has stayed the same: curiosity in its purest form. I wanna see, I wanna know, I wanna experience and live it, growing in the process. Alexander von Humboldt, one of the purest travellers imaginable, said that "The most dangerous worldviews are the worldviews of those who have never viewed the world", and never has this quote rung truer than these days. The more you travel, the more you understand, provided you learn how to listen and to see. If your motivation is to take the same picture as everybody else for those precious FB likes, well, just stay at home. You don't deserve to travel, and the locals in those countries on your bucket list ... read more
Putting together the stained glass windows in the Xan Sarayi (Khan's Palace)
Kiş River
Çay Çay Çay, endless Çay

Asia » Azerbaijan » Seki May 14th 2017

Der Tag begann schon schlecht, denn die Leute vom Chateau Mere haben zwar jede Menge Zimmer gebaut, aber keine Ahnung, wie man ein Hotel führt. Jedenfalls war das Frühstück zwar besser organisiert, als das Abendessen gestern, aber immer noch ein Beispiel schlechter Organisation. Fahrt durch das nördliche Hügelland Georgiens; in den flachen Talböden wird Wein angebaut und es gibt viele Weingüter. Offenbar kann man damit Geld machen... Straßensperre wegen Bauarbeiten, aber ich Schlaumeier dachte, das geht schon. ging zuerst auch, dann kein Teer mehr, nur noch Schotter. dann übler Schotter, dann eine Stelle, wo ein Bach unter der Straße in einem Rohr durchgeleitet worden war, leider war noch nicht richtig aufgefüllt worden. es ging runter, wieder rauf, gleichzitg um die Kurve - und da lagen wir. Ein etwa 12 jähriger Junge stand schweigend daneben, beobachtete, wie ... read more
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Asia » Azerbaijan » Seki October 16th 2014

Baku October 9, 2014 We arrived in Baku, Azerbaijan, on this special day, Ian's birthday, having had four nights in home stays. We have a complete private apartment which is a bit of luxury after sharing people's homes. I have really enjoyed the home stays. They are definitely harder work and to a large extent you have accept what is there when it appears. Our first stop was in Sheki (Saki, Seki). We had made contact with Ilqar Agayev (ilqaragayev77@hotmail.com) from his Lonely Planet references. We took a taxi to his street and before we had hardly disembarked a gentlemen had grabbed our bags and was taking us to his house. From his doorstep we phoned to Ilqar and he explained that he had put us with this gentlemen as his guests with a small child ... read more
Butcher in Sheki market
Ducks, chickens, rabbits and turkeys
The 'Albanian' church in Kish near Sheki

Asia » Azerbaijan » Seki October 5th 2014

This blog is part technical to show people how easy it is to go from Telavi, Georgia to Saki, Azerbaijan (also spelt Seki and Sheki in Roman alphabet) and part a description of the wonders of slow travel. Our research the previous day, utilising a German traveller who spoke some Russian, had established that the marshrutka/minibus left Telavi for the border town of Lagodekhi at 8.30am. We made sure we got there for 8am to secure seats and room for our luggage. We bought hot pastries and bananas at the bazaar across the street for breakfast. As part of our preparation I had mapped out the route on paper with expected fares for each transport option (buses, marshrutkas, taxis) and downloaded the relevant maps on to my phone GPS so I could work out where we ... read more
On the edge of the market at Tsnori, Georgia
Passengers on the Saki marshrutka

Asia » Azerbaijan » Seki August 29th 2011

Seki is in the countryside, 6 hours minibus ride from Baku. Not remote like Laza, the town has an old and new section and is surrounded by hills. Although even in the villages the men's fashion remains skinny jeans and thin striped shirts. They seem to look better than Western European men in skinny jeans, I think they are built correctly for the look. Older men wear black flat caps. I have to resort to much persuasion to get to Seki in a day from Laza. The big 2pm bus from Baku is full and there are many people waiting to buy tickets for the 3pm and it's only just gone 1. A minibus is almost full and has a space for me but not with luggage. I decide to wait around anyway and finally the ... read more
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Asia » Azerbaijan » Seki » Kish June 15th 2009

Kiş (pronounced Kish) is just a few kilometres from Şeki and easily reached on the antiquated number 15 bus! Once you get there it's about 20 minutes up cobbled streets to find the Albanian church which is, thankfully, signposted! The church is thought to be the oldest Christian church in the Caucasus region. It doesn't look like it because it has been completely restored. Now you can see into the crypts through glass screens and explore the church's tiny interior which is now used as a museum. There's lots of interesting information in English about the archaeological project if that's your thing! Just outside the church is a monument to Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl who was responsible for generating the restoration money from his government. He also began the theory which say... read more
Inside the Crypt
Church Interior
Church Museum

Asia » Azerbaijan » Seki June 14th 2009

Another long weekend in Azerbaijan. This time it was for "Salvation Day" which is apparently the date that Heydar Aliyev was invited to return to Azerbaijan and lead the country out of it's post-Soviet dark days. Who were we to complain, so we took an overnight train to Seki (actually Şeki, pronounced Sheki) hoping to leave behind the now stuffy summer air of Baku. Instead the heat came with us and Şeki basked in a weekend heatwave. At least the fierce winds stayed on the Caspian coast! The train journey wasn't too bad but Şeki's train station is 17km from the city so we had to take a taxi into town. Trish had negotiated a hotel room for us in wonderful Russian and we soon found ourselves in the Panorama Inn (☎ +994 50 622 9027). ... read more
Friends
Lux - the friendly puppy!
War Memorial




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