Blogs from Azerbaijan, Asia - page 2


Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku October 12th 2017

First, we must find our train to Baku. It's not that Tbilisi station has a huge number of trains, but the station is hidden inside a shopping centre. We find the platforms on level two, but the information sign, telling us which platform to use, is on level three. Train found, we are soon making ourselves at home in our two berth sleeping compartment, home for the next 15 hours. Our friendly lady conductor is busy keeping her carriage clean and in order, providing clean sheets and bedding as we pull out. The evening passes well, helped by a bottle of Georgian wine, glasses provided by our lovely conductor. After an hour we arrive at the border post to leave Georgia. Lots of uniformed men in big peaked caps but a pretty smooth process. Then a ... read more
Our sleeper
Flame temple

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 » Baku June 10th 2017

Azerbaijan is one of those countries that still remain something of a mystery to most. Some people might associate it with Eurovision, others with its frequent hosting of sport events. Yet others think of it as former-USSR, oil-rich, with a poor human rights record. I'll tell you what I knew about it: it's one of the three countries of the Caucasus, so people are actual Caucasians, yes, literally Caucasians, imagine that. Its language is similar to Turkish, the people are predominantly Muslim, and for some reason they hate Armenia. They want Nagorno-Karabakh back from the latter. The closest I've come to Azerbaijan was two years ago, while driving along the Araz River in neighbouring Iran to visit some Armenian monasteries. The soldiers on the Azerbaijani side didn't look friendly, maybe due to the fact that a ... read more
Breakfast fuck yeah!
Maiden Tower
Azerbaijani traditional instruments

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 15th 2017

Schöner Morgen, Temperatur ok, nichts zu klagen. Das Wichtigste: Sammys Geburtstag heute. Ich bin sicher, dass Wolfgang ihn mit Extra Streicheleinheiten verwöhnt. Weiterhin Felder, Haselnussplantagen, Pferdekarren, ländlich - sittlich. Die Leute auf der Straße winken mir begeistert zu, ich winke zurück. Dave hat mir einen Geheimtip gegeben und nach Ismailia, etwa halbe Strecke, bog ich nach N ab in den Kaukasus. Zuerst Teer, dann Schotter und Lehm. Gut, dass es in der Nacht nicht geregnet hat. Die Straße ist gesäumt von "Restaurants" und Teehäusern. Manche nur ein Samowar auf dem Holzfeuer, manche mit Tischen und Stühlen und sogar Tischtüchern. Aber es war noch kein Gast da, erst bei der Rückfahrt waren Ausflügler zu sehen. Und offenbar ist draußen picknicken die zweite Lieblingsbeschäftigung hier. 15 km bis Lahac. Ich parkte Paulchen, riß mir die Jacke herunter ... read more

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

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku April 30th 2017

Baku, Azerbaijan: Baku By Day 4 2017 Baku by Night 4 2017 Baku, Mountain Burning 4 2017 ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan September 3rd 2016

Geo: 41.2019, 47.1756It was cool and overcast all day during our long drive (with great stops!) to Sheki. Before we left Baku, we drove to the airport to see if we could get Pas' bag … and we could! Hurray! They were very organized and able to get it in just a few minutes. We drove north out of town, through the north gate where the massacre of 1990 took place. The road started along a flat plain, through still fairly populated places. This gave way to light manufacturing, then a large reservoir. Soon, hills grew on both sides, dry and rocky. Our elevation increased. Finally, we reached a pass, and the climbed up over higher rocky hills, more colorful than the first. We learned this is winter pastures for shepherds … and saw the large ... read more
Leaving Baku
Leaving Baku
Dry hills of Azerbaijan

Asia » Azerbaijan September 2nd 2016

Geo: 40.3953, 49.8822First official day of touristing. The day was overcast and comfortable – very windy but in mid-20s C … much better than the anticipated 35+ which they've been having the last week.We had brekkies on the 9th floor of the hotel – decent collection of food, decent view, but very crowded. Then we met our guide, who is excellent, at 9am. We climbed into the van and headed up to the Park – Martyr's Lane – at the top of the hill behind Old Baku. Baku is a beautiful city – arranged along the waterfront, with hills to the back. The old city is partially preserved, with narrow, winding streets and cobblestones. There has been some tear down of old buildings and new construction, and some poor reconstruction, but it feels kinda old. Outside ... read more
Mosque near Martyr's Lane
Martyr's Lane
Martyr's Lane

Asia » Azerbaijan September 1st 2016

Geo: 40.3953, 49.8822So I had dinner and slept. Well, slept fairly well. We landed Frankfurt a little late (see note above), so I just had time to walk through the many terminals of Frankfurt to my gate to Baku. The flight was delayed about 15 minutes, but nothing much. I had a whole row to myself and slept most of the flight. We had views of thunderstorms in the distance, and it was very turbulent upon landing. Immigration was a breeze, and my bags (I had Kyla's, too) were among the first out. I found the driver, and we arrived at the hotel about 20 minutes later. The trip through town – past the glowing Olympic football arena, built for the EuroGames in 2012 and the glowing national gas company building – was fine and fun ... read more
The football stadium, at night
The gymnastics arena, at night
The petroleum company tower, at night

Asia » Azerbaijan August 31st 2016

Geo: 40.3953, 49.8822So I don't want to talk about the morning, as often seems to be the case before I start a trip. Years from now, I'll have no idea what the stress was all about, but suffice it to say that there was a lot of stress and I'm still feeling headachy over the whole thing.I left for SFO on the 12:10pm train. The line for check-in was surprisingly long, but it didn't take all that long. Security was nothing at all, thanks to Pre. I then went to the lounge to take care of some final emails. I should work on a report, but I don't wanna. Buwah.The flight was fine. It was my first time on an A380…almost the entire upstairs was business class. At least I don't have to go through customs ... read more

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