Blogs from Azerbaijan, Asia - page 2


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

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku July 27th 2016

I know, Azerbaijan is not in the Stans or either Central little side trip. I did visit Georgia and Armenia with the kids two years ago. We drove all the way back from Yerevan to Tbilisi. But you do not cross that easily from the Christian Armenia to the Muslim Azerbaijan, both country being still officially at war. So this time, in between two entries in Kazakhstan, here I am in Baku. I applied for an electronic visa for 50usd. Pretty easy affair. I took my 3 hours direct flight from Astana on Air Astana. The flight was full, but the service was pretty impressive....way better than I expected. I'm staying at the Sheraton Baku Airport. This has nothing fascinating. But I'm landing just before midnight, and it doesn't feel that bad to walk straight ... read more
That was a hike all the way up here...
Old City main tower
Old City

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku June 30th 2016

Thursday June 30/Friday July 1 - So Rasim picked me up a little early, at 4:30pm, and then we were away driving towards the petroglyphs. It was quite a ways away, just under an hour or so. On the way there we past some highly secured areas for BP, as they seem to do all the drilling here. There is oil everywhere. When we got there, we found it was closed. Such a bummer - I didn't even realize it would be a place that could close. I figured it was just some drawings in the rocks somewhere. Rasim talked to the guy and said we could come back a bit later and give him a small bribe to get in. So we headed off to the mud volcanoes. Very cool to see actually. Unlike the ... read more
Mud volcanoes
Mud volcanoes
Mud volcanoes

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku June 26th 2016

Sunday June 26 - I didn't sleep well last night and was up by 5:30, still packing and sorting. Poor Jeroen, having to hear all of that. I also had a weird incident with my cat. She was playing with a plastic bag, which she loves, and found herself stuck it in. This caused her to run like mad and luckily I saw what was happening and caught her as she flew out of the bedroom door. I was able to get the bag off but she scratched my finger in a couple places when I caught her. Band-aid required. Jeroen and I walked to the tram stop but saw the bus coming and had a quick good bye instead. I decided to take the bus to the other tram to be faster. I left at ... read more
A view from my street - those are the Flame towers
Entrance to the little street I take to get to the old town
Gate to old town near shiny metro on left

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku October 29th 2015

The largest city in the South Caucasus region is a controversial place. On one side there is a huge contrast with the rest of the country in terms of education and living standards. While Baku received huge investments and has a relatively high standard of living, the provinces seem forgotten. On the other side its abundant architectural heritage is selectively evaluated and reconstructed. Neoclassical Fin de Siècle buildings and most of the medieval Old Town are luxuriously refurbished, while typical Caucasian residential buildings with wooden balconies and small vineyards are left to decay. Urbanism Located on the Absheron Peninsula, Baku is surrounded by the Caspian sea to the south, a series of lakes to the north, and hills both east and west. The city center is a compact urban settlement with an orthogonal street grid with ... read more
Urban Taxis
Nizami street
Baku Opera House

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