Blogs from Azerbaijan, Asia - page 4


Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 12th 2014

Driving gives you so much more freedom - freedom to explore, freedom to discover, and as we quickly discovered this morning, freedom to get completely and utterly lost. Today, the plan was simple - hire a car, drive about 1.5 hours south to see mud volcanoes and prehistoric cave paintings, drive another 1.5 hours to see a mountain that has been on fire for 50 years, and then if time allows it, see some old Zoroastrian fire temple. And do all of that without a map. Simple no? Luckily the rental car guy recommended getting a GPS. I've never trusted a GPS in my life, preferring good old paper maps and the old nose to direct myself. But our lack of maps of Azerbaijan suggested GPS would be a good idea. Alas, the stupid GPS proved ... read more
The land of oil derricks
Qobustan petroglpyhs - dancing men
Qobustan petroglpyhs - dancing men, reindeers at the bottom

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 11th 2014

For some idiotic reason I've always had a long standing desire to visit Azerbaijan. I have no idea what triggered the interest, but somehow that little country hanging off the Caspian sea has always stuck out like a sore thumb on maps and beckoned to me. So I was thrilled that one of the better flights that would take us to Iran was Azerbaijan airlines, giving us an excuse to stop over for 3 days on the way back. We arrived from Iran at 4am in Azerbaijan to an empty and rather gruff airport. The staff were sleepy and definitely not smiley. A stark difference to the warm hellos we encountered in Iran. We were heading into the soviet part of the world obviously. I made a blunder with our taxi driver that didn't help in ... read more
Old Baku
Old Baku
Tour de Azerbaijan

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku December 19th 2013

I began to pass through a back street of Baku, edging my way past some parked Ladas. Across the road, a large woman wearing a headscarf was leading a small child by the hand, and above me, leaning over an upstairs balcony was a middle-aged man in a string vest, smoking a cigarette. I carried on past them until I came to another narrow street filled with fruit and vegetable shops. It was just near a huge sandstone-coloured mosque with gorgeous golden domes. I noticed an overflowing bin with a clear plastic bag tied to one end. The bag contained pieces of bread. I’d already read about this strange custom, which had nothing to do with how full the bin was. Bread was regarded as a holy thing in Azerbaijan and could not be discarded with ... read more
The old town of Baku
Side street
The Russian Churh

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku September 12th 2013

The bike ride from Tbilisi in Georgia to Baku in Azerbaijan, even though not the most physically challenging, was the one that hurt me the most. Unbearable heat leading to dehydration, mad drivers, my bike not functioning 100 % and the final straw; finding the contents of my handlebar bag (mobile phone, i-pod and headphones) covered in gooey magnesium sulphate (paste for minor abrasions etc) made for the worst 5 days of my trip so far. I was glad to book into the hostel in Baku and grab a shower. I was sorry to say good bye to Georgia. I had had such a good time in this country visiting beautiful places and meeting up with wonderful people in Batumi as well as Tbilisi. I chose to ride to the northern border of Georgia/Azerbaijan hoping that ... read more
5 days of camping
Azerbaijan Border Good Luck
Gas pipe lines everywhere

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku June 3rd 2013

The Pleasure of Good Neighbors I think almost a miracle must have happened to get me this flat: good price, great location, and, as I have discovered, really nice neighbors, including my landlord and landlady. I must admit, when we first drove up to this place that first Friday, I thought it looked a bit like a shanty town (actually, I still kind of do, but the inside of my room is nice, and there are children around, which I take as fun and a good sign). Several evenings, my landlady has popped by, and she’s always friendly. The neighborhood children run around and play like scamps. The odd board blocking the path to my flat and two others functions as a playpen, and I’ve concluded that the random series of knocks on doors is probably ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku May 29th 2013

I'll be staying in Baku for an internship my second summer of law school. Since I have to blog for that, I figured I'd post my entries here as well. Since the college trips recounted here, I've worked, lived (and worked) back in Russia, and completed two years of law school. Also, just to note, I have no idea why I had to select Asia as the continent to find Azerbaijan; it's west of the Urals, so it could be Europe, and it's south enough that it could be considered Middle East. It's Asian in the sense of that's what the Romans would have called here... :-/ The morning after I landed I was wide awake sometime between four and five, despite hoping that I’d beat the jet lag by staying up til midnight (conking out ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku September 19th 2012

So I guess its been about 50 days since I have set foot in Azerbaijan, and this means its time for another blog update. The last month or so has been pretty damn crazy. A massive list of random things have occurred and also I learnt a hell of a lot more about surviving in Azerbaijan. Guess we can start with what happened around the 20th of last month. So I managed to get my self food poisoning, which was honestly the closest I have come to wanting to die on the spot. Thanks to the dam Turkish restaurant nearby I ended up spending 2 days alternating between lying in bed trying not to die and throwing up. Not a fun experience but at least Im a LOT more careful about what I eat now days. ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku August 13th 2012

k so its been a pretty busy week for me. Started work, as well as finding my way around here. Ive learnt a few new things and also finally met Tatiana the MCP of AIESEC Azerbaijan and also one of my flat mates. I also learnt how to find a few new places and walk around on my own and generally start building the foundations of living here. Ive also found my arch enemy here. Taxi Drivers. So I guess we can start with work since its probably the central feature of my life. I work as a Study Abroad Manager which is a fancy name for someone that helps students going overseas to study with their university and visa applications. I now know more than I ever wanted to about Germany University and Visa processes. ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku August 1st 2012

So after spending a horrible 7 hours in Dubai Airport I finally made it to Baku. Thankfully I was able to nap on the plane and having a burger made me feel less sick and tired upon landing. The immigration process was suprisngly smooth, I almost laughed when the officer asked me if I spoke English. One of those, dude its the only language i speak moments. Getting my bags through was also scarily easy, they only x rayed my small bag and then just let me through. So I got picked up by Piri, the MCVPTM here and he was nice enough to buy me a bottle of water to help out a very dehydrated me. I think after Malaysia, the heat wasnt as bad and considering itts like 30 + degrees here, im suprised ... read more

Asia » Azerbaijan » Ganja July 31st 2012

After the little France holiday I expected to be doing a bit of engineering work in Yorkshire for a while. However, two days after arriving back from Paris I was on the way to Azerbaijan for some more gold mine work. This wasn’t quite as unexpected as it sounds, I had already been offered the Azerbaijan work and I’d already gone through the rigmarole of acquiring the visa, I just didn’t expect to be going so soon - excessive rains leading to the postponement of a lot of construction work in the UK this summer. Similar to the Mexico blog a few blogs ago (which was another construction project on a gold mine), I don’t want to go into what I was doing too much – construction of a heap leach pad, a tailings dam and ... read more
Mine in the Background
First Night in Gedabay
Strangely Beautiful Pond of Gold-Filled Cyanide

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