Saturday, 10 January 2015

Memories of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan was our first "serious" border crossing.  We spent five days in the middle of May 2014 and it is now January 2015 as I review and remember some of our experiences there. Check the Odyssey blog here for details.

The sign on the Georgia side said "good luck" and we had been warned that last year problems were had when folks had photos of the Armenian Genocide Museum on their cameras.  Azerbaijan does not recognize Armenia and at the same time disputes who Nagorno Karabakh belongs to. So, photos were hidden as were any signs that we had been there (other than our visa stamps, of course).  Stand quietly, take of hats and glasses and don't joke or laugh.  A good answer about our time in Armenia was "ok". My hard question was "what is the name of the Canadian Basketball Team".  I still have no idea why, but even though I didn't know, they still let me in.

Courtyard of the caravanserai at Sheki where we stayed.

Waiting for our  English guide for a tour of the summer palace
The first of our many requests to have our photo taken. 
A highlight of our time was this crazy cafe that specialized in
hunting trophies

Tea was quite the production
Food was fantastic

Flowers in the courtyard of the caravanserai.  

Then a quick dash across the country with a bush camp
near the mud craters.  Azerbaijan's economy is built on
oil and gas; their own as well as pipelines taking their
neighbors oil to the Black Sea and on to Europe.

Where's my iphone?  This was a reminder that I had geotagged
the picture and could get the location (once I get home to
my computer where the software is)

The rush was to get to Baku for visas to Turkmenistan and
get Calypso on her way in 72 hours.  We ended up having a
few days in Baku because of Poet's day.  This is a local cat.
Baku certainly let you know that there was enough money around to
build a modern European type city. These towers were
quite spectacular at night.  Note, Azerbaijan called itself
"European", but really, the border is officially somewhere in Turkey.

Carpet museum in the shape of a rolled carpet

street art

Maiden's tower.  A world heritage site

I saw these signs in Georgia too, and wondered why they were so common.
Stomatology in English implies something rather different than what it means here

Packed and ready to go to the ferry

Emergency rations.  

Here's some photos from one of my fellow travellers.  Thanks Mark.

Across Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, we kept meeting this older British couple
travelling in their own overland vehicle.

Camping at the mud craters

On the ferry, one of the regular Carcasonne games

Wool scarf purchased in the old market of Baku.
It traveled with me to Christchurch to be worn for Christmas dinner.

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