Azerbaijan Travel Articles and Photos

Reflections: Crossing the Caspian Sea

Your trip across the Caspian may provide some of the scariest and most fulfilling moments of your entire journey. -- A veteran journalist we met in Tbilisi, Georgia who had seen it all in the former Soviet Union.Although we are posting this from Pingyao, China, we dial back a few clicks to the beginning of our journey in Central Asia in an attempt to adequately … [Read more...]

This Land Is Not Your Land

Caucasus Map

Before this journey, our experience with the disputed regions in the Caucasus - Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh - amounted to a few news articles and flashpoint body-count news tickers drifting across the bottom of our television screens.Something bad had happened, people had died, but we never truly appreciated or understood the details. … [Read more...]

Kutabs and Kebabs: Azerbaijani Food

Colorful Kebabs

Given that Azerbaijani culture and language is Turkic in origin, it's not surprising that its cuisine also carries a strong Turkish influence. Doner kebabs are so prevalent on Baku's streets that you'd swear they were Azerbaijani by origin.One thing is certain though. Azerbaijanis like their meat, with shashlik (barbecue) as the style of choice. One meal took us … [Read more...]

Lazing in Lahic: Caucasus Hill Towns

Quintessential Lahic

Lahic was the last of the Caucasus hill villages we visited and it reaffirmed that hill villages often have the most to offer in terms of scenery and real life experiences. They are generally hard to get to and usually involve boarding a Soviet-era school bus that should have been retired 20 years ago.Winters in these remote villages are difficult - roads get … [Read more...]

Shaky Math in Shaki

Odd Man Out

While visiting the village of Kish just outside of Shaki, the Azerbaijani long weekend getaway of choice, we struck up a conversation with a newlywed couple - a young dentist and his wife - as they gave us a ride back into town."The situation with doctors and dentists is really bad in Azerbaijan. My salary as a dentist is only $30 per month.""How could you … [Read more...]

Visual Tour of the Caucasus

History Lesson

Between embassy queues for visas, we've been taking advantage of Tashkent's surprising supply of wifi and internet cafes.As a result, we finally have some photos to show from Armenia and Azerbaijan, thereby completing our visual tour of the Caucasus. … [Read more...]

Hitching from Gobustan

azerbaijan signs

So there we were, parched on the pavement in Gobustan, Azerbaijan. Fresh from gurgling volcanic mud holes and ancient cave scratchings, we looked forward to catching a marshrutka (minibus) that was due any minute back to the big city, Baku. Fifteen minutes, no marshrutka. Thirty minutes, no marshrutka. Heat exhaustion setting in. Drink some water. … [Read more...]