Bedazzling Baku

It was a very long trip with 16 hours of flying and the same in layovers, but I was finally in Baku, Azerbaijan!

5 hours in Calgary, admiring my new runners!

10 hours in Heathrow, admiring my new runners.

Huge meal of delicious lamb on Azerbaijani Air

Very modern Baku airport

Baku Terminal 2

Driving into Baku after arriving at 06:30. This angle was about how I felt!

Staying in İçəri Şəhər, the UNESCO designated Old City, but the modern architecture is always in view!

It’s the ‘Flintstones meet the Jetsons’!

Double Gateway in the old city walls.

Maiden’s Tower thought to be 12th century

Views from the roof

Swift nests were removed from the tower for its preservation, but they built new nests on the building next door. They are little boxes assembled into the shape of a swift.

Former medieval market square

Palace of the Shirvanshahs – mostly 15th century

Vahid Garden is tucked in beside the gate. The bust of poet Aliagha Vahid (1895-1965) incorporates characters from his works

Underground bathhouse – 17th century

Metro station by the city walls

Funicular up the hill to the Flame Towers (2012)

Evening light shows with ‘flames’ and the flag

Şəhidıər Xiyabanı- Alley of the Martyrs.

About 170 Baku citizens were massacred on January 20, 1990 by the Soviet Red Army as they tried to establish an independent state. It is very powerful that all of these memorials have the same date of death.

Given this history, and a former state of the USSR, I would like to ask them more about how they feel about all the Russian tourists that are here.

The Russians have limited places that will accept them. I’ve heard Türkiye is welcoming them too.

Dəniz Mall (2022)

Baku Eye

Carpet Museum

Little Venice where you can rent a ‘gondola’ to paddle around the canals

Baku Bulvar (promenade)

The Crescent Hotel, still under construction

Fountain Square anchors central Baku, just outside the gates. Around it were lots of pedestrian shopping streets and parks.

They were building small sales huts for the upcoming crowds arriving for the Grand Prix Formula 1 in two weeks.

Much of the Formula 1 infrastructure is left up between races. I found it ugly and a huge problem to walk around at times.

Back of some bleachers

Repaving the circuit which goes around the centre of town.

I took a day tour out of town is see some sites. I’m not a fan of groups, but we covered a lot of ground that public transport was difficult for. Fortunately we were six English speakers, and we had our own mini bus.

Bibi-Heybət Mosque.

Baku is a huge oil state, and it was obvious just looking off the terrace of the mosque.

Azerbaijan has been an oil state for years. In 1905 it produced half of the world’s oil.

The countryside was packed with these small pump jacks, almost side by side, still pumping away.

Qobustan petroglyph reserve was 50 km south of Baku in a desert area.

It is UNESCO listed to protect thousands of stick-figure stone engravings from 12,000 years.

These were originally caves, but the sandstone has crumbled.

The Caspian Sea used to cover this area, but now you can just see it in the distance.

Daşgiı Hill mud volcanos were interesting. Some people put their hand it and said the mud was very cold.

Ready to burp!

Yanardağ ‘Fire Mountain’ is a 10 metre stretch of ‘eternal fire’ that burns on methane gas

Ramana Fortress

Then it was back through Baku and north-east to the Abşeron Peninsula.

Suraxanı Ateşgah had cell like rooms for Indian Shivaite devotees and an 18th century fire temple.

I’ve also been busy trying Azerbaijani food! These underground restaurants with walls of carpets are common.

I had Çoban Salati (cucumber, tomatoes and herbs) with most meals.

Lule Kebab is ground lamb seasoned with lemon, and served with onions, pomegranate and sumac.

Qutab is crepe-like and stuffed with greens, cheese or meat. It’s a common fast food.

Quzu Ətinden Sırdağ was lamb cooked with onion, tomato and eggplant. And a very generous amount of olive oil.

Plov, rice served with a stew, is a common dish.

This was Fisinjan – lamb, beans, pomegranate juice, ground walnuts. Not the prettiest but had a nice sweet-sour tang.

Cörük, or bread. This was at our tour group lunch, and they served one of these for each two people. Fresh out of the oven, there were no leftovers!

Dushbara – the tiniest little dumplings stuffed with meat and onion.

Dolma – meat stuffed vegetables (tomato, pepper, eggplant) with dill and mint.

London cabs

Fancy underpasses

No scaredy cats here! They are well taken care of too.

The weather has been lovely, 17-20 with no rain so hope it continues!

Tomorrow I’m headed north to Quba. See you there!

12 thoughts on “Bedazzling Baku

  1. Ah, ha! The jetsettin’ gypsy is back travelling the world. Looks like those comfy sneakers are finally getting a workout after all the layovers. I adore the architectural contrasts you’ve capture in your photos. Mmm… the food photography is making me hungry. I wish you safe travels, Leslie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great blog! So much to see—can’t believe how much you were able to cover. It is a beautiful city. The contrast of modern and ancient is striking—the modern buildings are pretty far out. Love the carpet museum! And the carpets. All the public spaces are lovely and clean looking. The old buildings are so well maintained. The food looks SO good! It must have been a big job to put everything together in your blog! On Wikipedia it says Baku is known for being very windy– didn’t see it in the photos. Maybe it isn’t all year.


  3. I was very glad to meet you at the Genocide Memorial Complex in Guba. Your passion to explore the countries is really fascinating. Thank you! And I really want your attitude about our complex too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice to travel with you again.🙂
    I’m just now in Baku on your blog trip, but I’ll get back to you as soon as I have time.
    So much interesting reading.
    Thank you..!

    Liked by 1 person

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