I enter Azerbaijan from Georgia as the border with Armenia is closed. There is a sign at the Azerbaijan border that in Georgian and English simply reads: “Good Luck.” Luck was on my side as I was able to smuggle in a Bible I’d picked up in Armenia, though one of my group wasn’t as lucky—his well read and annotated travel guide was confiscated simply because it included Armenia.
The history of Baku is long, most recent of which being its oil boom of the early 20th century, when the city grew uncontrollably.
The Church of Kish was the first church built in Caucasian Albania and in the Caucasus.
About an hour’s drive south of Baku, there are dozens of so called “mud volcanoes” no more than a few feet high.
Not far from the mud volcanoes, one comes across the petroglyphs of Qobustan, which date back to the Iron and Stone Ages.
Shamakhi was once one of Azerbaijan’s most prominent cities. About all that is left there now are some tomb towers.
Sheki is situated in northern Azerbaijan on the southern part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range.
Azerbaijan is an odd mix of ancient history and modern prosperity. An hour from centuries old petroglyphs one finds a capital city awash with Mercedes and five star hotels. This time Lonely Planet is spot on: “Azerbaijan is an incredible tangle of contradiction and contrasts.”
Back to Europe
A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
— George A. Moore