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Four days in Baku, an Azerbaijan adventure

Four days in Baku, an Azerbaijan adventure

Old Mar 22, 2024, 11:52 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk
Mediocre. The microbus driver we had in Turkey once driving us from Antalya airport to Side had blue flashing lights on the outside and was cosplaying an ambulance from afar whenever the traffic didn't show signs of parting to make way for him
​​​​​​
Now that is next level outside the box thinking
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 12:01 pm
  #32  
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Having unpacked my life for the next two days I took a little wander around the block and spotted the ashtray on the way back in, even the cigarette butts get a little luxury!



As it is now 10 or 7 or 6 o’clock or something I decided to try one of the local beers. The intercontinental only has a tiny bar with 4 bar stools that is inside the restaurant.



A bottle of the Xirdalan unfiltered which is very light and a little sweet and fruity and 4.5% according to the label, very drinkable



And there are some dangers lurking on the back shelf



The hotel appears to be almost empty. One person in the restaurant, only 4 in the club lounge, nobody coming and going. That apparent low occupancy may explain the amazing room upgrade. Maybe this is the effect of the bank holiday.
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 12:24 pm
  #33  
 
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Did it truly take an hour to go from the hotel to the gate/lounge? It looks like a short walk to the CDVAL train to Terminal 1. I assume airline check in and security is once you enter into the main terminal. Then the walk to the gates or lounges, right? I am leaving on UA when I leave Paris so I am doing a similar trek as you (including the HI Express stay).
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 12:54 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by HawaiiTrvlr
Did it truly take an hour to go from the hotel to the gate/lounge? It looks like a short walk to the CDVAL train to Terminal 1. I assume airline check in and security is once you enter into the main terminal. Then the walk to the gates or lounges, right? I am leaving on UA when I leave Paris so I am doing a similar trek as you (including the HI Express stay).
its a short trip to the transit terminal and from there to T1, and a long march to the gates and lounge. It was pretty close to an hour all in, including a little detour to check in areas 5 and 1-4 just to take a look. I made a comment about that 9 minutes being complete rubbish, my experience was way longer than that.
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 9:19 pm
  #35  
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Good morning from Baku! Having been awake since a little before 6am local time I’ve had time to catch up on the world and all things FT including the excellent live trip report from Fabo.sk where I’m waiting to see if we need to start a gofundme to bail them out when they create mayhem on someone in the lounge for eating with their mouth open

The shower in this suite certainly wakes you up as it hits you with a Niagara falls of water. The shower also came equipped with one of those body scouring mitts which is an unusual touch but, despite vigorous use, it failed to scour away the years

Out of idle curiosity I looked up the rack rate for this room and it does not exist? There is only a single room junior suite and the presidential suite, all very odd.

I have also managed to lose the room key and so either need to pick a new one up as I go down to breakfast, or hire a full search party to scour the expanse of this room as I cannot see it anywhere! Option one may be faster.

And it is indeed time to break fast. I have the option of main restaurant or club. In the spirit of adventure I’m going to head to the main restaurant first and then have a final coffee or two in the club lounge to see what that spread has to offer.
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 9:41 pm
  #36  
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I may not make it to the club lounge, this could take a while!




















And no surprises here

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Old Mar 22, 2024, 9:54 pm
  #37  
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This is deserving of a photo in its own right, it was absolutely delicious and there may be seconds. Curry for breakfast, you betcha!



As an aside, I caught sight of the guest list for breakfast and it was a single A4 page so as suspected, the hotel is clearly lightly occupied.
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 10:47 pm
  #38  
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Leaving the breakfast extravaganza whilst I could still waddle I’ve headed up to the club lounge to check out the breakfast buffet which turns out to be severely limited compared to the main restaurant






Nice views from here on the seventh floor and the cloud is slightly higher this morning revealing the flame towers in their entirety




The club lounge is completely deserted. Just time for a fresh coffee and then it will be time to start exploring the city. The plan for the day is a guided tour of the old town this morning and then probably over to highland park for the afternoon.

Updates to the TR are going to be limited whilst out and about as my roaming package does
not cover Azerbaijan and I have purchased a 500Mb addition to keep the necessities such as google maps going which came in at an eye watering Ł45! I may be more lenient with bandwidth later in the trip but today is bandwidth Scrooge day.
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 11:24 pm
  #39  
 
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Reading your reports makes my ongoing HK trip feel dull Reading your report slightly tired from a late night out in TST last night, while enjoying the view of Victoria Harbour (and waiting for SWMBO to finish her war paint so we can venture out…). Will definitely follow along on your journey
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 11:45 pm
  #40  
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I must return to Hong Kong at some point. I was based out of there for two years but that was over thirty years ago during my “sell all my worldly goods and buy a backpack” walkabout phase.

TST brings back some, err, interesting memories
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 11:57 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by JapesUK
I must return to Hong Kong at some point. I was based out of there for two years but that was over thirty years ago during my “sell all my worldly goods and buy a backpack” walkabout phase.

TST brings back some, err, interesting memories
A lot has changed since then, I can guarantee you! But it still has its charm! And this view is just impossible to get bored of. One thing that has not changed though is that it is still a pretty damn pricey place TST seems much more lively these days than LKF for instance btw.

Oh well, I have decided it is five o’clock somewhere and have popped open a Tsing Tao while waiting now…
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 12:39 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by JapesUK

Updates to the TR are going to be limited whilst out and about as my roaming package does
not cover Azerbaijan and I have purchased a 500Mb addition to keep the necessities such as google maps going which came in at an eye watering Ł45! I may be more lenient with bandwidth later in the trip but today is bandwidth Scrooge day.
Top tip for you then - Google Maps allows you to download your maps in advance! Just tap on your account icon top right, select Offline maps, and download whatever you need!
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 1:37 am
  #43  
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Get an eSIM or a local SIM, they are cheap as chips.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 2:22 am
  #44  
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I should have gone the eSIM route to be honest, never gave it a thought.

I did download the Baku map, I have been caught out by signal blackspots far too often in the past. It’s also the other things, especially WhatsApp that every tour operator seems to use.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 2:29 am
  #45  
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Back to the hotel about three and a half hours and way over ten thousand steps later. As I had plenty of time in hand before the tour start time I took a circuitous route along the promenade. At 9am it was pretty much deserted, in fact everywhere I went there were more staff than anything else. The city is spotlessly clean and no wonder given the number of cleaners I have seen. There was even one lady cleaning the handrails of the escalators.








You can see just how few people were around. It was also very chilly with a very cold wind blowing in from sea.

In the end I arrived at the tour meeting point with a couple of minutes to spare

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