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Four days in Baku, an Azerbaijan adventure

Four days in Baku, an Azerbaijan adventure

Old Mar 23, 2024, 12:34 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by VorelNaCestach
Can you actually use these to slide down?
Yep, from the 3rd and 5th floors
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Last edited by JapesUK; Mar 23, 2024 at 1:01 pm
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 5:47 pm
  #62  
 
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What is that stadium you can see on approach to Heathrow?
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 6:02 pm
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by Yahtzee
What is that stadium you can see on approach to Heathrow?
Twickenham, the home of England Rugby
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 6:37 pm
  #64  
 
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Thank you! Ive asked locally several times over the years and apparently my limited powers of description precluded anyone from knowing what I was talking about.
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Old Mar 23, 2024, 11:27 pm
  #65  
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Good morning from a chilly and overcast Baku.

Quite a late start today after a somewhat broken nights sleep, finally arising at half past eight! The Niagara Falls of showers soon washed away any last remnants of sleep and I do like the Bal D’Afrique scent although I don’t particularly like the 40 a small bottle price tag so it will not be a feature in the JapesUK bathroom unfortunately.

Down to breakfast by nine and hopes and dreams shattered as the curry from yesterday has been replaced by a vegetarian abomination. A few other small changes to the mostly unchanged buffet







Starting the day with a more traditional spread which was disappointing across the board. Everything ranged from luke warm on the potato to stone cold on the scrambled egg



Luckily I’m not exactly lacking in choices for round 2!
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 12:18 am
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by VorelNaCestach
this made my day

How is HK? I heard that the humidity is 100%
Haha happy to have been able to contribute

HK is nice, but quieter these days - early twenties centigrade, and not humid at all actually. Heading back home to BKK now where it is guaranteed humid
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 2:00 am
  #67  
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And so to the Radisson which is a five minute walk from the Intercontinental and a whole different level of hotel. What I did not notice when booking is this is a bog standard Radisson, not a Blu… oops 😬




The view is better than the intercontinental, but the rest, well…



The room is also quite noisy, despite being on the 9th floor, poor widow seals I’d guess. I’ll see how it is later but may give up the view for some quiet.
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 4:26 am
  #68  
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After a long and bone chilling walk I eventually made it to the centre. The wind chill was BRUTAL.

I absolutely love the design of this building as it flows in all directions






It was, of course, closed!

Last edited by JapesUK; Mar 24, 2024 at 2:24 pm
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 5:09 am
  #69  
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Having a few hours still to kill due to the centre being closed I decided that I would head over to highland park and the viewpoint. As the walk over to the centre had been both cold and uninteresting, and the funicular up to the viewpoint is directly behind the carpet museum I walked to yesterday, it was time for a Bolt. The taxis here are incredibly cheap, the trip that would have been close on a 90 minute walk was less than 2!

The funicular closes from 13:00 to 14:00 and, of course, it was closed. So what is a man to do but take the stairs? This proved to be my most stupid idea of the trip, in fact probably the most stupid idea of many trips. Up you go, flight after flight, until eventually you meet the funicular track and you can see ahead of you just a couple more flights



Heart pounding, brow sweating, calves aching you leap up the final few steps ready to celebrate your success. As you crest the final few you see this



Oh well, what’s a handful more flights after surviving so many. Up you go, one step after the other until solid flat ground appears and you’ve made it! NOT! Off to the left you espy this final trial



Definitely my most stupid idea, perhaps ever.

I had to Google it out of sick idle curiosity and it is 667 steps, or equivalent to a 30+ storey office building. I will not tell you my heart rate by the top otherwise you’d be calling a doctor, or a coroner, or, even worse, a personal trainer

Was it worth it? Meh








I wanted to ride the funicular once at least and so jumped on board. Tickets cost 1 Manat, or less that 50p for the 3-4 minute ride



There was a large queue waiting for the trip up, sensible people one and all!



And this chap stood in a pool of water with a ridiculously over-engineered back scratcher


Last edited by JapesUK; Mar 24, 2024 at 2:27 pm
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 5:25 am
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by hugolover
Welcome to Baku, the taxi experience is terrible, most recently was a guy with some local rap blasting away, blue flashing lights in the pax footwell and he used not only his headlights and horn but also the hazard lights to get people to move out of the way.

I would say that not even His Most Supreme Excellency Mr Aliyev has the roads cleared for him quite like I did, and all for 5!

Actually when i visited AZ last spring, the airport access road was blocked during 3/4h just to ensure that the local dictator did not have to mingle with the peasants traveler taking their flight (or at least who tried as i am pretty sure that some folks missed theirs)

El senor Aliev was going apparantly to a kind of european summit

The magic of "strong man" states . Nice euphemism for a full blown kleptocracy russian style. Very interesting country nevertheless.

One never appreciates enough living a democratic free speech and rule of law state until you lost it
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 5:31 am
  #71  
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With absolutely no intentions of walking anywhere it was another 2 Bolt back to the hotel and a well earned beer



In the interest of honesty and full disclosure, this is the second, the first did not touch the sides!

This offer looks interesting



The bar is a bit industrial



Some decent bottles on the back shelf. The paperback books are an odd feature



And the plan now is at least a few more beers to prepare myself for the night tour
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 7:38 am
  #72  
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A few beers later, whilst watching England stumble to an inevitable defeat at the hands of Brazil, a cavalcade of police cars arrived outside accompanying a large coach and shortly thereafter a large posse of obviously athletic chaps appeared from the depths of the hotel. This was, apparently, the Mongolian national squad who had lost 0-1 to Azerbaijan last night. Clearly very athletic, the whole lot of them could probably fit in a Max 8 people lift, they were diminutive.

As the inevitable came to pass and Brazil scored the one and only goal of the match, it was time to order some beer food to help soak up the Xirdalan.

I decided to go with the beef and potato burrito, with no avocado. Who on earth thought putting avacado into a tortilla filled with chips and beef was a good idea?Surely they knew that avocado is only for mashing and ruining a perfectly good slice of toast?

The burrito was the perfect beer food, tangy perfectly cooked beef, crispy french fries, plenty of jalapeos , and a tangy salsa dip. Superb!


Last edited by JapesUK; Mar 24, 2024 at 7:44 am
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 7:43 am
  #73  
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The menu is many, many pages long, a couple of excerpts


Restaurant menu

Bar food

Beer

And at this point I’ve around twenty minutes to enjoy one final beer before the twenty minute walk to the tour start point which is the same statue as yesterdays old town tour
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 8:37 am
  #74  
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Arrived at the tour meeting group and at least there are three of us tonight rather than the solo tour yesterday. The other two guests are brits too.



Same statue as last time and our tour guide who is currently giving the same potted history of Azerbaijan talk that I received previously.

It is not that dark as yet for a “night tour” I’d guess we are thirty minutes from twilight
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 9:15 am
  #75  
 
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Just a note that the little sweets and candied fruits they give you are to hold in your mouth as you drink tea, to sweeten it. It's bloody difficult.
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