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Four days in Baku, an Azerbaijan adventure

Four days in Baku, an Azerbaijan adventure

Old Mar 24, 2024, 9:40 am
  #76  
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Originally Posted by bisonrav
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.
That explains why it was as tough as old boots!
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 11:09 am
  #77  
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A photo montage of the walk tonight, and I am officially shot, walked my little legs off today



















Tour was not bad but the term “Azerbaijan Oil Billionaire” was repeated again and again and again and you get the idea. After an hour and more of almost non stop walking we caught the last funicular to the top, if we’d have missed it I’d have quit the tour

Back at the hotel now and still quite a lot of road noise so the window seal improvement material has been deployed\



After that little bit of DIY it was down to the bar where I am now sat with pint in hand, and contemplating a second burrito. It seems the restaurant closes at 23:00 and bar food ends 01:00 so no great rush.

Mud Volcanoes etc tour in the morning, hotel pick up at 08:45 so it will not be too late a night.
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 11:47 am
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Day 2 Breakfast at the Radisson looks awful.

Equally awful is Gareth Southgate. He really must have incriminating evidence on the Football Association members to, first get the job, and then retain it. This is the same guy, whose only managerial experience was getting Middlesborough relegated.

I am an American but I love football in England. This inept manager is wasting away generational talent.
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 11:53 am
  #79  
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Originally Posted by DFW_CK
Day 2 Breakfast at the Radisson.
That was actually the Intercontinental. It did get better after that but that particular plate of food was very poor.
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by JapesUK
That was actually the Intercontinental. It did get better after that but that particular plate of food was very poor.
Oops; my apologies to the Radisson
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 3:16 pm
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Catching up a few pages (FT perusing interrupted by grandkids ). Some impressive architecture, both old and new. I was less impressed by the lack of superyachts in the panoramic shots - what do the oligarchs flaunt in Baku?
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 3:35 pm
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Tocsin
Catching up a few pages (FT perusing interrupted by grandkids ). Some impressive architecture, both old and new. I was less impressed by the lack of superyachts in the panoramic shots - what do the oligarchs flaunt in Baku?
According to our guide last night, their tombstones. How historically accurate he was I don’t know but long story story, many 20th century billionaires that funded large swathes of Baku, everything confiscated by the Russians, and then at independence all oil owned by the state so now a distinct lack of ogliarchs.
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 10:03 pm
  #83  
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Good morning from a wet and gray Baku



An indifferent nights sleep , awake many time but only briefly each time. Chap in the next room needs a muffler, snoring incredibly loudly!

Being picked up at 08:40 so half an hour to do justice to this extensive breakfast spread
















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Old Mar 25, 2024, 2:11 am
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Ah, the mud volcanos, and the lunatic Lada drivers that take you over the mud flats...
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 3:24 am
  #85  
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Originally Posted by bisonrav
Ah, the mud volcanos, and the lunatic Lada drivers that take you over the mud flats...
Oh yes! Updates to follow when I hit a wifi spot but the trip over the mud flats with a maniac has definitely been the highlight so far!
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 6:53 am
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The minibus turned up right on time and there were already two fellow travellers on board. We then made two further stops to pick up others. Once all six of us were on board we headed off for the first stop of what was going to be a longer than expected day. A real mixed bunch in the bus, two sisters from Belfast who are here as a birthday treat from one to the other. An Indian gentleman who is here for work but the project has been delayed and he is waiting around for the work to start. And an Italian lady and her chatterbox 9 year old son who has yet to stop talking. My favourite so far “Why don’t seagulls fly over Bays? Because if they did they’d be Bagels!” It’s going to be an interesting day!

First stop of the day was the mud volcanoes. We were all surprised to be transferring to smaller taxis for last part of the trip and I ended up in this.



Our driver was overflowing with character and drove like an absolute maniac over these muddy and rutted roads where a sane person would hesitate to take a 4x4! Some of the photos aren’t exactly what I was trying to capture but given how much we were bouncing around it’s a surprise we made it at all.

















If you noticed the cracked windscreen, this is due to the last time he crashed and smashed it with his forehead!

The volcanoes themselves were interesting in a gloopy kind of way the the drive out to them and back was an adrenaline fuelled treat. The return journey closely resembling the outbound but with the added thrill of traffic coming towards you which resulted in some hair raising moments.



Last edited by JapesUK; Mar 25, 2024 at 7:23 am
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 6:57 am
  #87  
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Managing to get pretty dirty at the first stopping point traipsing around the mud piles and paths, it was all back on the bus and off to the petroglyphs of gobustan.








Very interesting to see these carving from ‘000s of years ago but we were not there very long, maybe twenty minutes at most.





We also quickly visited the museum which quite honestly had very little to offer. The most fascinating thing to me was the amazing honeycomb rock formations and completely hollow rocks.
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 7:01 am
  #88  
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Once more onto the bus dear friends and stop three, the bibi heybet mosque. The mosque looks really large from the outside but once you get inside there are three chambers, men’s prayer room to the left, women’s prayer room to the right, and a central chamber containing four tombs. At the time of our visit everyone was in the central chamber, the prayer rooms were empty.






view from the mosque out over the shipyards
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 7:05 am
  #89  
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Again onto the bus and heading back into Baku for lunch. From the mosque to Baku the land from the road to the sea is covered in oil pumps, including Azerbaijan’s first oil well.

The restaurant for lunch is Matbakh which apparently serves a buffet lunch.







Clearly a locals eatery, the offering was a choice between a yoghurt or lentil soup, then rice with two sorts of dolmas and a chicken and pepper which was basically fajita

The dolmas were both excellent, one beef wrapped in cabbage and the other lamb wrapped in vine leaves. The soup didn't appeal to my tastes but I had to give it a try.
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Old Mar 25, 2024, 7:16 am
  #90  
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After a long leisurely lunch and a polite beer later and it is back in the bus at 2pm and heading to the burning mountain. The afternoon food tour was supposed to start at 2pm so that’s a bust!

Once entering through the turnstiles the first impression was an ‘is that it?’ It was, however a lovely warming spot. The young ladies had the marshmallows and biscuits, all we needed was the toasting forks.






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