Saturday, March 09, 2013

Baku's embassy row

Many of Baku's embassies are set on a hill with winding narrow streets just west of Fountain Square. You'll be hard pressed not to have worked up a sweat if you're walking up that way in the summertime. 

Friday, March 08, 2013

Reckless driving in Baku

   One thing I found needs changing in Baku is that the cars drive recklessly around pedestrians. There really needs to be a major rethinking of the way traffic flows. I'd love to see some real stats on how many people are getting run over by crazy drivers there. 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

More faces of Azerbaijan's refugee population

Here's a few more Azerbaijan refugee camp photos I thought I'd share. They're not shot with a sophisticated camera and I didn't even Photoshop them to enhance contrast or brightness but I think they speak out quite well about the mood that prevails in these places. I really think that these places should be upgraded and made livable regardless of what's happening with the Karabakh conflict.

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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The hills north of Baku

  Not sure what this mountain is called, but it's about 45 minutes north of Baku on the main (and only highway) there.
   The photo doesn't do it much justice but it's strangely hypnotizing when you pass it. I'll post another pic when I find one on my hard drive.
   I think it's called the five finger mountain if memory serves.
   Please add something in the comments section if you know. 

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Azerbaijan tourist areas

Vacation-land in Azerbaijan is up the coast north of Baku towards Georgia and you'll find lots of country-style places with cabins and waterparks as well. I am more of a city boy myself so I'd prefer to stay in Baku and was glad to get back to the city. These are pretty generic places and probably fun for locals but as a tourist I wouldn't really say these are essential to understanding the place. I'd have preferred to spend time in the remote-mountain villages but that will be for another visit.

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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Vodka shots with an Azerbaijani soldier

 Had vodka shots with this former Azerbaijani soldier on a visit to the train car refugee homes.
   He told me through an interpreter about the firefights he participated in.
   It was pretty gripping, but the actual combat between Armenia and Azerbaijan was short-lived and really very well documented in Goltz's Azerbaijan Diary.
   Nowadays, of course, there's a frozen war and occasional shooting over the border between the countries.
   It'll be interesting to see what develops in this most recent conflict over the flights to Stepanakert Karabakh from Yerevan. 

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Friday, March 01, 2013

Condos in Azerbaijan

Sorry for the bad photo, I think the vodka might've been having its effect on me when I shot this from the Maiden Tower, probably my favourite spot in the country to be.
   There are plenty of new buildings in Baku and even more than when I was there a couple of years ago but getting a mortgage could be a bit tricky.
   I've seen a lot of talk about some of the extravagant buildings that are going up but I'll wait to visit and see with my own eyes.
   Please let me know what your experiences are in real estate in Baku, are the prices fair and how is the mortgage situation, let me know in the comments below. 

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Arm-in-arm walking in Baku

   Love this pic I took of two girls walking arm-in-arm in downtown Baku.
   They seem to manage to hustle pretty fast in spite of the constraints.
   As everywhere, there's plenty of people watching going on in the downtown section and people are checking each others' styles out all the time.

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