A fusion of history and culture!
Indeed! As I landed in the cold white plains of Azerbaijan on January 20th, 2020. The palpable aura of rich culture and traditions caught my attention, right from the beginning. I began to have lots of expectations from this place and was looking forward to an adventurous time.
Plan and Conquer – basics of travel!
I had already booked a local apartment, not too far from the airport, through ‘Air-bnb’. After resting-in for a while, hunger befell upon me like anything and my food hunt began. Yet, with little options to decide from, I ended-up eating MacDonalds. This provoked my decisive abilities! With no intentions to experience the same unpreparedness as in my food decision, I spent the night searching about places to visit in Azerbaijan. Fortunately, with help from ‘Google maps’ I was able to identify and make a list of all nearby tourist spots.
Travel venture Begins!
As morning approached, I got ready and left my apartment early, in pursuit of my adventurous day. I chose to visit, ‘Nizami street, also known as Azerbaijan’s Paris. A rich, posh area, which has a French inspired architecture. The street is lined with clubs, bars, themed cafes, malls, and live music entertainers. It took me a while touring the entire place, until it was time to satisfy my hunger! I went to have lunch in one of the street cafes – Café Hardrock, where the food was exceptional. Considering my physical activity for the day, that café was like a heaven on Earth!
Traversing Baku City!
Luckily, during my tour of Nizami street, I came across ‘Smiley’s tours’, a superb tourist center. They took upon themselves to plan for the rest of my tours in Azerbaijan. So, my second day was allocated for City tour of Baku– a traverse through culture and heritage. I began with visiting Crystal hall, followed by the Heyder enclave and Flame tower; which were beautiful monumental sites. Then,, I was taken to a historic site in Yardaan, where I visited an extraordinary Fire temple which was surrounded by mud volcanoes on the outskirts. From there I was headed to the famous Bibi Heybat Mosque. It was quite a sensational experience touring these heritage sites and truly an escapade of a day!
Venturing in Shahdag!
Third day in Azerbaijan, I began to like the place and already felt accustomed to its ways. Simley’s tour had arranged my visit to Shahdag resort, located in the greater Caucus mountainous range in Azerbaijan. It was a three-hour drive from my staying location. A car came to pick me up from my apartment early in the morning and we left at 8. After the long drive, we halted at Shahdag mountain resort, surrounded by snow and mountains. The resort entertained me with an enthralling cable car ride. I consider myself lucky for having witnessed the astonishing beauty of those snow peeked mountains, IT WAS TERRIFIC! Later, with a meal and shisha in open space, it was all what I needed for a phenomenal day!
Check out this Blog to find out why Shahdag makes an ultimate winter holiday destination.
Azerbaijan – a place of wonders
Azerbaijan, being a blend of tradition, heritage and modernity makes an ultimate travel destination. If you are planning your next vacation, it should be to Azerbaijan! It is the most cheapest country with exceptional tourist locations. From mosques, fortresses and temples to extraordinary landscapes, it has to offer you quite a travel experience.
People and Food!
The local food in Azerbaijan is a combination of eastern and western cuisines. Which makes it quite unique and a must try! To add-on, the people of Azerbaijan are super nice and hospitable however, there is a tiny problem of communication, as most are not too fond of English. If you can find yourself a local guide who knows English, then it’s not much of an issue. Nevertheless, Azerbaijani’s are welcoming and always ready to help around. Hence, this country has my recommendation for all those explorers out there!