An Amazing trip to Azerbaijan

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An Amazing trip to Azerbaijan

Last year end was totally memorable for me as I got a chance to visit and celebrate year end in a new country ,
Azerbaijan is the country where I went and trust me it was really an amazing trip.
As mentioned on their tourism website “a land where eastern colours combine magnificently with western progress.” You will find exactly the same there.
Before I arrived in Azerbaijan , I had some thoughts in my mind regarding the atmosphere and laws of the country (very strict laws ). But trust me, when I arrived it was totally different.

I was welcomed and greeted by the driver named Aziz and he took me to the hotel where I stayed for 4 nights. Baku is the Capital city of Azerbaijan and is located 28 metres (92 ft) below sea level, which makes it the lowest lying national capital in the world and also the largest city in the world located below sea level. You will find diversity in the weather as in winters temperature goes down till 3 to 4 degrees
where as in summers it goes to 45 to 50 degrees. On arrival day, no programme was planned, so after some rest I decided to travel around the city and went to Nizami street which is city center of the Baku city.

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As it was X’mas week, it was a completely happening atmosphere like streets were covered with lightings and squares were decorated with X’mas trees and people were coming out and chilling and it was a celebratory environment.
As I am a vegetarian, I was little bit worried about the food part. But there are few good Indian restaurants available on Nizami streets and they serve good food; there are not a lot of veg options in the local cuisine.

On the second day, as per the plan, I went on a city tour which covers highland, old Baku city, Nizami street, carpet museum and little Venice. Guided tour is always recommended as guide will explain history or information of each place.
It was a very beautiful city and was a mixture of old monuments and new buildings.

On Day 3, we went to Gabala which is a mountain or, we can say, a hilly area, to enjoy more cold and snow. It’s 3 to 4 hours drive from Baku and roads are good, and journey is very scenic.
After reaching Gabala I was very excited for most famous attraction in Gabala which is Gabala Cable car which goes up to 1600-1900 meters

On day 4, we went to Gobustan national park / Yanardag fire mountain and Atashgah fire temple
• Gobustan is very rich in archaeological monuments. The reserve has more than 6,000 rock engravings dating back between 5,000 – 40,000 years. The site also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials, all reflecting an intensive human use by the inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The site, which covers an area of 537 ha, is part of the larger protected Gobustan Reservation.
• Yanar Dag fire mountain is a non-religious site of much more recent origin – but still a testament of the spontaneous gas fires that these lands can emit straight from the ground, as already observed and reported by Marco Polo when he traveled through what is today Azerbaijan.

You will discover that Yanardag Mountain is often called as “eternal flame mountain” and get acquainted with famous fire temple of Atashgah. Atashgah – is an authentic Azerbaijani experience. It is well-known practically all over the world. It is located 30 km from the center of Baku in the suburb of Surakhany. The temple was used as a Hindu, Zoroastrian, and Sikh place of worship
On a same day I got some time for shopping in old Baku city. You can do shopping where you can buy souvenirs. Azerbaijan is famous for carpet you can buy that.
We were done with a little shopping and dinner but it was very late and it was almost midnight and we still missed shopping for a few things. But as it was very late we took taxi. While going back to hotel we were discussing what we missed on shopping part and the driver overheard it though he was not good at English.
He came to know that we missed on shopping part so he take us to a 24/7 mall where we got what we missed. Apart from that, he gave us his shopping card as he was regular customer of this mall and he gets some 10 % discount so he passed on the same discount to us … After the shopping we asked him why he gave his card to us, he told us that “I listen talking to you and it’s sounds you are regretting on missing on shopping part and I just wants you to make happy before leaving my country”
I don’t remember his name neither his face but I will definitely remember his extra effort to make a tourist happy. It will be in my mind forever.

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