Falling in Love with the unexpected

I’m a little bit in love and it came as quite a surprise. The beautiful city of Baku made me fall. I had heard that it was a nice city, most people I spoke to didn’t really know where it is and wondered why on earth I would be going there. So my expectations were not high, I was just looking forward to the vacation, getting away and explore. But, oh my! This is one of the most fantastic cities ever, like Paris meets the Middle East on a small scale.

I never been in a city with that many benches, most occupied with lovers setting close, holding hands – like really romantic stuff. Trees line the streets, beautiful buildings with wooden bay windows overhanging the pavements which are bustling with people. The Caspian Sea showing both its calm darkness and big waves as the wind was blowing across from Turkmenistan.

View of the Caspian Sea from the Maiden Tower

View of the Caspian Sea from Maiden Tower

The language was not easy, I don’t speak¬†Azerbaijani nor Russian, which is also widely spoken, and they tend not to speak English (nor Danish!). But you just get by without and try pointing, smiling and nodding instead. Baku is still relatively untouched by the hordes of tourism, so you had plenty of space to enjoy the sights.

While being a Muslim country they have a much more relaxed attitude towards how to practice their religion. You seldom hear a call for pray, the mosques seem to very far apart and they really, really enjoy alcohol. Most women don’t cover their heads but some do and you would see a great mix of groups.

They seem to enjoy life a great deal. There were many tea shops, which is a very big thing with lots of side dishes and reminded me a lot of Iran, where coffee also seemed to be the less chosen option. Sweet tea for the wanted son-in-law and tea without sugar for the one the family didn’t want the daughter to marry. If life was only that easy when choosing a spouse.

I would back in a heartbeat if there wasn’t the issue with the visa. It is one of the most expensive visa’s I ever had to pay for. So while everything else in Azerbaijan is really cheap, getting into the country cost me more than the plane ticket. So my love affair will have to wait to continue while I gather my fils, pennies, qepiks, lipas and all the other currencies I have come across…