I want more pictures. Hayley, where are the pictures? It doesn’t count if there are no photos…. Alright, I have heard the clamors of my blog’s audience. You want pictures, you got them right here!
But, in all seriousness, I can understand why you guys back home want to see pictures. Hopefully by now you all know where Azerbaijan is on the map, so you have a good idea of its geography and know that it is in the Caucasus. But what does a booming capital city in the Caucasus look like? Furthermore, Baku has been referred to as the “Pearl of the Caucasus,” what does that mean? Come and take a walk with me….
The first few photos I took during my first walk to my university, on my second day in Baku. I had trusty Google Maps on my phone to guide me and I got there alright! Even mustered up the courage to look like a dorky tourist and snap some photos. Since then, though, I’ve gone a different way to and from the university almost every time – still working on my route!
İçərişəhər (The Old City)
Baku’s İçərişəhər (or Old City; transliteration is “Icheri Sheher”) has been around for a while; about thirteen hundred years (some argue more). This is the original Baku that has seen countless empires and territory disputes, and served as a hub of trade and commerce (I’ve read that salt was harvested here). The city’s limits hugged much closer to the Caspian Sea and was surrounded by large walls and ramparts. For the most part, those limits have been preserved and is designated with the title of İçərişəhər. Another Fulbrighter and I did some exploring last week and this UNESCO World Heritage Site was on the top of our list.
Now, my impression from reading other blogs and articles about this part of Baku made it seem like it was a super-touristy center with nothing but shops and souvenirs. What I learned is that İçərişəhər is still a place where people live (saw a young girl walking home from school with her mom, laundry hanging to dry), and is a place which houses several businesses, hotels, and consulates (Poland, Italy, and another eastern European country that I can’t recall). So yes, it’s a popular point for tourists but it’s much more than that. Some things that caught my eye….Architecture Details The Flame Towers
And there you have it, some pictures. Actually, well over 60. I’m trying to get caught up on my posts; internet connections have been spotty since my arrival, but it was successfully installed in my flat earlier today. So expect the next one to come fairly quickly!
Until next time… (: