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FireFlies Azerbaijan

Fireflies to ignite the light inside… Fireflies to ignite the light for the World…

GANJA

Our last day in the region of Azerbaijan started with waking up too early from what we were used to. It would be the last time that all volunteers would stay in the same place and our final day would continue with Ganja, the last city on our trip.

Before we left we had a nice sweet cake that our project manager had prepared for us.

As we were driving to Ganja, the second largest city of Azerbaijan, you could see the beautiful landscape of the area, the green and brown colours and the blues sky, some hours later we made our first stop.

The Nizami Mausoleum, where the poet Nizami Ganjavi rests is located outside of Ganja, it was rebuilt in 1991 and it is surrounded by metal statues representing his poets. Nijami, who live in the 12 century, is considered one of the greatest romantic poets of the Persian literature, with his most famous notable work being The Five Jewels.

Ganja’s history starts it the early times as an important city of Caucasus. Early artefacts are the Ganja gate, one of the six that survived through time, when in the 11 century they would surround the city walls. Not many tourists know but it was the first capital of Azerbaijan at 1918 and after the Soviets, who had changed the city’s name, during the independence the city took its old name back. Nowadays it’s the most tourist attraction city after Baku and it was selected for European Youth Capital for 2016. The Nizami Museum, the lakes and the Khan Bagy Park are the first places that a tourist should visit.

Our next stop was the lakes of Ganja were we visited two of them. The most famous of them is Lake Goygol. It is a very nice place to walk and enjoy the nature. There are 200 stairs that connect the two lakes with souvenirs benches during the route.

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After our visit to the lake and a quick lunch at a nearby restaurant where we ate the most delicious qutab we left for the city. A few hours later we were going to continue our adventure to Georgia and a local offered to keep our luggage’s to his house so we could enjoy the city. It was after ten the night and the city was almost empty with a few tourists. We had a small walk in the city centre and we spent our time sitting on a bench talking and waiting for the time that we had to say goodbye to the city and leave for our next trip.

 

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one day in Baku

9AM – Baku Azerbaijan.

The sun is shining, the weather is cool, and you’re enjoying your breakfast in one of the various restaurants of the Old City. A place that takes you back in time to the 12th century with its old Persian architecture. The streets are tight and empty. Only a few locals are preparing their traditional shops and setting their merchandises. The deeper you go into it, the more you feel the importance of this fortress.

At some point, you got lost and just arrived in front of the Maiden Tower, a touching building to its history and the famous love story that happened.

 

It’s 11am…

As you finished your walk through the old city, you ended up in “Targovaya”, the Champs-Elysées of Baku. It begins from the fountain square, and the more you continue the more you feel the mixture of its architecture.

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From the neogothic, to the baroque and neoclassicism. This area of the city, full of parks, fountains and statues takes you to a summer day in Budapest or Prague.

The more you walk the more you feel the melting pot and diversity of this country. You can notice all of this simply in its architecture.

 

Now it’s 4pm. Your direction takes you to the boulevard, also known as the National Park. This park that was established in 2009 and is right next to the Caspian Sea. This beautiful park that surrounds the coast offers a beautiful view of the bay. It also has many places to see, like the Park Boulevard, tens of restaurants, some gardens, and beautiful little Venice. A beautiful and fancy place that was. You had the chance to rent and ride bicycles by the shore. You felt the freedom as you rode under the sun with the wind stroking on our shoulder. Especially when you just closed your eyes for a second and rolled with no hands on the wheel.

If you looked on your right side, you could admire the endless sea. The boulevard extended towards Bayil settlement, where the National Flag Square is. According to Guinness Book of Records the flag flies on a pole 162 meters’ high which makes it the world’s 3rd highest flag. Moreover, you can find the Baku Crystal Hall near the Flag. The hall provides an impressive scene at night because of its colorful lights. Hours have passed without noticing.

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In fact, this city is located on the coast of “Country of fire”. It shows a modern and fashionable architecture complexion, becoming the new symbol of the capital of Azerbaijan. The name speaks for itself “Flame Towers”. It was 9 PM, as these three giant buildings raged with flames that are visible from any point of Baku. The view is spectacular, and yet more pleasant that you can absolutely enjoy it for free. It’s dinner time already, so you grabbed a doner to eat as you watched the LED screens light up with flames on the Flame Towers, showing the motion of fire. This astonishing show, along with the enormous size of the towers transform the buildings into three giant torches. It’s a dinner and a show!

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Nowadays, a luxurious hotel Fairmont Baku, offices, apartments and dwellings suites are situated in the Flame Towers. The complex was constructed in five years, from 2007 till 2012. By the way, each tower is higher than the other by 20-30 m. Which makes their heights 140, 160 and 190 m high. The architecture of the Flame Towers is unusual and interesting, not only because it’s the symbol of Azerbaijan and its flames, but because of the feeling of warmth that they give you when you look at them.

It was such a long day in Baku. But, the night just started…

How much cheaper your trip in Azerbaijan can be?

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Azerbaijan’s economy is mostly depended on oil and natural gas prices, which the last two years is a drawback for the country’s economy due to the prices decline but it is good for your budget trip.

Don’t let yourself be disappointed by the flight tickets especially if you are from a long distance country.

Departure Price ( $)
UAE 335 $
Turkish 155 $
Bahrain 503$
Algeria 703$
China 1177$
Greece 388$

Also if your country is not on that list (https://evisa.gov.az/en/) it means you will need a visa which costs 20$.

Personally as volunteers who came to Baku our first encounter with the local economy was the transportation means. You will have to pay 0, 20 AZN for bus and metro which is really cheap if you transfer it to dollars (0, 12$). About taxi, as a tourist, the driver will try to gain more money from you, but First Rule about Azerbaijan: Always Bargain! If you are good you can even get a 70% discount and of course Tip No 1: ask the price before you start the ride.

Next, comes accommodation, you can stay in a hotel, hostel or rent an apartment/house. You know sadly for you, we were luckier than you are because we were living with an Azerbaijani host family. If you have a chance like this, take it, trust us is it worth. As you can imagine the prices at the capital are higher than the rest of the country but you can find a nice room for a night for 10$ and in the region even for 5$. For a lot of days, you can rent a house, it will be much cheaper and if you are more than one person rent a car too, the countryside of Azerbaijan has many hidden surprises for the tourists.

And yes, we know you have been waiting for this since the beginning; it’s time for food and drinks. So Rule No 2: Taste and Drink everything. It’s cheap! In all of the restaurants, you will find local cuisine but also dishes from the neighbour and European countries. At Baku, there are all kinds of restaurants, expensive and cheap, in the region just cheap. You can have breakfast for 2$ and lunch/dinner for 4-7$. Of course, try street food like doner. Tip No 2: if they say it’s spicy it’s not just hot, it’s really hot.

Now, about drinks, clubs at Baku are kind of expensive so you may visit a pub first for a beer with 2 AZN (1, 18$). In the region many locals sell food to the visitors even for 0, 50 coins, it’s the absolute Azerbaijani food experience you will have.

So do you remember the first rule? Well in museums and archaeological sites you can’t bargain but most of them have discounts especially for students, so bring your IDs, guys. It will be difficult for you to find a ticket for more than 10 AZN, even Heydar Aliev Cultural Center costs 10-15 AZN is really worth it. Suggestions: visit national history museum for 5 AZN, the carpet museum for 7 AZN and maiden tower for 10 AZN. And if you bring your student ID with you, it can be 0.6 AZN or you can look for open door days for free entrance.

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And last, there is no tourist without some shopping. You will find a lot of souvenirs stores and benches in the old city and in all historical and tourist attractions places. Also, Baku has 4 malls and a lot of shops where you can find everything you wish and as always in a good price!

Food in Land of Fire!

Food is an essential thing in our life. As we all know there are verities of food in one country, think about all the food from all around the world. For this part of the blog, we are going to introduce Azerbaijani food for you from different perspectives. For the last few days, we had a good amount of time with local people here in Baku, tasting their local food, from breakfast to dinner learning an overwhelming amount of things about its importance, being not only a biological function but a deep part of their culture and traditions. We hope you find what you are looking for.

Having 9 climate zone in Azerbaijan out of the 11 ones known in the world resulted in a richness of their cuisine, going from the salty to the sweet, from the acid to the smooth.

Breakfast:

Azerbaijani traditional breakfast is very appetizing. To be fair quite copious. The main ingredient in every Azerbaijani breakfast is tandoori bread which is a bread baked in a clay oven called Tandoor. Some types yoghourts and creamy cheeses with herbs, honey and jam are to be spread on the bread. There are many dishes composing these breakfasts such as special egg pie called “kuku”. It’s basically vegetables with chicken or fish in larger quantity than eggs. Another egg based popular breakfast dish is Pomidor qayganag, similar to scramble eggs. This is far tastier. It’s cooked with butter, which gives it delicious taste, added to it tomatoes and onions. All of this goes along with a cup of sweet black tea.

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Dinner :

Considering the fact that everyone is working in daytime, Azerbaijani people give an extreme importance to dinner. Whole family members gather and share their feelings, emotions.

Dishes differ from a season to another. For instance; in summer, people prefer to eat fresh salads, vegetables, and fruits, in order to rehydrate the body from the day heat. One of the most typical dishes is Watermelon with cheese. While in winter, it’s common to cook heavy and hot meals. Like Xangal, Dusbere, Piti and Ash.

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Sweets and Pastries:

After having a big satisfying meal for sure, you would like to end it with a great sweet. Azerbaijan is full of wonderful choices of sweets and guesses what in each area you will find different verities. some of the most famous sweets are pakhlava, shakarbura, Halva ( Shaki Halvasi), Bamya, Noghul, pancakes with jam or sweet cheese and parvarda.

Azerbaijani pastries vary and have many kinds. We are going to talk about one special pastry that considered at the same time sweet “Pakhlava”. In Azerbaijan, Pakhlava represents the land and the stars when it’s shaped like diamonds. It’s made with nuts, oil, honey and lots of sugar. You will find here Turkish Pakhlava is very different. It’s called Sekerbura and it represents the moon and decorated with a special line. Boys used to see the lines and the girl that made the most beautiful lines is chosen as a wife. Nevertheless, do not worry pakhlava is easy to make.

 

Baku Strangers in the Night

It’s the end of the day but the prelude of my Azerbaijan night-life. It is the most romantic, relaxing and comfortable time for drinking tea with sunset, breeze and friends. I love drinking tea and can do it whenever I want. So it was a good surprise for me that the locals are also tea-lovers. In my country, I drink all kinds of tea without adding anything, but here black (strong) one is popular and you can add sugar to make it sweet and fresh lemon to make it less bitter. Also, a definite amount of coffins in the tea will help keep me sober. I noticed that for locals drinking tea is something more than a regular activity for getting rid of thirstiness, due to it people get to know each other better and become closer.  So, my perfect evening was when I and my friends went to a café near the sea to have a couple of cups of tea, to make some conversation and enjoy the stunning sunset.

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I think walking along the Boulevard is the second thing that must be done to make an evening even better after drinking tea. And I could never see Boulevard in sleeping state, at any time of the day thousands of people walk through it and in their hearts the Boulevard burns in its own way. It fascinates and attracts with its immensity, beauty and atmosphere, and everyone can find a place and entertainment for themselves. That is why we also wanted to make our evening more interesting. So the trip on a boat will decorate our pastime on the boulevard. Three-deck “Mirvari” is the largest pleasure boat in Baku water area. And it is very comfortable and spacious. It will satisfy every visitor since there is a covered area, protected from the wind and other weather troubles, and at the same time open spaces on the upper decks and on the sides. From the sea, we saw a beautiful panoramic view of the seaside boulevard and the whole city. The view of the night city is even more fascinating, the lights of night Baku touch the thinnest strings of my soul and create such a romantic atmosphere on the boat. I’m sure everyone will receive their own portion of pleasure. And this trip gave me a feeling of lightness and harmony, secluded from my thoughts…

I looked at this beautiful piece of the world

and thanked fate for being here, in Baku.

So, as the night is falling this city becomes more and more relaxed, time passes more slowly and as the sun stops shining I can feel just pure warmth hugging me. In my mind staying at the sea side seems like a place where I can relax for a bit and enjoy the view from another side. The Boulevard is the road lying on the seashore, I can see big area made only for walking, riding bicycles and enjoying sea side. The Boulevard is separated from the road with beautiful trees surrounded with flowers and big benches. You can notice it is inviting you to take a rest and escape the busy reality that is happening on the other side of these tree-walls. There are couples, big groups of friends, kids, pets taking time for themselves and people they love. Walking through Boulevard makes me feel like the part of this world that I actually don’t know but it feels so familiar to me.

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Probably that is why I didn’t notice how time flew by and how I spent all nights in Boulevard. I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be. Walking along the seaside, I looked up at the sky and lost myself in watching this amazing scene. All of these stars will guide us home and all of the lights will lead into the night. I can see the stars in Azerbaijan, I wonder do you see them too? At that very special moment, I just want to see it with you.

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At about 4:30, a bit of red ray appears in the east and it is becoming brighter and brighter. Everything in Baku starts waking up from a sweet dream. I also had a sweet dream about this whole beautiful city yesterday. The sun starts to rise from the coastline. The new day begins and everyone can continue to work hard. The sun sprung out of the sea water, looking like a large elliptic ball, and the sky in the east becomes red. People in Azerbaijan now are full of energy to embrace their new life and I am also hopeful to enjoy the rest of time to feel the beauty of Baku.

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Expectations VS. Reality

Have I ever thought about coming to Azerbaijan? Have I realized that I could live in this country for a month and a half? The answer is no.

I have never wanted to travel to this country as a tourist. I have always dreamed of visiting France or Italy, but not actually Azerbaijan.

When I was in the airport and waiting for the flight I didn’t have expectations at all. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. Just wanted to believe that everything would be fine.

So I want you to see my expectations and reality about this country. Let’s start with the reasons why I didn’t want to come to Baku and how I changed my mind about Azerbaijan.

Firstly, there are lots of stereotypes about Azerbaijan in my country. In the majority, they are not good at all. Many of my friends mentioned that people (especially men) are very unpredictable and wild in this country. They can be dangerous, so you had better be careful. Men can be obsessed with Russian girls. So there is a high probability not to return home (if you a woman)

I can ensure you that there is the truth about half of it. Really when you come to Baku you will be shocked at the huge amount of attention. Men always stare at you if you cross the street or pass by them. They can talk to you, shout something or even try to get acquainted with you. But you can make advantages from it. Not all of this kind of guys are bad. The majority of them are really interesting and open-minded guys which can show Azerbaijan and open the country from a different side!

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Getting acquainted with a native person will give you many opportunities, for example, to try the traditional food (which is really tasty and delicious!), find the hidden gems in this magical city and explore traditions and culture of the country.

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People here are very helpful and sympathetic. You also can’t believe it! Everybody wants you to be pleased and not to be in need with something. If you don’t know the way, they can lead you to the bus, pay for it and even go with you to be sure that you will find the right direction. In the shop, they can give you a banana for free and invite to their village in order to show you all the hospitality at their house.

Secondly, it is the east mentality. You can be scared of the women in hijab crossing the street, rigid traditions and customs and impossibility to wear shorts and cropped tops. Actually, the fact about clothes is true. It is better not to wear open clothes and too short shorts. If you follow these rules, everything will be fine. Besides, the Muslim women have something secret and magic in their way of life. I fell in love with it, really! They build the unique atmosphere of this country, which gives you desire to explore it more.

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The third reason can be the fact that Azerbaijan was in the Soviet Union. If you are from Russia, you may predict that there is nothing to see in this country. The question is that all of the countries which were the part of USSR, are the same. I reckon it is the main reason why Russian people don’t want to visit this place. But I can swear you the country is worth to visit. You will be pleased with the architecture that has the special spirit here. I really like the colours of this country! When you walk through the city your mind is captured with east charm. Cats are waiting for you everywhere. The smell of spices, pakhlava ( kind of dessert pastry ) and hot stupefy BRFX8727.jpgyou.JOVY6415.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can say that Baku nights are one of the most exciting things that happened to me. Lightened skyscrapers, the colour of traditional restaurants, the beauty of Boulevard makes you crazy.

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To sum up, I really recommend you visiting this country! I fell in love with it and if I get a chance to move here in the future, I will definitely use this opportunity!

Article: Irina Abramkina
Photo: Malika Makhmudova

EATING THE CULTURE

The land of fire, its complex history, its contrasts. The Caucasian mountains and blue of the Caspian sea. The soft camel wooden scarfs and its carpets. There is no other way to experience the real Azerbaijani culture but doing it through the food.

Mince meat, dairy products and a generous dose of oil. If your palate enjoys living the flavour of these ingredients it will find in here its cup of tea. I invite you to take a seat at Firuza restaurant in Baku and to order the Dolma. You can go for the one with grapes leaves if you like a stronger and sour taste or the ones with the cabbage leaves, the “sweet dolma” for a delicate meal. They look like small green tubes but judge them only after trying them. I would suggest you consider the “3 sisters dolma”, composed of a tomato, a pepper and one aubergine. All the combinations are filled with minced meat and spices.

 

 

Beside them, it can be ordered some Plov. There are many versions of this delicious serve and it is up to you to find the one that better satisfies your request. The plov comes in two pots, one with the Azerbaijani rice. İn the other one you’ll see the dressing: a mix of dry fruits, hazelnuts, onion and meat cooked together slowly. Another very traditional dressing has the taste of their famous promenades that perfectly match with the onion and the sauce: say hello to the Fisincan Plov.

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To accompany a nice meal there is no better drink than the famous Dovga. Yogurt, water, salt and sometimes eggs with chopped green vegetables; it is not a substitute for water but it will refresh you on a hot day. It is possible to find it in supermarkets but it doesn’t have the same intense, natural taste.

Are you in a rush because you want to assist to the switching on of the flame tower from the Boulevard? Get a Gutab and eat it on the way. Just imagine a pretty perfect round shaped dough. Imagine an old lady standing it on the table and making it thin. Thin enough to make the light first come across it and then catch it with a carpet of mince meat and then fold it in two. What about using pumpkin or green herbs instead? My favourite is the one with camel meat and dry grapes. I love diving the Qutab in the creamy yoghurt and then into the red sumakh spice.

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I also love the sound of the tar when it covers the one of the metal against your teeth. This is what I experienced when I went to Fisincan. I was walking near “Targovi” and as a bug is attracted from the light, so I was with the indoors of this restaurant and its 3 musicians with their lively art. People sitting at the table had their head in the long menu and waiters were moving around with elegance. One of them was carrying the “Mimosa salad” (o stopped him and asked). Eggs, potatoes, carrots, all boiled and chopped. Some mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Served cold. Few ingredients for a wide sensation of delicate flavour.

Flavours completely different from the Duşbara. This soup gains its distinction for being light and delicate, perfect for cold winters but it is also worth giving it a try in summer. In your bowl, there will be tiny dumplings made of ground meat wrapped in the dough. Let the flavour of onions and spices in the background embrace your senses.

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Add some bread. Clean the bowl with it or just bit it. There is always some tandir bread in an Azerbaijani house, so it is on eating place. A big tube, around 1mediameteretre and 1,5 metre high. Hot. Inflamed, where the bread is placed inside at the borders like stars are sticked in the sky. The tandir oven is a master piece of the traditional azerbaijani cuisine. No matter if you go to supermarkets or if you follow the smell of flour on the streets. The round shape of bread that the bakers take out from this peculiar oaven will became addiction. Crounch and soft parts fit together divinely.

 

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And I wish your heart and your desire of exploring will make your journey going on into the middle of the country. Up to the village of Seki. There the bread is essential for Piti. A slowly cooked meal that combines land, animals and people. Piti is a food ceremony where the lamb meat dance in an oily sauce, accompanied with chickpeas and saffron. You should chop bread on a plate and then pour the sauce on them. When you have eaten this, you can start the next part. You can pour the rest on the plate, smash it and add sumakh as you wish.

If the smell of the ancient recipes brought you to the depth of the soul of the tradition of Azerbaijan, you might now leave Seki and take with you 6 manats of the local halva. It will make your return sweeter. Your mind will think about the lady that lay out the nuts with sugar and honey on the wide plate. Your thoughts will always be there and this flavour will last in your heart.

Article/Photos: Laura Fabbri, Anna Popova

Real Beauties of Baku, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan – in translation it means a Land of Fire. It is known for its flames that can be found burning in nature because of the chemical reactions. But beside this natural miracle, there are a lot more flames burning in this country, one of them are definitely local girls who are making this country warmer and dynamic. In the point where Europe and Asia are colliding, they took the best from both sides.

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No matter how beautiful Baku is, the most important thing about every city is people who live in it and beautify this wonderful place. So I can surely say Azerbaijanis are one of the warmest, sincere and open people. And the most beautiful representatives of these people are women. I admire not only their outer but also inner beauty. Feel their kind attitude like some kind of care, and see how they are ready to help out and support. All this I experienced when I meet these two Azerbaijani beauties. I would never have believed that you can so easily communicate and make friends with a passer-by on the street. But in Baku, it’s more than real. I was in a terribly bad mood, not knowing where to go and with whom, I just sat on a bench next to the Maiden Fortress, covering my face with my hands, and pressing my knees to myself, suddenly these two angels sat down and asked how I am and what it happened to me. We have talked a little bit and they figured out I was craving for some company. So they invited me to Nuteland where we drank really sweet cocktails (girls know what can make us happy). This evening was remembered in my head due to uncontrollable laughter and sincere revelations. In just one evening we became so close. This is how Baku acquaints and brings people closer.

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During the summer Universities are closed, students are having the break that never lasts long enough. I met these girls walking through the old city of Baku talking in English. First moment I was confused because by the look they don’t seem like tourists.

I approached them and asked: “Where are they from?”

They started laughing and said: “From here.”

After few minutes of talking they explained to me that during the summer they have enough time to take English language classes and because of all the tourists in the city they actually have a chance to practice it. They are now students and after their studies, they want to have great careers and they are already working hard to achieve it. They said studying is never boring and hard if you do it to improve yourself, so they are more than happy to spend their summer like this even if it involves a lot of books, classrooms and exams. They have a goal and they will achieve it.

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Wandering alone, the baby seemed helpless but I couldn’t help taking photos for him. I kept distance from him to take care of him and wait for his parents. Two girls passed and took his hands. Curiously, I came close and talked to them.
“Is this your kid?”
“No…”
I turned nervous and was ready to protect the baby.
Suddenly she realized something, “Ah! Yes, he is my kid, I’m his aunt”
All of us laughed, “He is so cute, can I take more pictures for you?”
“Sure, we love taking care of him when his parents are busy. I want him to be fancy so I dressed him today.”
The baby seemed innocent and naughty when his hands were hold. That’s when the photo above was taken. The girls show the truth about themselves – family oriented and kind hearted. They can act as mothers but there are still little girls inside their hearts. You may find Azerbaijan girls cherish their family so much, and it’s one of the most shining points you can’t ignore.

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She is from Gəncə, a city in the northwest of Azerbaijan. This is the second time that she has been on the seaside of Caspian Sea. Last time, she went there with her boyfriend. They had a good time which is still rewinding in her mind. They carved their names on the rock and promised that they would love each other forever. But this time she came on her own. She said when she came here and sat on the seaside that she decided to forget the past and look forward to the new life. That day was her 21st birthday. “My birthday wish in this year is very simple; I just don’t want to be a boring girl.”

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“It has been months since I last met her. She was my best friend. We have known each other for eleven years and I thought we could be together like forever. Time flies. She has her own life and so do I and we started to move out from each other’s sight. We do sent loves and kisses and meet once in a while. But I missed the old days when we were drinking milk tea, strolling down the street, taking selfies and dreaming about our future. ”

 

Every girl in the world is special and powerful, what makes them unique is their culture and lifestyle. Azerbaijanis are very lucky with their girls because they have both eastern charm and a modern view of the world. They are flames of this nation; they keep on burning, loving, achieving, helping and making this great city even more beautiful and alive.

Baku, be proud of them!

Article: Bjanka Gabric, Tian Zixin, Liu Shuang, Chen Chujun, Saule Syzdykova

Photo: Tian Zixin

 

Splendid Nightlife in Baku

Perhaps rivalled only by Venice as the city that’s even more photogenic and dreamlike after dusk than it is during the day, Baku is also a remarkably democratic place for nightlife. Not only are there a variety of free or relatively inexpensive things to do at night; it’s also a city that caters to all ages, interests and preferred styles. So whether you’re simply angling for a good glass of wine on a terrace overlooking the softly lit streets, or are in for a whole night’s worth of wild clubbing, chances are there’s something for you. I’d love to recommend two of my wonderful nightlife experience for you.

Take in the glittering city on Caspian Sea Cruise then take a moonlit stroll

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While I’m aware that it’s a rather cliché thing to recommend, I still advise you to book a night cruise on the Caspian Sea. From dry land, you simply don’t get the same vantage points of Baku in all its nocturnal glory– including the Frame Tower, the Baku Eye — all bathed in painstakingly curated light to achieve magical effects. As long as you possess a camera with a good low-light setting, the night photo ops are unbeatable.

After the night cruise, I especially recommend strolls along the Heydar Aliyev Park. Illuminated at night, the superb panorama of Baku city will likely leave you gobsmacked. Other places in the capital that I count among my favourites for late-night rambling include the Old City– wander around the narrow, charming streets and passageways and take in the ambience before ducking into a bar or restaurant for dinner and drinks.

Get your dancing shoes on Salsa

Warm paths and roads, children playing in fountains, the sweet atmosphere of summer spread in the city. On every corner, you can find a group of men sitting at the table and playing the Nerd. Then a few steps far you hear traditional music mixed with modern songs.

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Now open your eyes and watch around properly! If you thought you are in one of Latin America states you were wrong, time to drink the last sip of black tea and put dancing shoes on. It does not matter if you are native, foreigner or even thought Baku is just transit city, never let the chance try salsa in such spectacular, modern and also historic metropolis slip by. Of course, at the beginning, there is beautiful fear and shame to start the dance, but again do not be in stress and just follow professional salsa dancers who are always willing and friendly to show basic steps or lead you during the dance. My first experience with yet mentioned amazing and so intimate dance was just under Azerbaijan sky in stunning place close to Heydar Aliyev Centre that was designed by famous female architect Zaha Hadid. The building of Center is often compared to Marilyn Monroe iconic flying skirt, especially because of the unusual shape of the roof. So who could ever reject to dance in place like that one? Besides salsa open air performances and party fusion, one can attend also salsa classes close to Iceri Seher, where you can take a course for reasonable price, be in touch with local people and spend r traveller’s days in Latin Baku. So why not….?

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Article:Cherry,Viktória Štiavnická
Photo:Viktória Štiavnická,Wendy

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