Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The land of fire

My age is when life surprisingly gives you things and opportunities and instead takes from you less. I found out about the travel in Baku in a time I wasn't hoping to get at least 4 days off. So it happened that before university started I had a great time. 

Now less about me and more about Baku. A tourist should look beyond the glitz and glass on the main streets of this city. Azerbaijan culture is rich, but somehow this culture is being hiddedn by the modern streets, ultra expensive cars, vitreous buildings, various fountains. I had the impression that Baku is the Dubai of Caucasus. They build, build and continue realizing architectural projects only a country that sits on oil could realize. For example, in this very moment Baku is building a second airport in a shape of a huge airplane, and the wings, tail and other sharp corners will be direct connections with the landing planes. Or another urban project is the building of a huge restaurant in the middle of the Caspian sea, several km away from the shore of Baku. All in all, the city's opulence is everywhere. Mercedes and BMWs abound, and even the police drive BMW cruisers. There are a few Hummers and many Range and Land Rovers and Lexus SUVs. Baku is quite an expensive city, I can compare it with almost any european metropolis. It's good to know to bargain:) 

But meanwhile Baku is the city of emphatic contrast. The society is still a traditional one, with strict relationship and family rules and probably there is nothing wrong in that. It is just strange for an european to find out that marriage is mostly arranged by parents and a couple has no right to try living together before their wedding. Meeting locals made my travel even more attractive in finding out details of the society they live in.

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