Thursday, November 26, 2020

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Flag



Why visit Azerbaijan?
For archeological sites, caves, historical sites, mountainous terrain, seaside coast, skiing and spas.


Juma Mosque, Shamakhi, Azerbaijan. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Armudu glass, backgammon, carpets, caviar, ceramics, embroidery, metal engravings, oil paints,  pottery, wine horns and wooden goblets.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Black Caviar. Bozbash (lamb soup). Choban (cucumber salad). Dovga (sou0). Dushbara (dumplings). Piti (soup). Lavangi (stuffed chicken/fish). Pakhlava (pastry). Plov (saffron rice). Qutab (fried stuffed turnover). Sabzi Qovurma (lamb stew). Shorgoghal (pastry).
  • Local Drink to Try: Ayran (cold yogurt). Black Tea. Sherbet (cold fruit juice).

Novxanı (Absheron Rayon), Azerbaijan. Photo Credit: Faik Nagiyev/Pixabay 


Fun Facts
  • During the Stone Ages (8700BCE-2000BCE), evidence of humans has been discovered.
  • In 1898, their film industry was established and instrumental  to cinematography.
  • In 1918, proclaimed independence from the Russian Empire.
  • In 1920, became incorporated into the Soviet Union.
  • In 1921, became incorporated into the Caucasian Federation.
  • During World War II (1939-1945), supplied 80% (Baku) of the Soviet Union's oil.
  • Since 2000's, their tourism has been growing for health care, religious and spa whether for a day or overnight visit.
  • In 2010, the Azerbaijani carpet was proclaimed a Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.
  • In 2012, built Formula One Race Track and later hosted the Formula One Grand Prix (2016).
  • In 2015, hosted European Games.
  • Birthplace to 
  • Adopted 3 different alphabets Cyrillic, Arabic and Latin.
  • The Caspian Sturgeon (Caspian Sea) provides the best caviar.
  • Nearly 97% of the population is Muslim.
  • Strong tea culture is commonly served in a pear shaped glass (armudu).
  • Home to approximately half of all the mud volcanoes in the world.
  • From a thin and sandstone layer flames blaze continuously from a natural gas, Yanar Dag ("Burning Mountain").
  • The Karabakh Horse is an endangered species dating back to ancient times.
  • Rich in natural gas and oil.
  • Where one of the oldest art objects in the world was discovered (Ordubad Rayon).
  • Considered one of the most important locations in the world for development and oil exploration.
  • Official language, Azerbaijani (Turkic). In Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian and and Russian are spoken. English is not widely spoken.
  • Highly rated competitor in world chess games.
  • Has one of strongest women volleyball leagues in the world.

İlandag Mountain (Snake Mountains), Julfa District of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Azerbaijan. Photo Credit: ilkin Qazi/Pixabay 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: "Mugham World" International Mugham Festival (March), Kata Festival (April), Gabala International Music Festival (July), Grape & Wine Festival (August), Gara Garayev International Music Festival (September), Hazelnut Festival (September), “Maiden Tower” Art Festival (September), Uzeyir Hajibeyov International Music Festival (September), International Baku Jazz Festival (October), Persimmon Festival (October), Quba Apple Festival (October) and Pomegranate Festival (November).
  • Holidays:  Martyrs' Day (January), Novruz (March), Republic Day (May), Victory Day (May), Azerbaijan Armed Forces Day (June), National Salvation Day (June), Independence Day (October), Flag Day (November) and International Solidarity Day of Azerbaijanis.

Seaside National Park (Baku Eye/Baku Ferris Wheel/Devil's Wheel), Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo Credit: Bilal Agalarov/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • Largely underdeveloped and poor infrastructure.
  • The Armenia border is closed access.
  • Persian and Turkish culture with Russian influences.
  • Avoid Nagorno-Karabakh region and the subway (Baku).
  • Fuel shortages are common.
  • Do not drink local tap water!
  • Malaria is present throughout the country.
  • Credit cards or traveler's checks are not widely accepted.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), strictly limits the amount of black caviar to export (7 oz). Violators are fined.
  • All foreign broadcasts are banned in the country.
  • All religious communities are required to register to be allowed to meet, under the risk of imprisonment. This registration is often known to be denied.
  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America is banned.
  • LGBT Discrimination is widespread.
  • Backgammon games are often played in public places. 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit apply.

Azerbaijan Horse. Photo Credit: Decado/Pixabay 

zerbaijan


  • Best Time to Visit: April - October 
  • Coldest Months: December - February
  • Hottest Months: July - August
  • Peak Season: June - August

Maiden Tower, (Old City) BakuAzerbaijanPhoto Credit: Ghazaleh Taeb/Pixabay 


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace, Walled City of Baku with Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower.

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                                       All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

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