Off to the Old City.
Next, the beloved (for K anyway) highlight of Azerbaijan: the mud volcanoes.
Surely it doesn't say "do not enter"?
On to the Stone Age petroglyphs at Gobustan
Next day we took the overnight train to Tbilisi, Georgia. Shock--new train cars, still Soviet style utilitarian but shiny clean and NEW. In Tbilisi we catch a marshrutka (van) for Borjomi, spa town famous for its mineral springs. Here, Cam and Tom enjoy a taste, at the Green Church outside Borjomi.
We stayed in Borjomi at the Borjomis Kheoba Hotel, also a spa, an odd place popular with Russian tourists. The room price includes full board, and we find the food high protein, high fat and boring, catering to Russians and unlike the very delicious (well, also high protein and fat) Georgian cuisine. There is no fresh fruit or veg, and only a choice of meats and five types of full fat dairy at breakfast. Cam marvels at the plate of one hotel guest, laden high with crumbly curds, then topped with thick cream and honey. We opt to eat out after...
Borjomi is our base for a big day trip to the south. After the Green Church we stop at the newly and spiffily restored 12th century castle of Rabati, on a hill in Akhaltsikhe.
Afterward, Cam has his first khinkali….aaah
Our destination for the day, Vardzia , the incredible 12th C cave city that had 13 levels. Here it is from across a narrow valley.
And up close:
Next day, we return to Tbilisi, riding in another van, apparently a converted ambulance, hoping this did not fortell an adventure on the way
It didn't--had Tom's 5 star walking tour above Tbilisi
|Cam conquers Tbilisi|
|In the Botanical Garden|
And a random sign outside a door, for Greg :-)
A quick trip, but so nice. Cam jets off on Turkish Air for New York, and we on Azal for Baku. The vegetarian meal I had ordered features….drum roll….chicken. I complain and am given a cheese plate from business class.
Back in Baku, I see that the Az government has now outlawed the naming of babies with "Russian-sounding" names. So forget Mikhail and even Maria. And the person who led last month's demonstration has "disappeared". We have 10 more weeks here.