From: Inna Bakker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 9:04 AM
Subject: Fwd: # 2-------Baku -capital of Azerbaijan
My dear family and friends,
It took me 40 hours to get from NY to Baku, 4 flights, 3 transit periods of waiting but i am here and in the hotel found out about terror-horror in Boston,so, where is more dangerous? At home in US or traveling the world?
You will see photos of meeting my cousins in Dusseldorf airport and walking in Berlin with my cousin Ira.
Baku or Baki capital of Azerbaijan in the Caucasus mountains on the Caspian Sea rich in oil and natural gas, 4 millions live here out of 9 millions in the whole country,
before it was one of 16 republics of the Soviet Union, since 1991 it is an independent country, this area was settled about 2000 years ago but was always under attacks and concurred by different powers--Mongols, Persians, Arabs Ottomans, Russians, the country was an important stop on the Silk Route,
Islam became the major religion since 7 th century after being conquered and converted by Arabs, by now they adhere to the Shia branch of it,
we had many tours of Baku, saw how first oil boom of late 19 th century transformed the city, Nobel brothers made their money here,
then the buildings of the Soviet time and the modern time of the 2nd oil boom,the ancient
Walled City of Baku inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list,
we walked in the ancient and the very beautiful modern parts of the city,unfortunately for 2 days was cold and rain, 10-12 C or 40 45 F approximate,but nothing stopped our group of travelers who visited between 200 and 300 places on our planet Earth, no complaints, no talks about time changing or travel jet or anything negative,
we drove to Abseron Peninsula along the Caspian Sea, saw countless oil and gas rigs, oil and gas pipelines, oil and gas platforms offshore,signs " Neft Terminals", neft is oil in Russian, in Gobustan we walked uphill to see ancient drawings on the rocks where Stone Age hunters settled in the caves and etched about 600 simple engravings,in the same area is a collection of mud volcanoes, almost half of world 800,
i went to see in the area Temple of fire of Zoroastrians--ancient people who worship fire,inside of the complex --museum, see photos of ancients in the cells, also place called Burning Mountain --Yanar Dag here flames come from the ground, it is all because of the qualities of natural gas,even strong wind or rain cannot stop it, in the 13 th century Marco Polo mentioned natural gas flames,
on the way from the airport i saw a skyscraper in the form of sail and it said Trump Tower, we saw a building in the shape of rolling carpet-- this is a carpet museum, concert hall built in the shape of musical instrument,
Azerbaijan pride itself in the religious tolerance and good relationship with their neighbors except problems with Armenia, Jews lived here for centuries, Mountain Jews in the North- ancient town of Guba and the Jewish town of Krasnaya Sloboda or Red Roofs,
Ashkenazi Jews, Georgian Jews, Kurdish Jews, many emigrated to Israel, many still live here, recently government built a new synagogue, country has a very close relationship with Israel, i wanted to see Jewish town but it is 3 hours drive each way North , close to Russian border, but did not worked out,
Here are 25 universities, Opera and Ballet theater, Symphony orchestra, medical, law school, son of our very nice tour guide has a degree in ecology, economy is very good,
I really enjoy very much to see and to learn about this country,
Tomorrow we are flying to Erbil--capital of Kurdistan,Iraq
love to all of you
look at the map and photos.
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