Houses made of glass in Baku

Houses made of glass in Baku

with No Comments

From the very beginning we treated Azerbaijan as a transit country. After delays in the Kazakh visa application process, we didn’t want to spend more than a week there. Also there was no sense in visiting anywhere other than Baku since we only had a short time in the country.

We planned on departing in the morning because we didn’t want to risk getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. We didn’t know much about the Azeri culture and whether hitch-hiking is a common thing there, but everything was going according to plan. We started relatively early and the first car stopped within a few minutes but the driver and his friend had agreed to drive us to the place we wanted, though only under certain conditions: a quick dinner (which was not very fast at all), a beer and maybe a bottle of wine :). When we finally set us free from their hospitality it was about 4pm.

Hitch-hiking was pretty easy, but it still took us an entire day to reach the capital. The traffic was minimal near the border and the quality of the roads left a lot to be desired.

So around 3am we reached Baku, and the first thing we saw was National Flag Square. It was once the largest free standing flag in the world. Standing underneath the flag is the only way to really appreciate how massive it is.

Flame Towers
Flame Towers

Flame Towers, whose design was inspired by fire worship, were among the nicest modern buildings we saw. The towers are not as high as they seem, as they are located atop a hill.They had a shape resembling a flame, and this unusual design was quite fascinating to behold.

We were looking for historical sights, so we decided to visit Maidan Tower, which is considered a symbol of the city. The age of the tower is uncertain, but archaeologist estimated it was built sometime between 7th and 12th centuries. The tower itself is rather small – about 30 metres. On a single floor a fair amount can be learned about the tower, but because much of its history is unknown most of the information is based upon legends and myths, thus making it historically uninteresting.

The Eternal Flame
The Eternal Flame

The Eternal Flame memorial made the biggest impression on me. It’s a war memorial which marks soldiers and civilians who were killed by the Soviet Army in 1990 during “Black January.” This monument is atop the same hill as the Flame Towers and can be accessed through a long cemetery alley which is lined with names of those who lost their lives. Even though it’s in the middle of the city it remains calm and peaceful.

We were a bit sceptical of this capital, because we knew it would be a bunch of skyscrapers and expensive real estate, giving the impression that they were flaunting their wealth while the rest of the country seemed to have a much poorer standard of living. However, after a week we began to grow fond of the city despite the initial impression it left on us. I still don’t know if I would recommend a trip to Baku. The rapidly developing city and profit oriented society is not what I am looking for. However, as always, Iza and I got luckier than we deserved, meeting the right people at the right time and that’s what made our time in Baku so much better.

Iza&Wiola
Follow Iza&Wiola:

We've met each other during classes the least associated with our faculty at the university and it couldn't be an accident. Silly grinning at our English teacher telling about his hitch-hiking adventures, we haven't known yet that we will begin to travel together. The series of unfortunate events made us share a tent, a camera and memories. Now almost nothing can stop us from hitch-hiking.

Iza&Wiola
Latest posts from

Leave a Reply