2000, Tbilisi to Baku ferry
starts off with foggy and slightly rainy weather. We drive through small
Georgian villages towards the Azerbaijan border. The vegetation is again
very green, animals are strolling about and roads are again very bad.
But as we cross into the Azerbaijan, roads suddenly get a lot better.
They can still be described as in a bad state but at least they are repaired,
so the contrast makes us think of them as very good. On the other hand,
less imported limousines can be seen on the roads (is there a relationship?).
Just like Georgia, the west of Azerbaijan is very green and has very nice
nature, many exotic looking birds can be seen and heard. Pet-wise there
are no more pigs but more sheep, goats and horses on the road.People are
proud of their horse-back heritage in Azerbaijan just like in the other
Central Asian states.
Language and people in Azerbaijan are close to Turkey, so even within
a day we feel to start at home in Azerbaijan.We talk to many people and
they are very friendly and open and have a totally different mentality
from the Georgians, who seem to be closer to the Russians. At first we
thought we might be biassed because we can communicate in Turkish but
an American couple confirms our view. We get asked many questions by the
Azeris but the question that is most on their mind is: Who pays for your
petrol on the road?
Towards Baku, the landscape gets a lot drier. Baku itself is a huge city,
unfortunately we do not get to see much of it as we have to board the
ferry. We had heard many warnings about this ferry: Waits of several days
due to low tide, bad facilities, etc. But on the actual crossing most
went reasonably fine and we arrived only with few hours delay.
Unfortunately we only spend one day in Azerbaijan but our impressions
of it have been very nice so we plan to come back, especially to see Baku.
|TC 57: Tbilisi OUT
|TC 58: Cockchai
|TC 59: Motodrom IN
|TC 60: Motodrom OUT
Overall 37 minutes
official results can be looked up on this website
A small border
crossing into Georgia, Azeri officials let us enter with little
Sheep and another
common sight: A horse carriage
dry river beds, another common sight
to speak Turkish attracts attention.
the police to the port
harbour of Baku
picture of cows... These are actually buffaloes and we saw so many
animals on the road today that we had to show these photos.
Also notice the beautiful alleyways which remind of us Central Europe,
a stark contrast to the east of Azerbaijan.
Kids cheer the
rally participants in Cockchai
hills and dry grass
has to live with the Communist legacy but certain areas (such as
petrol stations) are Western standard.
on the Caspian Sea, city of culture and history, capital of an emerging
country - and what do we get to see of it: The Baku Motodrom, normally
used for motorbike races.
But anyone who read Jules Verne knows that Phileas Fogg's voyage
suffered the same kind of hastiness.