Tracing the steps along the Silk Road– Samarkand, Bokhara, Isfahan–the namesakes of Oriental carpets–has formed the basis for my travels through Central Asia. Throughout Azerbaijan, the trail of the ancient route is evident, as traders plied the same track we are traveling, between Dagestan (part of Russia) and Iran.
We traveled through the baby Caucasus mountains northwesterly towards Georgia. Because of border disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, neither jurisdiction will allow direct access across their border. Tourists must transit through “neutral” Georgia to the other country. What’s bad for Armenia and Azerbaijan is good for Georgia.
Silk Road Caravansary
Similar to those in Iran and Uzbekistan, the caravansaries were stopping points for traders along the Silk Road. Camels were housed on the lower floor and provided heat for travelers who lived above. The central water fountain was used for cooling the space and was connected to the ventilation system. Traders could set up instant pop-ups to sell and barter their wares, before moving onto the next station.
In the nearby town of Lahij, local items made of wool, herbs, and copperware are sold similar to those traded along the Silk Road in the 5th Century.
Petroglyphs, Gobustan National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
from the Neolithic period, these petroglyphs may not be as elegant as those in Alta Mira or Lascaux, but the 6,000 petroglyphs in this area certainly were evidence of man’s need to communicate. Animals being hunted, a focus on females for child bearing and men hunting were typical images carved into the sandstone rocks where they lived.. I was excited by the chance to see these markings by our ancient artists, carved en plein air in a spectacular setting.
For several hundred years, natural gas burned openly and continuously in the Yanardag Mountains. It’s not surprising that religious rites sprung from man’s early encounter with these unexplainable phenomenon. In the town of Surakhany, the Ateshgah Temple was used for fire worshippers. Zorastrians and HIndus travel from India to visit the temple. You can read more about it below.
This temple reminded us of our first introduction to the Zorastrian religion in Iran (Thus Spake Zarasthustra!) as well as the Fire Temple in Yasd.
Considered the largest mosque in Azerbaijan, its sandstone walls were a contrast to the blue mosaic decorations more commonly used in mosques I visited in Iran and Uzbekistan. The mosque was rebuilt after earthquakes and fire damaged the building.
originally posted 6/23/19
2 thoughts on “SILK ROAD ADVENTURE #6A: AZERBAIJIAN”
I just love looking and reading your travel log. I am too scared to do it and yet so interested about these places. I need at least a 4 star hotel, clean bathrooms, hot shower etc., so therefore I miss out a lot. You and Gee Kin are brave to explore the WORLD. You two have my utmost respect and admiration.
On Sat, Aug 15, 2020 at 9:44 PM Travels with Myself and Others wrote:
> VickieVictoria posted: ” Tracing the steps along the Silk Road– > Samarkand, Bokhara, Isfahan–the namesakes of Oriental carpets–has formed > the basis for my travels through Central Asia. Throughout Azerbaijan, the > trail of the ancient route is evident, as traders plied the same” >
These tris are by no means dangerous or compromising on comfort. While they may not meet 4-star standards, they are certainly good value 3-star. Very little time is spent in hotels, especially with compact and compressed schedules and so much to see! You would really enjoy the constant stimulation of history, ideas and food of each country. I found the architecture very advanced for world class quality and innovation and more forward thinking approach. Thank you for being a loyal follower of my travels, I am really glad that you enjoy the trips and can come along!!