Local time: 7pm
Time zone: +4
How far did we travel this week? Oz to Tbilisi to Baku
How far have we traveled on our journey so far? 879 km.
How did we get around this week? By train, by taxi and by foot.
What was the most interesting place we visited this week?
Today, I visited a museum in Gubastan which is a town right outside of Baku. In the museum were petroglyphs which are ancient drawings carved into stone by early humans. This museum is one of the coolest I’ve ever been to! It has holograms, interactive computers and cartoons that show how the glyphs utilize the artistic techniques of perspective and proportion. However, best art came after we left the museum. After a short drive, we got to see the real petroglyphs!
This week’s travel news:
This week, I left school early to travel to Tbilisi, then Baku. I took an overnight train two nights in a row! It was very tiring. You can read more about this journey in my most recent Journal Entry. In Baku, I’m staying with a friend who is teaching at a local University. Something interesting to note is thatAzeri universities are like our high schools. During this trip, I alsotraveled to a few sites outside of Baku.
For the three days I’ve been here, it was foggy one day, sunny one day, and very windy today! The wind was 36 miles per hour (mph)! You can think about how fast that is by picturing yourself in a car going 36 mph. The temperature is 45°F.
In Baku, I see a few cats every day. Outside of the city, I saw two goats, a few sheep, and some sheep herding dogs.
What’s the coolest thing we saw in nature this week?
This week, I visited a fire that is said to have been burning longer than anyone remembers. Some say it’s been burning since 500BCE, but I don’t believe it. Even if it was only burning for 50 years, it’s still amazing. How does it keep going? The fire doesn’t burn out like a normal fire because it doesn’t create ashes. It burns on natural gas found within the rocks on which it’s burning. It isn’t very big, but it’s very warm!
What languages are spoken here? Azeri, some Russian and a little English.
What type of money is used here? The manat is the local form of currency. One manat consists of 100 qəpik, which are coins. 1 manat is worth 1.27, so it is slightly stronger than a dollar.
How much does a bottle of water cost? $.65
What was the best meal this week? The best food I ate this week was mtsvadi, a delicious Georgian beef dish. I’ve had plenty of Azeri food, but this Georgian dish was my favorite this week! Sometimes mtsvadi is compared to BBQ, but I think it’s much more delicious.
What music did we listen to this week? In the taxi, I heard some Azeri pop music. It sounds a lot different than Georgian pop music! Azeri and Georgian pop music areinfluenced by the ancient religious music. Azerbaijan is a Muslim country, so the music sounds similar to the call to prayer. The voice is very strong, modal and has a lot of bends or ornamentation. The accompaniment is usually a pattern of drums playing different rhythms against each other. However, new pop music sounds is sounding more and moreEuropean nowadays.
What activity was the most fun this week?
Having tea and lunch with our wonderful taxi driver was really fun! My friend knows a little Azeri and so we all spoke through her. We got to ask him a lot of questions.
What did I read this week?
I read a book called Ali and Niko. It’s about a boy from Baku and a Georgian girl living in Baku. In the book, they fall in love.. Ali is a Muslim and Niko is an Orthodox Christian, so they have a hard time finding a place where they both feel happy. They are most happy living the simple life in a rural village. It takes place just before World War I.