A Travellerspoint blog

See the piggy in the middle of the muddy little puddle

There's a book the piggies enjoyed as piglets called, "The Piggie in the Puddle:" http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/664638.The_Piggy_in_the_Puddle
That's pretty much how the pigs spent their last day in Azerbaijan.

They hired a taxi in Baku for about 15 euro for the day (their friend paid the other half). The taxi drove them outside of the city for about an hour to a mountain in the middle of the desert in a place called "Gobustan". This is where they spent about an hour looking at ancient petroglyphs. There are a series of caves housing more than 6,000 rock engravings dating back between 5,000 - 40,000 years.
at the base of the mountain at a newly opened museum before climbing to the top

at the base of the mountain at a newly opened museum before climbing to the top


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ancient piggie friends!

ancient piggie friends!

Next, the driver took them about 20 minutes or so to another uninhabited part of the desert where there were a few dozen mounds on top of the mountain.
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These mounds are actually mud volcanoes which you can play in!
The wind was so strong it actually could blow a person over

The wind was so strong it actually could blow a person over


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The driver had never been so I think he enjoyed his visit to the volcanos too

The driver had never been so I think he enjoyed his visit to the volcanos too

Next up....The piggies spend an entire weekend taking early am budget flights and end up in Morocco!

Posted by gabell 08:15 Archived in Azerbaijan Comments (1)

Beautiful Baku

Where do you go after 2 amazing weeks in the Republic of Georgia? Well, a lot of people go to Armenia. But the piggies decided to take the much more complicated and expensive route and secured a visa to Azerbaijan.
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Next stop: Baku! There were massive problems getting there because the train tickets were in Georgian and the ticket lady sold the piggies the wrong ones. As they couldn't read Georgian, they didn't know. So a Monday train became a Wednesday night train and 5 days in Baku became 2.
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Baku is "the new Dubai" apparently. It's making bank from oil money and the government is dumping millions of dollars in Baku every year. It's literally changing before people's eyes. The rest of Azerbaijan isn't doing as hot apparently.

But Baku is a really interesting mix of old and new.
Here's the old city where our hostel was:
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Here's the piggies lunch:
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And the new part:
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My favorite building.
Because at night...

Because at night...

It does this!!!!!
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Posted by gabell 10:56 Archived in Azerbaijan Comments (0)

(S)wine Country

The piggies met a nice American girl, Billie Jean (ha), who is living and working in Tbilisi to study women's and gender studies. Here's a link to her fundraising page if you want to read more (not trying to pressure people into donating, just thought people might want to read about her research): http://www.rockethub.com/21848

She invited the piggies to explore wine country with her and her friend. Kvareli is an area of Georgia where "wine was invented" according to the Georgians.
So, we took a marshrutka (a van used as a bus where as many people cram on as possible) a few hours to the north for some ridiculously small amount of money.

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When we arrived, we walked around totally lost for awhile and found this weird fortress with a band practicing
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We finally found this wine tunnel
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And ate at a swanky restaurant
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It was sort of a weird trip. But a fun afternoon and the piggies got to eat loads of good Georgian food.

Posted by gabell 12:00 Archived in Georgia Comments (0)

Impressions of Tbilisi II

So the pigs accidentally spent over 2 weeks in Tbilisi....but there were so many cool people!

This is a Georgian guy who gave them a tour their first full day. They climbed to the highest peak in the city which was definitely not safe.
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As already mentioned, they spent the fourth of July at a lake with two Iranians, two Aussies, and a Brit....
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They stayed up late listening to the hostel guys play around with instruments
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One of the Iranians had his father visit and he brought these yummy homemade Persian biscuits
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And besides the people, there were all these funky things about Tbilisi itself

This is the entrance to a translation service....
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Guys stuffing a car full of bread....
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These candies that I thought were candles for the first week
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I laughed for almost ten minutes straight when I saw this. Piling cars full of watermelon is just as popular as cramming your car full of bread. What a tragedy when the trunk pops open. The police were out for this and everything!
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Homemade wine
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Why would anyone leave Tbilisi?
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Posted by gabell 22:46 Archived in Georgia Comments (0)

Blast from the Past: Piggie style in Ushguli

The Piggies met a nice American father-daughter duo from PA and they decided to split a van with them and James to Ushguli. It's only about 40km but it takes 3 hours because of all the mountains. The duo was staying in a guest house and the Georgian man offered to drive them there and back and spend the day with them for 200 lari (about $120) so we split it four ways. The driver brought his daughter who was about 18 and spoke a tiny bit of English.

Before departing, James and the pigs got some bread for breakfast from this little window.
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It was 1lari ($.50) for all this....
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When we finally arrived, these little kids were on the road selling salt.
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The piggies made SO MANY new friends.....the pigs and animals were just walking around the little dirt paths
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Apparently this town just got electricity last year!
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Only 280 people live here. About 80ish families.
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This crazy artist guy with knives let us come into his house. Not bad!

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This is actually a separate town nearby. Four families live here...
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The town was exactly what the piggies were hoping to see......little houses, medieval towers, water and pigs on the little dirt roads. It was like being in Medieval Europe! There was also a tower that housed all these ancient relics from the 11th century. Apparently anytime there was an invasion people just hid the relics in the mountain towers. It's so hard to conquer that its never been conquered. No one ever bothered.

The piggies give Ushguli their full recommendation. If you come to Georgia, take the 8-12 hour bus ride to Mestia and the 3 hours to Ushguli. Worth it! (But note, on the 9 hour bus ride back two people were throwing up for the first 2-3hours! We had to stop every 30 minutes they were so sick)

Posted by gabell 06:46 Archived in Georgia Comments (1)

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