Azerbaijan & Georgia - 20 Day Explorer (Virtual Tour)
Updated: May 23, 2020
We were due to be heading to Aerbaijan & Georgia @ this time of year, however, COVID-19 restrictions have required us to suspend all tours for the rest of 2020.
On this virtual Tour, you can travel with us as we explore two emerging countries - Azerbaijan & Georgia. On this Tour, we fly into Baku, Azerbaijan and out of Tbilisi, Georgia and bus, hike & funicular our way around these amazing cultures.
Getting into Baku a day before our Tour formally starts was a great idea - whilst I love travelling, there is nothing quite like getting some fresh air, the chance to walk around and get oriented, sampling some extraordinary food and a good night's sleep to prepare you for an amazing journey. Our hotel has a good little gym and sauna to help iron out any travelling kinks.
As with most of our days, it started with breakfast. The traditional Azeri/Azerbaijani breakfast consists of sweet butter, various types of white cheese, cream, honey, bread including tandir, lavosh & shirinchorek and kuku or scrambled egg with herbs.
The Azeri's are very particular about their bread and it is considered a sacred food and a symbol of abundance & prosperity. We were familiar with tandir & lavosh as they are common in the West but shirinchorek is something special. It is a classic Azerbaijani sweet milk bread made with yeast, milk, flour, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and turmeric powder. The turmeric gives it a rich yellow color and a subtle flavor that goes well with the sweetness of milk and sugar.
Breakfast is washed down with plenty of black tea - coffee, as in nearby Turkey, is for later in the day. The Azeri's are justly proud of the freshness and quality of their local produce and their cooking/preparation methods lets the produce speak for itself.
Baku’s medieval core is a UNESCO-protected site surrounded by 12th-century walls, brimming with history and Eastern architecture. Here you’ll find the Maiden Tower, Baku’s most mysterious site – no one knows for certain what it was originally built for and there are a number of different stories behind how it got its name! Meanwhile, occupying the highest spot in the citadel, the Shirvanshahs’ Palace was the 15th-century residence of Azerbaijan’s medieval rulers. Beyond its main attractions, the ‘Inner City,’ as it’s called by the locals, is a labyrinth of narrow alleyways home to some of Baku’s oldest residents, as well as artists’ workshops, souvenir stalls and traditional restaurants serving classic Azerbaijani dishes. A great place to get a feel for the city, its citizens and their culture.
We did not worry too much about making sure we saw all the sites - we have a guided walking tour in the morning that will cover them all and give us a good grounding in the architecture and history of Baku.