Introducing Baku (Baki)
The Azeri capital is the Caucasus’ largest and most cosmopolitan city. Few cities in the world are changing as quickly and nowhere else in the Caucasus do East and West blend as seamlessly or as chaotically. Battered Ladas race shiny Mercedes past illuminated stone mansions, shiny glass towers and tatty old Soviet apartment blocks. Pedestrianised tree-lined streets in the elegant centre chatter with teahouses and buzz with expat pubs. Unesco World Heritage status tries to slow the corporate gentrification of the fascinating Old City (İçəri Şəhər) hemmed in by an exotically crenellated arc of medieval fortress wall. Romantic couples defy Islamic stereotypes by canoodling their way around wooded parks and handholding on the Caspian-front bulvar (promenade), whose greens and opal blues make a mockery of Baku’s desert-ringed location.
Best places to stay in Baku (Baki)
What to do in Baku: highlights of 2012’s Eurovision host city
All eyes will be on Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, when Europe’s glitziest musical extravaganza sashays into town. But what should you see, eat and drink if you’re in Baku for the Eurovision Song Contest (www.eurovision.
Baku (Baki) destination guides
Travel literature review: The Caucasus
The Caucasus: An Introduction by Thomas de Waal Rating: 4 out of 5 Reviewed by Will Gourlay The roaming Arab armies of the 7th century were so baffled by the profusion of dialects and overlapping cultures they found in the Caucasus that they called the region the 'Mountain of Languages'.
Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia
The Caucasus region of Central Asia holds a wealth of unexplored territories. Wedged between two seas, surrounded by Europe's largest mountain range and straddling two continents, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia are home to some extraordinarily beautiful scenery and incredibly hospitable people.