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Old 10-03-2009, 03:52 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Default Azerbaijan road by bike info, advices

But the biggest impression that the road condition left on me was not of the difficulties of the passage to Baku, but instead a sense of embarrassment for the Azeri people. This main highway coming into Baku is a national disgrace, particularly when contrasted with the numerous marble statues and granite parks that have been erected all along this road in every town larger than Qax, dedicated to their former leader, Heyder Aliyev. Compare the fact that we saw ONE road sign indicating distance to Baku over 400km and often would be left at roundabouts having to ask which way to the capital because roadsigns were nonexistent, yet the government can afford to put up large billboards all along this road with Heyder Aliyev’s picture and various quotes.

So, cycling in Azerbaijan has really been a mix for me of both really positive and really negative impressions, but on balance, despite the roads and the drivers I am really happy to have cycled through it – the contrasts have kept us constantly on our toes and overall it has been very interesting, though I can’t say I would visit the country again soon.

Baku Bicycle Club - biking in Azerbaijan -www.bakubicycleclub.com

Cheap ACCOMMODATION in Baku Azerbaijan by 30 manat

HOTELS - A lot of tourists, planning their trip to any country, think about: what is cheaper – to stay at any hotel or to rent daily apartment. Concerning Azerbaijan, I’ve understood, that is cheaper to rent an apartment. Why? I am explaining: Looking through the Internet, I was shocked, the prices in Baku hotels are higher than in Paris. For information – when I’ve been in France, I stayed at hotel in Opera block by 35 euro per night. In Baku I did not find such price. So I decided to rent daily apartment. Through the searching system, I have found several real estate agencies: Caspian Estate, New Europe etc. Making a request to these companies, I was offered apartments in the centre of Baku by 100 manat per night (the same price as in hotels). As you understand, such price hits tourist in his pocket.

CHEAP DAILY APARTMENT IN THE CITY CENTRE - So I decided to find any information on Russian and foreign tourist forums (such as Lonelyplanet, Virtualtourist etc.), thinking that the people, who are the members of such forums, travel a lot and can give me useful advices. An I was right: a lot of links and tips about Baku, Azerbaijan. I knew that there is no hostel in Azerbaijan and also have read many appreciations about BakuRealEstate company (www.bakurealestate.net), to which I decided to make a request. In BakuRealEstate company I was offered the apartment in the centre of Baku by 30 manat per night. Of course, at first the low price embarrassed me, but I was offered free of charge apartment’s preview and I decided to try. Anyway, if I did not like the apartment, I’d stay at any hotel. But, thanks God, everything was ok and the apartment was quite well: in several minutes walking from Fountain Square, with all necessary facilities by 35$ per night.

USEFUL ADVISES - In addition, I was given a lot of useful advises by company’s real estate agent – where I can buy at a low price different souvenirs (Khagani shopping centre on Torgovaya str, second floor) and of course caviar (on Taza Bazar or in Caspian Fish Co fish monger ). Also where I can taste delicious and chip local cuisine (Nargiz restaurant on Fountain Square, Faeton restaurant with medieval decoration on 17’Rashid Beybutov str., by the way, there you can taste hookah and also L’aparte restaurant on 51’ Istiglaliyat str. ).

FOOD - I can advise: gutabs (with meat and green), different kinds of dolma (from grapes leaves and stuffed pepper/tomato/aubergine) and different kinds of kababs ( sturgeon, potato, tomato, aubergine, and from meat: lula-kabab, tika-kabab), buglama (soup with big piece of meat), fried hen-lavangi (hen stuffed with walnut and pomegranate).

And a lot of different delicious sweets: pakhlava, sheker-bura, gogal (better to buy in Cudo Pechka)
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