Welcome to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan sounds like a far off and exotic land to me – and it is, since it’s about 6,000 miles away from my home in New York City. My flight takes me over the Atlantic Ocean, and across Europe before landing in Baku – the country’s capital.

The first thing I notice: the lights of the capital city are incredible! There is a neon-lit clock tower shaped like an oil pump and towering buildings sparkling with tiny lights. It seems everything is shimmering for my arrival!

Here’s what I know about Azerbaijan: The capital city of Baku is in eastern Azerbaijan, right on the Caspian Sea. Russia sits to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south.

Throughout history, many different groups have conquered Azerbaijan. Because of this the country is a blend of Asian, Arabic, Russian, European, and Turkish cultures.

I search the internet for everything I can find on Azerbaijan, but it is still a mystery. I can’t read any of the signs around me. It’s a little scary to arrive in a place so different and unfamiliar, but I’m ready to explore and investigate. But first, I better get a quick lesson in Azeri so that I can better communicate with the people I meet.