Azerbaijan FAM from Michal Shapiro on Vimeo.

How might a commute agent realize that Azerbaijan is a smart commute vacation spot, until that they had already been there? How may they realize if the courses are a professional, if is there an infrastructure that helps tourism? How the meals is? What it’s in fact love to BE there? Those are the explanations that FAM -familiarization- journeys exist inside the commute business. -And whilst those have now not been my particular considerations as a journalist reporting on global track and tradition, while Landscape Trip, a number one supplier of such excursions, prolonged an invitation to discuss with Azerbaijan and Georgia, I regular with out hesitation. I may just now not face up to the chance to talk over with nations I used to be so enthusiastic about. The Caucasus area, lengthy remoted underneath the united states, is a area recognized for its ethnic and linguistic variety–and an abundance of cultural riches.

First of all: Azerbaijan stunned me with its modernity. In reality it has a moniker because the “Dubai of the Caucasus.” It’s particularly oil and herbal fuel wealthy (Marco Polo even commented on oil that gushed from the bottom there) and used to be a pioneer in oil extraction way back to 1871. The ensuing largesse has ended in a substantial amount of construction and funding in infrastructure. That is no 3rd global usa. Azerbaijan Airways could also be no newcomer to the flight business–it used to be an enormous inner shipment service all through the Soviet generation. On the grounds that independence, the acquisition of latest Airbus and Boeing plane has reworked its fleet from one hauling items to pampering its top notch passengers. Tourism is a huge a part of the financial system, and all of the motels and motels we visited -starting with the spectacular Fairmont, in Baku, to the more than a few Qafqaz inns within the ski spaces have been complete carrier luxurious amenities, with massive swimming swimming pools, (every now and then multiple!) spectacular spas, lounges and primary price meals. The rooms have been plush, with sweeping perspectives that had me holding my curtains open always.

In spite of the competitive modernization that may be so usual, the excellent news is that Azerbaijan’s tradition and traditions are nonetheless intact, albeit molded by way of its turbulent geopolitical historical past. Therefore the affect of Persia, Turkey and Russia are obvious. And prefer different submit Soviet countries, its monuments and ancient web sites are strangely available. One hardly ever unearths a barrier to an front, and the way frequently does one get shut sufficient to the touch a petroglyph? I discovered the folk to be pleasant and inquisitive, and the very low profile of alcohol tradition to be fresh. Younger folks nonetheless have a undeniable politesse and ritual, instilled through their oldsters’ traditions.

In fact, I’ve to write down one thing concerning the song! There’s a actual pastime amongst younger other folks of their musical history, which the federal government promotes vigorously. The courtly song repertoire of Maqam is discovered in conservatory, after which expressed inside of western bureaucracy like jazz and classical orchestral, in addition to conventional, with live shows given ceaselessly. In reality, the track at the back of my video, via pianist Emil Mammadov is a wonderful instance of recent Azeri Maqam-primarily based Jazz. And even though the musicians that performed for us within the eating place are individuals of the Azerbaijan State Orchestra, within the video they’re enjoying danceable people song.

The 3 days we spent in Azerbaijan have been extreme, however I nonetheless got here away with the sensation that there used to be a lot more to revel in and revel in. I’m satisfied that I introduced again a jar of exquisitely aromatic Azerbaijani honey bought at a roadside stand. One style brings again such a lot of candy reminiscences!

My way to Kat Vallera of and Nadine Godwin for allowing me to make use of their pictures and for editorial enter, and to Nargiz Abdullayeva, of the
Ministry of Tradition and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, for giving me her most effective reproduction of the very good compilation “Musique Azerbaidjanaise: Jazz.”

Subsequent FAM publish: Republic of Georgia!

To determine extra approximately

Landscape Go back and forth:
Azerbaijan Airways:
QavQaz Lodges:
Fairmont Baku Lodge:

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