Tuesday, August 7, 2018


We wanted to see something outside of Baku, and my niece, who has spent some time in Azerbaijan for work, suggested that we drive into the Caucasus mountains to visit an artists' colony named Lahic. It is a distance of about 115 miles, but it takes three hours to drive because of the narrow mountain roads. 

We made several stops along the way. The first was at this roadside stand, one of many selling a conglomeration of fruits, vegetables, honey, and pickled and bottled items.

We were especially intrigued by this transparent disks of dried fruit that hung in rows like stained glass wind chimes. Our guide Yalchin told us what all the flavors were, and we bought a couple to try.

I'll just say that they were much more beautiful than they were tasty.

They also sold local honey, with and without a piece of the honeycomb in it:

These pears, apples, and pomegranates don't look like they have been sprayed for bugs or given massive doses of fertilizer. In other words, this is Mother Nature at her best:

The road would creep upwards to barren passes, and then slump back down to forested areas:

Our next stop was the Zarnava Bridge, a metal suspension footbridge that cross the Girdimancay River:

It starts near the road and ends in a pile of rocks on the far side of the river gorge:

It's a wobbly, vertigo-inducing journey, but we all gathered up the courage to make the crossing:

During a different season, this must be quite a raging torrent, but when we were there, it looked quite reduced:

John and Susan pose for a picture. You can see that it is quite a long span:

The road kept getting narrower and narrower, and we had to share it with other travelers:

Just looking at these next pictures gives me the heebie jeebies.  I can't believe we were on this road and that truck was coming towards us.  What happened next is a mystery. I'm sure my eyes were squeezed shut, or maybe I've just erased it from my memory. We are still here, so we must have made it past that truck:

Here are a few more pictures I took of that section of the road when we were returning to Baku. Note the river down below, the fact that there are no guardrails, and the dirt road is just wide enough for one vehicle:

What a relief:

We parked the car and started walking down the single street that runs through town, population 860. 

These bags seem to be holding many varieties of tea:

If you need a blanket for your goat, this is your go-to place:

Maybe you just want a cute little sheep. You can get that here too:

. . . and if you need cash to buy it, here is your spot:

Lahic is one of the oldest continually settled towns in Azerbaijan, and it was built for foot traffic and horses:

. . . not for large cars:

Lahic has always been a town of craftsmen, and they sell a wide range of products:

Several shops are full of tools and implements that have been made here at Lahic. Some of them look like they have been here a long, LONG time:

Some of the stuff for sale could be found in many American antique shops:

There are plenty of hand-maid metal items for sale:

Lahic is particularly famous for their copper works. We saw a demonstration of how their copper goods are made:

A copper plate is covered with melted tin:

The tin is scraped away to create an intricate design, and ultimately, this is the finished product. No, I didn't buy one. Yeah, I wish I had:

Instead, I bought this little antique container for oil from this man, who I'm sure was disappointed that I didn't by that big plate to his right:

After spending some time wandering up and down the shopping street (we were the only tourists in sight), we started our journey back to Baku:

. . . stopping on the way at a very unique restaurant, located in a large park:

The "booths" were actually individual gazebos scattered amongst the trees:

The food was country-style Azerbaijani food: grilled lamb, chopped cucumber and tomato salad, hot flatbread. Not bad for our last dinner of the trip. Not bad at all.


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