We had training sessions recently in Baku, and a chance to do some additional sight-seeing in and around Baku. Fellow PCV Liz and I enjoyed the Carpet Museum. Azerbaijan is noted for its carpets, as are most countries in this region. The greatest number of geometric and paisley designs are found in true Azerbaijani carpets, including those from what is sometimes called South Azerbaijan (actually part of Iran). Persian carpets from Iran proper, however, often have flower designs and animals. Some of the Azerbaijani designs in the ancient carpets in the museum actually reminded me a bit of Navaho and other Native American carpets from the American Southwest. In the museum, no photos...
However, Liz and I took a tour of some other sights...a trip which included the ancient Fire Temple--perhaps from ancient Zoroastrian times, though also with (relatively) more recent Hindu mysticism, also an archeological site and town at Qala, and the Yanar Dag or Fire Mountain, where fire spews out of the hillside continuously from underground natural gases--a true burning hillside.
Camels greet us
Some ancient finds, labelled 10,000 B C
Could not read the door inscription
Rooms surrounding the inner temple were used for pilgrimages--a type of caravansaray
Ancient stone shelter
Interior of merchant's house
More friendly camels
Human figures, rock carvings several centuries B.C.
Secret escape passage to Caspian Sea or to Baku
Hillside on Fire...naturally, and continuously, since ancient times