Jul 04 2006

“Don’t get shot”

by in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Eastern Europe & the Caucasus, Georgia, United Kingdom, Western Europe

I’ve had two people tell me this in the past week…and these are friends of mine who studied the region at LSE. Comrades, be reasonable! I’m not looking to grab an AK-47 and hop into one of the various post-Soviet conflicts plaguing the region, I just want some homemade Georgian khachapuri and Armenian cognac. Besides, they are all under cease-fire agreements…right?

“Intermittent armed clashes” aside, I’m really looking forward to this trip, for a variety of reasons. My friend Liz (from GW) is a foreign service officer at the U.S. embassy in Yerevan, and Taline (from LSE) heads the NDI program over there. My roommate, Laura, also a friend of Liz’s, is coming along, and Crystal (LSE) is flying out from San Francisco.

So, here is our itinerary, which, of course is subject to change given the nature of traveling in the Former Soviet Union:


July 4: Leave DC
July 5: Arrive in London, the greatest city in the world. Seven hour layover, then depart for Armenia.
Arrive in Yerevan at night.

July 6 and 7th: Yerevan, Armenia

July 8: Drive to Tbilisi, Georgia

Overnight in Tbilsi

July 9: Tbilisi (perhaps stop by Misha’s office to sing the GW fight song together)

Overnight in Tbilisi

July 10: Fly to Baku, Azerbaijan

Overnight in Baku

July 11: Spend a day at one of the lovely beaches of Baku


Overnight in Baku

July 12: Fly to Tbilisi, drive back to Yerevan (yes, it would be lovely to fly directly to Yerevan from Baku, but the two countries HATE HATE HATE each other and there are no flights between the respective capitals)

July 11-14: Armenia

July 15: Depart Armenia, seven hour layover in London (anyone up for a pint?), unfortunately back to Dullsville, aka the District of Columbia

Ethnic conflicts, low-grade civil wars, massive environmental pollution, landmines, intermittent electricity, and political repression. Sounds like a place you’d love to vacation in, no?

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7 Responses to “Don’t get shot”

  1. From El Capitan:

    Too much fun Finch. I hope Baku is as beautiful as I hear it is. Can’t wait to see the pics.
    Stay out of trouble (and prison ;o), and have a drink on me!

    Posted on July 6, 2006 at 12:00 pm #
  2. From Me:

    With all the travel you engage in, do you either have an in with some sort of discount travel agency or know of some other really inexpensive way to travel?

    Posted on July 16, 2006 at 1:12 pm #
  3. From Lindsay:

    Most of my travel was done last year, when I was going to school in London and had the opportunity to take advantage of the low-cost air carriers in Europe. By taking the very early morning flights, I could get a roundtrip ticket from London to places like Italy or Ireland for $30-60 on RyanAir. For lodging, we usually found a budget hotel or apartment off of hostelworld.com.
    Unfortunately, now that I am back in the US, travel has gotten a lot more expensive now that I have to book my flights from the US…there’s no real way around that, I guess. If you are willing to put up with European winters, though, you can get some amazingly low priced airfares to London, Paris, etc during December, January, and February and hop around the continent using RyanAir, EasyJet, etc (if Europe is the destination you have in mind).

    Posted on July 16, 2006 at 9:02 pm #
  4. From Saleem:

    Lindsay, awesome shot of the beach & refinery in Baku. Very impressive. A friend of mine was recently in Baku for work, but he didn’t bring back anything like this.
    So, I’m saying hello. I’ve popped round your blog from time to time, ever since I noticed a referral from my blogs: firstly salvai.com, then neocrats.com. I was at the LSE at the same time as you, I was doing Global Politics, and even more randomly we were in Cairo at roughly the same time: I went with an LSE friend over Nov/Dec of ’05.
    I’m glad to see the LSE mafia getting all digital. 😉

    Posted on July 25, 2006 at 5:05 pm #
  5. From Saleem:

    PS, obviously when I said “refinery” I meant simply “offshore oil rig”.

    Posted on July 25, 2006 at 5:06 pm #
  6. From Mr. Blue:

    As a member of the security community, I would recommend in future postings, especially one in which your presumabely self-named website is given, that you do not list your itineray online, as well as that of your Federal foreign service friends..and that person’s name. Think about what you are doing, you can easily put yourself at risk this way. Just food for thought.

    Posted on September 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm #
  7. From Lindsay:

    Whatever you say, Matthew 🙂

    Posted on September 10, 2011 at 10:08 am #
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