Tag Archives: South Caucasus 2006
April 4, 2011

POTD: View of Yerevan from The Cascade

Another lovely example of a Soviet-era art project, The Cascade is a giant staircase built onto the side of a hill in Yerevan, Armenia. If you don’t want to walk up the stairs, there are escalators that will take you to the top. Seriously.

January 25, 2011

POTD: Cliff houses along the Mtkvari (Kura) river in Tbilisi

The Kura river, which these cliffhouses are perched precariously over, starts in north-eastern Turkey, flows through Turkey to Georgia, and then to Azerbaijan, where it enters the Caspian Sea. The total length of the river is 1,515 kilometres (941 mi). As Tbilisi’s economy continues to grow following its independence from the USSR, flights to Istanbul and other major regional cities are increasingly available. We flew to Azerbaijan from Georgia since flights to Baku were unavailable in Armenia.

December 19, 2010

POTD: Overlooking Tbilisi at the Narikala Fortress

Narikala fortress

Narikala fortress

This is my friend, Laura, taking photos of Tbilisi from Narikala, a fortress established in the 4th century. It’s a steep climb up to the fortress (especially when you are, uh, hungover) but the view makes it worth it.

December 5, 2010

POTD: Metekhi Church of Assumption in Tbilisi

Metekhi church

Metekhi church

The Metekhi Church of Assumption was originally built by the Georgian king St Demetrius II circa 1278–1284. It was later damaged and restored several times. Throughout its existence it has served as army barracks, a jail, and theater until 1988, when the Soviet government allowed the building to once again be used as a church.

October 24, 2010

POTD: Bibi-Heybat Mosque in Baku, Azerbaijan

Bibi-Heybat Mosque

Bibi-Heybat Mosque

The Bibi-Heybat Mosque in Baku, Azerbaijan, undergoing renovation in 2006. The original mosque was built in the 13th century and destroyed by the Bolsheviks in the 1930s during an anti-religious campaign. This new mosque was built in the same site in the 1990s, following Azerbaijan’s independence from the Soviet Union.

October 20, 2010

POTD: Stuck in no man’s land at the Georgia/Armenia border crossing

georgia armenia border crossing

georgia armenia border crossing

Waiting in no man’s land at the Georgia/Armenia border so we could complete the final leg of our Baku-Tbilisi-Yerevan trip.

October 17, 2010

POTD: Mother Armenia

A statue of Mother Armenia located in Yerevan’s Haghtanak (Victory) Park.

September 21, 2010

POTD: Haghpat Monastery in Armenia

haghpat monastery

haghpat monastery

Located in Haghpat, Armenia, this monastery complex was built in the 10th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is in a rather remote location, and when we arrived at the monastery we were the only tourists there. More on this trip (including a slight problem with our transportation) here.

September 15, 2010

POTD: View from Betsy’s Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia


Betsy's hotel in Tbilisi

Stayed here for a few nights while in Tbilisi. Great place. The parking lot is full of SUVs with diplomatic plates, so if you are looking for some interesting conversations, head for the bar.

September 9, 2010

POTD: The oil fields of Baku

Baku oil fields

Baku oil fields

It’s no wonder the Abşeron Peninsula is considered to be one of the most polluted areas in the world. Years of drilling with little regard for the surrounding environment have left the area resembling an apocalyptic wasteland. In July 2006, we drove through these famed old fields of Baku – the same fields upon which the Nobel family earned their fortune and Royal Dutch Shell rose to prominence. Now, these fields are dotted with homes (mere shacks, really) and the rusting equipment acts as makeshift goals for the local kids playing soccer on the thick, oily sand, surrounded by pools of crude oil and broken pipelines.