A Short Time in Baku

Baku Travel Blog

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Maiden Tower
(Taken from journals, e-mails and my shaky memory from this period.)

I have been having meetings in the embassy.  My point of contact in the embassy, Afet, has been very wonderful and nice throughout this entire experience.  I met with several key individuals, including the new ambassador.  She is a former teacher herself.  Everyone I have spoken with in the embassy has told me that I will be the only American in Nakchivan.  It is amazing to just see the reaction of everyone here when I tell them that I am going to Nakhchivan.  Even the chief security officer was amazed.  He gave me his home telephone number in case I ever needed to call.  At the same time, the look of shock and amazement on everyone's face has me also wondering what in the world have I gotten myself into.  The ambassador is expecting for me to report to her about what is going in that region whenever I am back in Baku.  The embassy staff has been very welcoming.  I feel good that I am taking this position.  I did buy a cell phone last night.  My first cell phone ever, but it is a security measure.  When I was in Vegas, no one called me except for someone wanting to buy this or get that credit card.  I have most of the embassy staff's phone numbers already programed in.

A friend of mine from VirtualTourist has put me in touch with someone from Nakhchivan who is living in Baku.  Chinara has been very kind to me and has shown me around the main parts of the city.  I am a little disoriented.  We went to Maiden Tower, which is one of the big landmarks in the city.  The story is that many years ago  there was a young princess who fell in love with a common boy.  Her father did not approve, so he built  this huge tower  which at the time was in the Caspian.   The young princess was sent this tower until to what her father was thinking "come to her senses."  Instead she flung herself to her death in the Caspian as she could not be with her true love.  I have been told by some people that the Madien Tower is haunted and there are strange lights that sometime appear within. 

Chinara showed me the Old City which surrounds the Maiden Tower.  It is interesting to see what appears to be old fortress wall in an otherwise growing cosmopolitan city.  We went into Fountain Square which is the center of everthing that is Baku.  Here, you can find a multitude of shops selling bootleg DVDs and CDs, boutiques, resturaunts, bars and nightclubs.  We venture towards Baku Soviet where the statehouse and many governmental offices are located.  Most of the buildings seem to have a more European design.  It is late and she bids me farewell.
I will be heading to Nakchivan on the morning of Monday, September 10, Baku time.  It will be about 8pm Sunday night on the West Coast of the US.  The rector of the university is also a member of the parliment.  I have been told in the embassy that my presence in Nakchivan has been discussed in parliment and they want me to teach English to some of the government officials there.  I realize the importance of my task here.  While Azerbaijan has been producing oil for years, it has not really started full production.  Nakchivan, while being seperated from the rest of the country by Armenia, is still a very important player in the international field as most of the political leaders in Azerbaijan hail from area.  I know that I need to write about this experience.  This has all the makings of a great book.  I have been writing some, but I am sleeping at odd hours right now.
Marius1981 says:
wow your presence there was discused in the parliament? cool!!!!
Posted on: Apr 09, 2008
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Maiden Tower
Maiden Tower
photo by: RJawad