Getting to Sumqayit

Sumqayit Travel Blog

 › entry 20 of 26 › view all entries

I miss Sumqayit.  I could easily live there.  I know where everything is.  The food is great, the people are friendlier than here in Davachi and the internet there is fast.  There are no less than 4 good bakeries, and at least 5 good doner spots.

It was time for me to get back and see the city again.  I needed to get to a big city to develop some pictures, do some work on the internet and buy some things you can only get in a more modern place.  Since it is closer to me than Baku, I figured that I would be saving money by going there and should have no problem navigating the journey.

First, I needed to see if there was some sort of bus line that I could take to Sumqayit.  Unfortunately, there is only a line going to Baku (which passes on a road about a mile out of Sumqayit), and to take that marshrutka one must pay the full to Baku amount.  All of this time, while I was asking a taxi driver all of these questions, he offered to take me to Sumqayit for 5 manat.  The marshrutka itself is 3 manat, and since they won’t stop in Sumqayit itself, I figured this was a good idea.  I’d get there quicker, wouldn’t have to change busses up the way and it’d be more comfortable, I thought.

I quickly agreed, which got us to the business of standing there.  Standing, waiting and hoping that another person would come our way and fill the taxi.  My idea that I would get to Sumqayit faster this way left me when the mashrutka to Baku left the station and I was still standing on that corner waiting for the taxi to fill.  It was acceptable though, since I was learning about how the taxi system in Azerbaijan works and I wasn’t in a hurry anyways.

Finally we left, with me going to Sumqayit and 3 other men going to Baku.  First we went to the taxi driver’s house, where he picked up something to take to Baku, then we finally, about 45 minutes after the bus left, left town.  At this point I was really hoping that I would still have enough time to really enjoy Sumqayit, but I didn’t fret at all.

We drove for about 2 hours when the taxi driver stopped in one of the cities in between Davachi and Sumqayit.  It is a few miles north of Sumqayit and seems to act as a small impromptu masrutka gathering.  I notice it each time I pass on this road.  He turned in, darted in and out of a few small streets and then announces that this is my stop.

I look at him oddly as I inform him that this isn’t Sumqayit at all.  He says that he knows, but that here is a bus to Sumqayit that will take me to the central street.  I paid my fare, got out and left (also the last time I’ll use a taxi to get between cities).  I trusted him, and even if I didn’t, I was close enough to Sumqayit to get there by foot if I needed.  Besides, this was a new place that I had never seen before.

After asking around, I found out that I was in the city of Nosnos (or something like that, the kid was mumbling).  Another PCV who lived in Tagiyev during training mentioned that Nosnos is what they call that entire region north of Sumqayit, so the kid wasn’t helpful at all in fact.  On the ride to Sumqayit in the mashrutka I did notice the place where the police picked us up months ago (written about in another blog entry) and would put this city about 2 miles north of that.

Sumqayit was fun.  I had good bakery food, good doner and good internet.  When it was time to go back I found that there was no line straight back to Davachi.  Instead I had to ride all the way down to Baku and then get a bus going up to Davachi.

So, Sumqayit is closer to Davachi, but it takes longer to get there (even if I don’t take the taxi) and is more expensive than going to Baku.  At first, I was surprised, but as my friend Alison, another PCV, pointed out to me, that is simple economics.

I won't be taking a taxi again, but at least I got to see Nosnos.

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photo by: cbstevens