Photo Story: Exploring Azerbaijan's Incredible Landscape

Jan 4, 2020
by WeAreOne Composites  

“Aza-What? Azajan? Where is that?!”

These were some of the typical responses I heard from friends when informing them where I would be riding for the next month. Many were unfamiliar of its existence let alone its whereabouts. Earlier this year, I didn’t even really know much of Azerbaijan other than its location and how to pronounce it. In fact, my partner Justa Jeskova and I had no plans of travelling there until 30 days before we arrived.

In most instances, we prepare meticulously months ahead. We make local contacts, book tickets, and sort out logistics well before we arrive. This time was quite different. Having sat out the previous summer with an injury and feeling restless awaiting winter’s end, I had started daydreaming of travelling exotic locations. Justa felt the same yearning for adventure which led to us picking a date and randomly picking spots off a 3D globe. The only requisite? Inspiring foreign mountains that were hopefully free of snow.

It was a sharp contrast from our familiar ways, but that’s what led us to this unusual choice of mountain bike destinations. A refreshing change which left us open to the whims of the road, weather, and last-minute decisions. We boarded the plane with an added air of excitement, keen to tackle an unset path laid before us and the adventures ahead.

Upon arrival, we quickly came to realize how diverse and contrasted a place Azerbaijan is. The capital city, Baku, is a mind-bending melting pot of old and new. Some of the worlds most advanced modern architecture stood juxtaposed with buildings dating back to the 12th century. Soviet, Islamic, Victorian, and Post Modern styles clashed telling a story of a colourful and rich past. New structures such as the Heyday Aliyev Cultural Centre, a flowing design of undulating white curves and lines, stand as a shining light in the dark amongst Soviet apartment blocks. Strolling amidst the Old City provided peek-a-boo views of Baku’s modern architecture in between elegant mosques and medieval towers. Literally minutes away we would find ourselves in animated squares and Parisian like strolls crammed with cafes and restaurants.


Old town meets new town
Old town meets new town

Functional Art The Heydar Aliev Center.
Functional Art, The Heydar Aliev Cultural Center.

It’s not difficult to understand how Azerbaijan came to be this way. Standing at the crossroads of east and west, it occupies an area of the world that has seen influence from Turkic, Caucasian, Iranian and Russian heritage. It has come to be known as a lands of contrasts. Born of ancient humans and witness to the birth and death of empires. Its people have long been host to travellers and merchants from different cultures around the world.


The first of many ultra-friendly locals we met was Aydin Damir-Zade. After meeting through social media he kindly offered to introduce us to his local trails. Since he began riding in 2014, he’s remained a stalwart of the tight-knit biking community; a lifetime when considering the short history of the sport in Azerbaijan.

We met up with him late afternoon for one of his classic evening laps. A ride that began in congested streets before ascending up barren ridges on the outskirts of Baku. A fiery sunset and wide, open views of the Caspian Sea made us forget that a bustling metropolis lay less than a few kilometres behind. It culminated in a twilight descent into Baku through a series of berms and drops with a view unlike anything we had seen before. Many of Baku’s architectural wonders were lit up in dramatic fashion. Most impressive of all, an iconic trio of glass buildings called the Flame Towers morphed between flames, pouring water, and a waving Azerbaijan Flag. Justa and I both stood in awe at the cityscape before us, astonished to be riding single track in such a developed and densely populated city let alone one lit ablaze in a sparkling light show.

Local s loop Baku.
Local's loop with Aydin Damir-Zade, Baku.

The Flame Towers providing all the light we need on our TVFR night ride.
The Flame Towers providing all the light we need on our TVFR night ride.

Aydin, in true Azeri form, invited us out again the next day. This time it would be alongside nearly half the country’s current mountain biking population. According to his estimates, there were 20-30 mountain bikers in the country, 8 of which would be joining us. Our all-day epic included trespassing through army bases and climbing by pump-jacks & oil pools. It was as foreign an experience as we could have from back home. We chased each other down desert ridges while taking care to avoid trail side hazards which included venomous snakes, army security, and deep & lethal oil wells left abandoned from over a century of petroleum extraction. Our pursuit of good times and adventure wrapped up in the most of Azeri of ways, eating baklava and drinking tea at a seaside cafe.

Four days in and we already felt as if we had seen a country worth of sights in one place. If there were any doubts or trepidation in finding worthwhile riding and adventure in Azerbaijan, there were none now. There was only more excitement and enthusiasm for the road ahead.

We bid farewell to our newfound friends and set our eyes on Xizi, home to the unique and colourfully striped hills known as the Candy Cane mountains. It wasn’t long before sights changed drastically. The shine of Baku in our rearview mirror gave way to a grittier and empty landscape dotted with communist apartment blocks. As we drove onwards, decrepit old buildings and dusty abandoned farmlands became the norm. If there was one constant during this trip it was change. Changes in everything, climate, geography, scenery, even language.


Arriving late afternoon in Xizi didn’t leave much time to find a place to stay for the night. The small village rarely saw visitors let alone foreigners. As far as we could tell, lodgings did not exist other than one bizarrely out-of-place and deserted luxury hotel. Not wanting to end up in the real-life version of ‘The Shining’ we opted to search on for more locally authentic options.

While inquiring with locals on the existence of any guest rooms in the area, a duo operating a ramshackle tea house offered us their own room to stay in. They even reorganized their own sleeping arrangements so we wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor. Already grateful with the generosity we were shown, they went above and beyond in offering us cheese, bread, and a bottle of vodka curiously paired with slices of tomato and lemons as chasers. The affable couple sat with us and didn’t take no for an answer until the bottle of vodka was finished.


With a mild hangover and our hearts and bellies full we left early the next morning to check out the mountains we had made our way here for. Nearing our destination, sporadic glimpses of the colourful terrain peaked high above the village’s green, hilly pastures. Treeless ridge lines crept up mountainsides shifting between the colours and textures of grass, clay, and the candy cane striped dirt.

The first hike-a-bike up revealed years’ worth of routes and lines to ride. The most difficult decision became choosing where to hike up and what to ride down. Over the next few days, I ticked off a checklist of dream-like lines. With each successive descent, my trust in how the dirt reacted led to increasingly difficult and exposed lines. It became a game of staying on line and memorizing blind rollovers from the no-go cliffs. A hint of uncertainty accompanied me at the top of each run while trying to visualize the ‘can’t miss’ landmarks I hoped to memorize on the way up.

The Xizi morning warm up routine.
The Xizi morning warm-up routine.

Martian playground on earth in Azerbaijan.
Martian playground right here on earth in Azerbaijan.

Although nerves were a part of the equation, the surreal feeling of free-riding in an otherworldly landscape was ever-present. It was absolute pure elation to be leaving tracks in a place that felt too perfect to be real. Had we gone straight home after this, our trip would have been a resounding success. I didn’t want to leave but spending too much time here would do a disservice to our plans to explore and discover the rest of the country.

Candy cane freeride.
Minding the blind rollovers on a Candy Cane freeride.

Desert textures.
Desert textures.

Reluctantly, we said good-bye to our new Azeri friends and returned to the road. We aimed north towards the towering rugged peaks of the Greater Caucasus in search of alpine riding.

Soon the arid red and white hills gave way to rugged, taller mountains. Trees began to dominate the hillsides while massive storm clouds ominously enshrouded the peaks we were headed straight for. It was a considerable contrast after spending nearly a week atop sweltering, wind-scoured ridges. To experience such wildly different landscapes in a matter of hours was extraordinary.


The humble Lada at home in Quba.
The humble Lada at home in Quba.

Our amazement at the quick change of environs soon turned to concern. The temperature plummeted as we climbed upwards with the rain eventually turning to snow. Initially, the winter-like scene added depth and beauty to the old roadside villages. However, it became clear with the deepening snow that our 4wd’s bald tires were no match for the steep and slick mountain track. With an air of impending failure about us, we made the call to abort the mission. The likelihood of finding ourselves stranded, or worse, seemed inevitable. And to add insult to injury, the best option in the ever-worsening storm was a 7-hour detour to the other side of the country.

Heydar Aliyev s name photo and bust preside over many towns parks and buildings. Part of a continuing phenomenon referred to as Heydarism Aliyev s Cult Of Personality.
Heydar Aliyev's name, photo, and bust preside over many towns, parks, and buildings. Part of a continuing phenomenon referred to as Heydarism, Aliyev's Cult Of Personality.

With the difficulties of finding a bed in Xizi, we weren’t sure what awaited us in our hastily chosen destination of Lahic. Plans of a mellow day had vanished into a hectic race across the country in hopes of beating nightfall, a race which we lost. The final leg to our destination was as chaotic as our misadventure earlier that day. Pouring rain, sleet, and falling rocks pelted our 4 x 4 while navigating a narrow bench of exposed cliff-side road. So narrow in fact that we questioned if we were even on a road at all.

Safety third
Safety third!

Fortunately, that would be the end of our anxiety. Just as we were starting to regret our decision the road opened back up and the village of Lahic came into view. In a stroke of good luck, we found a hot meal and room to stay at the first house we inquired within. The friendliness and generosity of the Azeri people once again on full display.

Sunrise the next morning revealed we had escaped the brunt of the unseasonably late storm. Although it wasn’t a complete escape as some snow had fallen on the peaks encircling the 1500-year-old cobble-stoned village. Luckily it wasn’t enough to keep us from exploring the area’s countless trails and lesser peaks.


Access to these streets in Lahic may be easier these days but they haven t changed much in over 1000 years.
Access to these streets in Lahic may be easier these days but they haven't changed much in over 1000 years.

Tea spices and handmade goods in Azerbaijan s copper capital.
Tea, spices, and handmade goods in Azerbaijan's copper capital.

Due to the steep and dangerous mountains around Lahic, much of its existence was spent isolated from the rest of the country. The construction of a roadway in the 1960s may have changed some things but the character of Lahic and the villages dotting the hillsides remained. That same geological remoteness of the area meant many people’s homes and farms were solely accessible by foot and were connected via a myriad of rickety bridges and goat paths. Perfect for days of riding up muddy mountains and hike-a-biking to secluded homesteads. It felt as though we had entered another part of the world overnight, yet again. A vast change in an ever-changing country where contrast seemed to be the only constant.


Chased back to town by a Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Testing out the local woodwork

Billy Goats Gruff. Trip trap trip trap...
Billy Goats Gruff. Trip, trap, trip, trap...

Throughout our stay, locals shared a friendly interest in where we were going and how we got here. Some even showed grave concern for our safety thinking we’d kill ourselves attempting to ride back down the steep terrain we just hiked up. Others invited us into their homes for tea and snacks, usually after being chased by some of the meanest sheepdogs I’ve ever had the displeasure of backing away from. It never mattered to them or us that we weren’t able to communicate well. Smiles, nods, and hand signals, as well as Justa’s rudimentary Russian, were more than enough to convey our gratitude.

And the ones who worried about our safety? Some would keep an eye out for our safe return and offered their congratulations on making it down alive.

Contrasted high above the medieval village of Lahic
Contrasted high above the medieval village of Lahic

At first, the late-season snow seemed a curse. Clearly it wasn’t. Seeing and exploring Lahic and its magnificent backdrop of snow-covered peaks just meant we witnessed it at its most beautiful. As picturesque as it was, the mud had grown thicker and unrideable with the runoff meaning it was the right opportunity to delve on to new parts of the country.

Every journey starts with a single step....or a wheelie in the case of this descent.
Every journey starts with a single step....or a wheelie in the case of this descent.

Each time we left for a new destination we became increasingly excited for what lay ahead. With something new and distinct around each corner, it was hard not to contain our enthusiasm. We pushed on into the northern reaches where Dagestan, Georgia, and Azerbaijan converge. The resulting 3 points a showcase for the diversity and wild contrasts of life in a region known for cultural tolerance. The area is home to many local ethnic groups, languages, and religions. Their penchant for acceptance also meant an overt friendliness, even by Azeri standards, which led us into our next discovery.

While checking maps for potential riding zones and driving about, we stumbled upon a soviet-era holiday resort. An older jovial man greeted us excitedly as he saw us park nearby. He was ecstatic to discover we were Canadian and insisted on showing us around. When touring us through his ‘resort’ which included a decrepit yet charming wood-panelled bar complete with dust-covered disco ball, he confirmed there was in fact a trail nearby. One which rose upwards of 2500 meters from the valley floor into the alpine originally used by local shepherds to take their flocks to summer pastures. That sealed the deal for us. Well, that and a few shots of his homemade vodka which tasted what I imagine a gasoline and rubbing alcohol cocktail to resemble.


With the pungent aftertaste of vodka still lingering the next day, we left early to explore the biggest descent we’d encounter on our trip. The long out and back ridgeline ascended through lush green trees and multi-coloured flowers, broken up by broad patches of dark shale furrowed over time by livestock and weather. The shale sections provided the ultimate playground of mini ridges and chutes. Paired with sweeping views of Car and the massive valley beyond, it was an instant favourite.

Following ancient summer pasture routes high up into the Caucusus through the spring bloom.
Following ancient summer pasture routes high up into the Caucusus through the spring bloom.

Choose your own adventure.
Choose your own adventure.

The vibrant colours and lushness of Car felt countries apart from the rocky, treeless peaks and medieval cobblestones of Lahic. Equally stunning in their own unique ways, they exuded completely different moods than one another. Witnessing such vast changes within the same mountain range was astonishing. But to see those variations separated by only a few peaks was extraordinary.

Petal to the metal in an Azeri meadow.
Petal to the metal in an Azerbaijani meadow.

50 shades of green
50 shades of green

We deemed our unforeseen cross-country deviation a success and decided to make another attempt at the high alpine of the Caucasus in the East. In a way, it was better we left it for last. Justa and I had high expectations for this area in particular. Home to the highest peaks of Azerbaijan and the 5000-year-old village of Xinaliq, we were eager to experience the ancient culture and landscape of one of the world’s highest and continuously inhabited places.

Travelling back across the majority of the country in a day was a lesson in the climatic contrarieties existing within its borders. From the beginning of our day in the sub-tropics to the high alpine tundra at the end, we experienced hot & cold, humid & arid, and every imaginable clime in between. It was wild to observe so much change in a relatively short time.

Getting small amongst the towering giants of Besbarmaq.
Pit stop along the road to Xinaliq to get small amongst the towering giants of Besbarmaq.

We passed through 9 of 11 of the world’s climate zones before emerging from a fog entrenched canyon when we finally caught our first views of the region’s towering mountains. The scale of the landscape was enormous beyond words. The village of Xinaliq looked minuscule. It sat precariously on a diminutive hill, ominously surrounded by giants which looked ready to drop rock slides and avalanches in its direction at any point. The isolation and precipitous location of the village was stunning and spooky. The Kettid people who call this place home are hardy people and have been shaped by this land over millennia. The remoteness of their existence has even resulted in their own language which has no links to any other and is solely spoken in their village.


Xinaliq 5000 years inhabited and counting. The most isolated and remote village in Azerbaijan.
Xinaliq, 5000 years inhabited and counting. The most isolated and remote village in Azerbaijan.

However isolated Xinaliq had been over its history, it didn’t the cool the warm welcoming we received. A local man, Mr Kabir, offered us a room and meal in his home. His home was a humble abode built inconspicuously into the hillside and constructed of mud, stones, and a few bits of lumber. It was centuries old and remarkably sturdy. Their cattle and sheep shared the same building living below the sleeping quarters to help provide warmth during the cold nights. Their muffled bleating provided a soothing soundtrack to the area’s charm. It was crazy to think that only 4 hours from here was a bustling metropolis full of posh, five star, high-rise hotels.

Searching for air high up in the Caucusus
Searching for air high up in the Caucusus

Tiny rider giant landscape.
Tiny rider, giant landscape.

The following days were spent hiking our bikes up craggy mountainsides as far as our lungs and daylight would allow us. Golden eagles circled overhead and the sounds of falling rocks reminded us of the wild place we were in. The insignificant feeling of being so small in this massive landscape never once for a minute escaped our thoughts. Descents that looked as if they would take minutes took the better part of an hour. There was a calming and euphoric feeling existing and riding in this landscape. Perhaps that was the reason people chose to live here so long ago despite the inhospitable nature of the imposing surroundings.

Alpine adventuring in the Caucusus
Alpine adventuring in the Caucusus


Our days always ended with the local children running to meet us. It didn’t matter if we were still far uphill from the village. Their altitude adapted lungs and enthusiasm for bikes made it a trivial matter even for the toddlers. They would excitedly count the gears on our bikes and boast they had more than our meagre 12. Some of them, having seen what we rode earlier, eagerly pointed out lines they wanted to see us ride. Although, many of these hilariously ended in massive drops into boulder fields. No matter how exhausted we were from the day, they always insisted we push them around on our bikes until every kid had their turn. We did so with massive smiles on our face, happy to be a part of their community for a fleeting moment. I couldn’t have imagined ending anywhere but here for the end of our trip.

Dagestan meets Azerbaijan
Dagestan meets Azerbaijan

Sliding into our Xinaliq home base.
Sliding into our Xinaliq home base.

We had started this trip in a futuristic, world-class, architectural wonder of a city and ended in an ancient village high in the Caucasus, it was about as big of a contrast as you could get. The contrast remained strong throughout our trip seeing colours, climates, geology, and geography constantly changing all around us in a display of yin and yang. However, one thing remained the same throughout; the people of Azerbaijan’s unwavering generosity, acceptance, and desire to help and accommodate regardless of place, language, or stature. Azerbaijan is rich in contrasts but what truly made it rich was the awe-inspiring beauty of its people and land.

Baku melting pot metropolis of the Silk Road
Baku, melting pot metropolis of the Silk Road

Azeri desert ridges party in the front and possible death off the sides.
Azeri desert ridges, party in the front and possible death off the sides.

Just another ultra friendly local out on the trails of the Caucusus
Just another ultra-friendly local out on the trails of the Caucusus


Riding to the hills
Riding to the Shahdag hills with Emin Aldin



77 Comments

  • 60 1
 Well that's POD sorted out for the rest of the month. Amazing work Justa!
  • 15 1
 Beautiful article. Pinkbike, should you ever choose to print the best and most timeless articles in a book (something Misspent Summers would probably help you realize) this one should definitely make the cut. With all respect to your website, an article like this is best experienced on quality paper.

Surprised to see so many or the author's cycling friends are unfamiliar with the existence of Azerbaijan. They hosted the 2018 BMX World Championships. That should have put them on the map though of course a BMX race track in Baku doesn't reveal the beauty of the country nor of the people. This article definitely made up for that.
  • 3 1
 Agree, was surprised their friends hadn’t heard of this country. Oil-powered dictatorship with a fascinating history = lots of news articles over the years. Anyway thx for a great trip report & beautiful pics!
  • 3 0
 Thanks for the kind words, Vinay. Justa and I were both happy with how this trip, the photos, the riding, and the story played out. Hard to portray in words exactly how incredible this place was but I tried my best! It's truly an amazing part of the world. We were there April 2018 just before the BMX World Champs. I live in Whistler and most of my friends also do which is extremely mountain bike centric. Not many from my circle of friends follow any kind of riding other than mountain biking. In fact, most of them don't even follow any kind of racing. Really glad I got to experience everything Azerbaijan has to offer though!
  • 4 0
 @frorider2: I always wonder why some people in USA uses word like "Oil-powered dictatorship" when actually their government supports dictatorship in those country. If you don't like dictatorship in my country please go and protest your country not to intervene interest of Azeri people including Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians. Or you think it is fine to bomb one country's general in another country? You call it democracy? It is not democracy it is world wide dictatorship and hegemony. We saw what your democracy brought to those people... So you better shut up and enjoy this great article instead insulting my country.

Sincerely,
  • 5 0
 I had a co worker from Azerbaijan. He was just like the locals you describe meeting in these remote villages. He is kind generous more open minded than most people I know. Thank you for sharing this adventure with such astounding images . And thank you Pink Bike for posting this story which blends riding with culture. I would probably visit Azerbaijan before I would see Europe or Nepal. The rich diversity of climate , geology and culture find me very much attracted to this country.
  • 3 0
 I appreciate the kind words. Cool to hear their hospitality and generous ways spilling over here too. Biggest thanks to @WeAreOne for supporting us and helping to bring this project to fruition.

I highly recommend visiting with your bike. There's a lot of great riding and exploration to be had. I felt like we had barely scratched the surface while we were there. Plus as you mentioned, it's such a diverse place that offers so much beyond riding. If you do visit don't hesitate to contact me. Happy to help out if you have any questions.
  • 6 1
 As someone who was born and spent my first years in the USSR, I have a strong affinity for all the republics, so it's cool to see 2 different features within a couple days on post-Soviet MTBing. Would be cool to see something in Ukraine, I bet the Carpathians have hidden gems.
  • 2 0
 I also have a fascination with this area of the world. Justa is from Slovakia and we've traveled around the eastern bloc extensively. Love seeing the history in person and hearing first hand experiences from her family. Maybe it's because as a kid in the 80's I remember the news being dominated by stories of the east, communism, revolutions and the fall of USSR, Berlin Wall, etc. Such fascinating history in this part of the world.

We have plans for a trip/project to a former USSR country this fall. Similar to this one but more backcountry and adventure based. Not sure of release dates or where the story will find a home but I'll be promoting on FB and IG for sure.
  • 1 0
 @stevestorey: Good luck and hope you have a great time!
  • 7 0
 brilliant work there, absolute speechless
  • 1 0
 Many thanks! We've been itching to share this project with everyone. Happy to hear people are enjoying it Smile
  • 3 1
 Superb photography of a fine adventure! I like that it is about much more than just riding. One concern about those striped hills though. I've been to a few features like that in the desert, and they were all pretty fragile. One rider-probably no big deal-but in this era of hordes descending on places to grab the same IG image as everyone else....
  • 5 0
 I don't think hordes are going to be descending on Azerbaijan any time soon.
  • 3 1
 Amazing work Steve and Justa, love the pictures and the words accompanying it! I did hear of the country before, but somehow never thought about riding there. This post changed it and placed the country on my bucket list, thanks for that! Ben
  • 2 0
 Cheers, Ben. There's an endless amount of massive mountains and alpine to explore. Plenty of shepherding trails on for access too. Seems like your kind of place Smile
  • 1 0
 You are always welcome to Azerbaijan Smile !
  • 5 0
 Steve and Justa, this is incredible - great work.
  • 2 0
 Thanks, pal Smile We were pretty excited to share this with everyone. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!
  • 2 0
 Maybe it was just me but the bridge with all the goats on it reminded me of the bridge of death on Monty Python and the Holy Grail. ????

youtu.be/qry9IeJnbNU

Really great photos!
  • 1 0
 Hahah, quite similar minus the smoke and explosions actually. Plus the locals are much more friendly!
  • 4 0
 Well that was cool. I love seeing places I would have never considered going like this. Good work guys!
  • 2 0
 Thanks, Matt! Pretty unreal where a random pick off the globe can take you haha.
  • 3 0
 I travelled to Baku for the F1 race in 2017, spent some time beyond the city too, found the place very warm and welcoming. A beautiful country.
  • 2 0
 And the last pic of the friendly local, minus the hat and switch footwear to Blundstone's, reminded me of most of the hipsters in the PNW.
  • 2 1
 But this guy's the original. Maybe one day having a donkey will be the newest fad. That would be fun, you would never have to carry anything!
  • 1 0
 @stevestorey: I wouldn't put it past the hipsters to start breeding urban donkeys.
  • 2 0
 Piotr, look what Justa brought home!

Lada is easily confused with the Cuban variant.

LAX to GYD: $882 round. & I thought the Candy Cane 'stans were trippy.
  • 2 0
 There was much talk about bringing a Lada Niva back home. I'm not sure if it would be possible but it would definitely be a dream shuttle rig. I was seriously impressed when I saw the places that little car would go.
  • 1 0
 Awesome report, really captures the essence of a beautiful and diverse country with some epic biking to be had. Was privileged to have spent a few years riding there with Aydin and the gang. A nicer bunch you will not meet.
  • 1 0
 Thanks, Drew. Aydin and the rest of the crew are great people. Thoroughly enjoyed riding with them and exploring their amazing country.
  • 1 0
 An articulate piece and stunning photos. I've been waiting to see the summary of your trip Steve and Justa! Makes me want to travel and adventure bike more, thanks for the inspiration!
  • 1 0
 Many thanks for the kind words, Angie. Stoked to be able to share this with people and glad you enjoyed it.
  • 1 0
 @stevestorey: Thanks for pictures mate! They are priceless !
  • 1 0
 Awesome work! If anyone is planning on going, there is a Formula 1 car race in Baku the first weekend of June in 2020. That can be either a big attraction or a big pain.
  • 1 0
 Fantastic article and great pictures. BTW some people from West call those mountains as Candy Mountains. Than you very much for showing Azerbaijan from different prism.
  • 1 0
 Happy to share our experience over there. Hope to make it back again some day.
  • 2 1
 Top of my destination list, alongside Georgia, since I found out I was 30% Caucasus
  • 2 0
 After spending time in Azerbaijan it only made me want to explore the surrounding countries even more. Georgia, Dagestan, and Armenia are all on my list now. Easy to do Georgia and Azerbaijan in one trip if you plan ahead for it. We had 4 weeks and found it was just enough time for Azerbaijan. There was a lot of slow travel and weather delays in there though. Originally we we wanted to go to Iran but UK, American, and Canadians have to travel with a government approved tour group. That probably wouldn't have worked out for our needs. Hopefully someday we can figure out a way to make it happen.
  • 2 0
 Beautiful write up and photos team!!
  • 2 0
 I cannot wait to visit Azerbaijan, it looks so raw, real and stunning!
  • 1 0
 And even more so in person. Hard to truly capture how stunning it was but we tried our best!
  • 2 1
 Great article, stunning pics too
  • 3 0
 Thanks, man! @Justa25 killed it behind the camera on this trip. Stoked you enjoyed it.
  • 2 1
 With all due respect, Steve, Justa's photos are the real hero here!!
  • 2 1
 Lol, you're not wrong. She crushed it on this trip, made my job easy!

Although there were a few sketchy hikes back up ridges through no-fall zones to reshoot a missed shot I could've done without... Wink
  • 2 1
 Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!
  • 1 1
 Incredible photography of a spectacular landscape.I really enjoyed this piece! Nicely done!
  • 2 0
 Nailed it on the 'spectacular landscape'. I was in constant awe everywhere we went. Just beautiful mountain after beautiful mountain. Thanks and glad you enjoyed it!
  • 1 4
 Spectacular! Beautiful! Amazing! Peaceful... Not really, don't be full... Azerbaijan people are capable of harming peaceful people in their own evil way. Only a few people in the west are aware of the true story behind Baku's Armenian genocide in 1990 when thousands of innocent Armenians - kids, elderly, and fathers were massacred brutally and kicked out of their homes.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e8_wxT5EXo
  • 4 1
 The USA has a clear conscience does it? I travelled to Baku in 2017 for the F1 race, found the people to be warm and welcoming. Almost every country on the planet has commited some act of inhumanity in it's history, including your own. Doesn't make what you're saying less credible but people in glass houses, etc....
  • 1 1
 Why we always find some Armenian everywhere whenever article talk about Azerbaijan. Stop showing yourself as a side who suffered the war. It is Armenia occupied 20% of Azerbaijani land!. It is Azerbaijan has around 1 million refugee from Nagorno Karabakh!.

Please enjoy other part of my country which you were not able to occupy and conduct ethnic cleaning yet.!
  • 2 1
 The travel destination stories are so awesome! Keep them coming in 2020.
  • 2 1
 Great work! Incredible photos
  • 3 1
 Great photos.
  • 1 1
 Amazing trip, thanks for sharing!
  • 1 1
 No problem, happy to share! Most of the thanks should go to @WeAreOne for making this project possible, they're the real heroes.
  • 1 1
 Inspiring, now it is in my potential destination pipeline thanks
  • 1 1
 That would be a heck of a good road trip from Hungary. Bit of a journey but the countries and mountains you would drive through, daaammn!
  • 1 1
 thanks for sharing! awesome pics and description of an amazing place!!
  • 1 1
 Our pleasure, happy to have this piece out there. Big props to @WeAreOne for making it all possible though, this wouldn't of happened without their support!
  • 1 1
 excelente trabajo amigo, awesome work¡¡¡
  • 1 1
 Gracias para las palabras genial, yo lo agradezco Smile
  • 1 1
 Always magnificent work @Justa25
Spectacular!!!
  • 1 1
 I am curious - did you meet any Molokans out there?
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 I don't believe so but I'm also not 100% sure on that... I know we drove near one of their villages on the way to Lahic and Zaqatala but it was a detour out of the way. Sounded like an interesting place to check out though.
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 Molokans around town called Ivanovka. I think he didin't visit that place.
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 great photos!!
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 Armenia is much better.
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 Well of course because it is also Azerbaijani land Smile Good luck!
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 @mirhrt: stfu koskesh
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