Truck Stop, Azerbaijan
N 040 57.749 E 049 15.324 ->
Today: 89.6 °F ( +32 °C)
13 Jun 2017
34454 km

When we woke up the rain banged on the roof. We had planned to stay a few days at the beach. But no, not a good idea right now. And when we entered the city the streets were flooded all over town.

In Baku a car behind us where honking, flashing the lights to make us turn over. Out came a very excited man. It was Ilgar. He was overjoyed to meet Swedish people here in Azerbaijan. He used to live in Sweden for 3 years seeking asylum 15 years ago. He still speaks very good Swedish even though he had not used the language for so many years. He invited us for dinner at a restaurant. And after that he took us home to meet his family and we could take a shower and park for the night at his house.

Baku, Azerbaijan
N 040 24.235 E 049 59.321 ->
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
14 Jun 2017
34784 km

Strolled around Baku today. Here are lots of fountains, parks, boulevards and spectacular buildings like the Flame Towers. At the shopping street Nizami Street Catharina got herself a new bikini. At the waterfront we could see that the water was really dirty and smelled like oil, not very surprising, since we could see the oil platforms from the shore. The Baku peninsula doesnt seem to be a nice spot for beach time.

In the evening we went to Yanar Dag some 20 kilometers outside Baku, a really cool place were the ground is on fire - gas is pouring out of cracks and holes in the ground. This is a natural phenomenon and it has been like this for ages at this particular place.

Ynar Dag, Azerbaijan
N 040 30.128 E 049 53.411 ->
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
15 Jun 2017
34820 km

The spring attachment in the front on the left side is broken. We can still drive the car if we drive carefully and on good roads, but the problem need to be fixed really soon. We started the day at the car market, but we didnt manage to find any parts. We decided to contact Andrej in Sofia to see if he had any Saab friends in this area that could find us a new spring attachment. He told us he would ask around.

After that we did some more sightseeing and visited the incredibly beautiful museum, where they had a Classic Car exhibition with 60 cars on display. On top of that we found this beautifully renovated car in a back street.

Then we left Baku to go to the Mud Volcanoes some 100 kilometers south. On the way there we got stopped by a police car. They told us we had been speeding, but we had not done such thing. First they demanded 100 US dollar as a fine, then they asked for 50 US dollar. Catharina got really pissed, told them off loudly, ripped the passports out of their hand and said; NO, NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Then we just drove off and left them standing there by the roadside. Probably very surprised and still wondering what did just happen.

The Mud Volcanoes is a bunch of small volcanoes that are spitting mud instead of lava. Sometimes there also are big flames coming out of them, but not so while we visited. Maybe we should have tried to ignite one of them? But that idea we came up with too late.

Truck Stop, Azerbaijan
N 040 00.557 E 049 09.066 ->
Today: 82.4 °F ( +28 °C)
16 Jun 2017
34983 km

We are now going towards the border to Georgia, but we are not actually going to Georgia jet. Our plan is to visit Armenia, but there are no open border crossings between Azerbaijan and Armenia. They are not friends at all. One of the big issues is Nagorno-Karabakh. And if we would have a stamp in out passports that showed we had been in Armenia they would actually not let us in to Azerbaijan.

We stopped along the way to visit another of the natures phenomenon water that is on fire. Through a tube from a spring, a mix of water and gas is coming out. When we arrived there it was not burning. We ignited it by ourselves and it was burning for like 15 minutes at a time. Cool! Then we filled up our water supply since this was spring water and took a shower and washed our hair.

Truck Stop, Azerbaijan
N 041 06.533 E 045 25.901 ->
Today: 80.6 °F ( +27 °C)
17 Jun 2017
35371 km

We passed the border Azerbaijan Georgia and about an hour later Georgia Armenia, fairly quick and easy it went. But we got really mad at the Armenian side when the demanded 41 US dollar in environmental fee, customs administration etc. and on top of that 15 US dollar for car insurance. That add up to 56 US dollar, equals 50 Euro for the five days we plan to visit Armenia. That is 10 Euro per day just for the car. That is fucking outrageous! In other countries we do not have to pay anything.

But Armenia is beautiful after all. The landscape is quite different from what we have seen the past few months. Lush green hills and big meadows in full bloom.

Even though we have covered some kilometers and two borders today we still had time to see some things too. Armenia is full of old churches and monasteries. We visited Haghpat and Sanahin Monetary just outside the little miners town Alaverdi, but we found the town more interesting than the monasteries. It felt like being in another world. What does it feel like to live in a place like that were everything is rusty, broken and completely worn down? Do they get used to it? Does it feel like this is normal after a while? We would get really depressed living in an environment like that?