This morning visit the sights of Baku on a guided tour. Take the funicular railway to the top of Martyr's Hill, an area of neat parks dedicated to those who have died in recent conflict. A walk though the modern city and Fountains Square brings you to the medieval walled city "Icheri Sheher" with its narrow alleyways, historic caravanserais, mosques and Palace of the Shirvan Shahs. Visit the 12th century Maiden's Tower whose function has never been established and climb to the top of its tower. As you continue through Baku see the restored mansions of the oil barons, some now home to municipal buildings and designer shops, and also the Bulvar, the wide promenade stretching the length of the bay.
Well, it’s far from La Scala Milan, but opera, theatre and music are all a great and vibrant tradition in Baku. The story goes that the gorgeous Opera House, perhaps the finest building in the city, was built in 1911 by the Georgian millionaire Daniel Mailov, after he and Baku were snubbed by the beautiful Russian soprano Antonina Nezhdanova, for the town's wealth, yet lack of real cultural facilities. He and his brother took cultural revenge on the 'tactless' diva by spending a lot of money, but if you want Georgian drama off-stage, in 1987 it mysteriously burnt down! It has been restored and reopened for evenings of beauty, grace and cultivation.…Read more
Depart Baku for a half day excursion to Gobustan. An approximately one hour drive, depending on traffic and road conditions, will take you to Gobustan National Park. The displays in the visitor's centre give some background and history to the rock art as well as showing artefacts found in the area. On the mountainside of outcrops and caves are thousands of rock paintings dating from the early Stone Age (c.10,000 BC) to the Bronze Age (1,500 BC). They show animals, hunting scenes, dances and ships and even graffiti left by passing Roman armies. You will also see the old oil fields of Bibi Heyat, learn about oil production in this area and see the bizarre mud volcanoes.…Read more