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Baku (or how I saw it in 48 hours)*

It is such a pity I had only two days in Baku! Nevertheless, my visit there clearly showed that even 48 hours can leave very clear and lasting impressions. Two facts to begin with: an amazing conference I had the chance to speak at and incredibly warm-hearted and hospitable people. Here is how I experienced Baku in this short time:

Meticulously clean.

By far the cleanest city center I have experienced. This level of cleanliness almost felt unreal and I started looking for at least a small trace of trash, but to no avail.

Warm-hearted and hospitable.

The nicest (and the only female) taxi driver in Baku, the friendly beekeeper attending the conference and all other incredibly warm-hearted people I came across during my 2 days in Baku proved how little it takes to make someone feel at home far away from home. Thank you!

Ancient and modern.

Admittedly, I expected that. But the expectation doesn´t make this mixture of tradition and modernity, the amalgam of architectural styles throughout the central part of the city less impressive.

Baku: ancient and modern

Baku: ancient and modern

Holding hands (on a bench).

How cute was to see all these young couples sitting around on benches and silently holding hands for what looked like ages to me! It seemed like the ultimate sign of intimate togetherness. Maybe it really is?

Culture, culture, culture.

I was delighted by the wide range of cultural activities and venues – art galleries, museums, theaters… This definitely makes Baku a preferred city for an avid theater-lover like me 🙂

Puppet theater Baku

Puppet theater Baku

Beauty on high heels.

Looks seem to really matter and beauty is a top priority. By far the highest heels I have ever seen. And beautiful, brave women wearing them.

“What are you staring at?!?”

I really felt like saying that a couple of times… Being persistently stared at is definitely unpleasant. Combined with loud comments and whistling sounds, it can become even disturbing. I guess I am no longer used to that after so many years in Germany.

The habit of (slow) walking.

People seem to love walking in Baku which is wonderful. I had about an hour for a walk on a Friday morning and wanted to see as much as possible. My fast pace was in clear contrast with the calm and easy-going residents of Baku. They clearly seemed to enjoy every step of their walk.

Walkers in Baku

Walkers in Baku

Hungry for knowledge.

It was wonderful to meet so many people eager to learn – from the beekeeper in his fifties who wanted to find out about the newest marketing trends to the many young, educated people around speaking a number of languages and interested in acquiring additional knowledge and experience.

*I spent all the time in the central part of Baku, so please keep that in mind when reading the post. My overall impressions would most probably have been different, had I visited other parts of the city and/or Azerbaijan.


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