Azerbaijan – Short and Sweet

Azerbaijan. I’m going to be complete honest and say that I really didn’t like this country. It was crazy hot, the cops were dicks, and the famed city of Baku felt a little fake to me. On the positive side, I got to meet back up with Melek. An Azerbaijani I had met while in Istanbul. Life is much better when you get the chance to hang out with a local! We went to a few local joints with her friends and all around had a great time!

But beyond that, I was in the country for 4 days and seriously paid the cops more money than I spent during my visit! I’m not going to say I was abiding by all the traffic laws 100% of the time BUT STILL! Every time I got pulled over they wanted a $50 bill. And it’s kind of hard to deny you were doing anything wrong when they have traffic cameras EVERYWHERE! They would bring my into a big room with a bunch of TV screens and rewind the tape to show me speeding or passing in a no passing zone or some other BS. It would be ok if I was in that room with the 100 other people that were doing it too, but no, they would always just pull me over.


Georgia. No, the Country.

After crossing from Turkey into Georgia my first city was going to be Batumi. I was told that this city was the Las Vegas of the Black Sea so my expectations where high. It also happened to be the 4th of July so I was ready to celebrate America with some good ol fashion casinos, fireworks(that I purchased in Turkey), and some Budweiser. Words can’t express how let down I was. After getting checked into my hostel and showering I was ready to hit the town. The problem was, it seemed like I was the only one. They had really nice casinos but they were empty, They have  extremely nice clubs on the beach but they were also empty. To top it off, I couldn’t find Budweiser anywhere! From what I was told, Batumi doesn’t turn into “Las Vegas” until August. Chances are I’ll never be back to find out.

Thank goodness Georgia got a heck of a lot better after I left Batumi. The southern route through the country is just beautiful. But the thing I will never forget about this country is a little kids.They would see me coming from a mile away, run into the road and start waving all the way until I passed them. And this was not like a, hey how you doing wave, this was full arm stretched as high as they could in the air, frantically swinging back and forth kind of wave. It put a smile on my face every time.
I had the pleasure of staying at Eric and Judys guest house in Tbilisi while I waited for my Azerbaijan visa. This was great cause they knew a lot of the good local eateries and things to do. I also met Nanuka, a local who is an outdoor enthusiast. She showed me some great parts of Tbilisi And even took off work one day To show me some great places in the mountains!




The Rest of Turkey

So I’m a few countries behind with my posts, sorry Grandma!
Here are the rest of the pictures from my drive thru Turkey. After kite surfing in Gokova I drove the whole southern coast all the way to within 20 miles of the Syrian border. Leaving Gokova I drove past about an hour of high-rise resorts and finally got to see some beautiful coastline. It’s amazing how many little beaches there are tucked away in between the rocks rising out of the Mediterranean, and the water the entire way was an unbelievable shade of blue.
The drive from Southern Turkey, to the north Did not disappoint either. I was not expecting such a green Forests And little mountain towns pasted on the side of them. Once I get the Black Sea that’s where the disappointment started. It’s a pretty major road so there are a lot of tunnels and you can’t really enjoy the coastline like you can in the South. But overall I love the country and I will be back there again.