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Azerbaijan and Rep. Georgia - anyone been recently?

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RooFlyer

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... or at all? I've done a search on AFF and can't find any TRs or anything current.

Am doing some long term (8 to 10 months) planning for a visit to both countries ... contingent on getting both organised AND finding QR J or F award seats.

Any tips or not-well-known must sees etc would be very welcome!
 
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prozac

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How much time are you spending in each? Any particular interests? I can only tell you a little about Georgia, never been to Azerbaijan.
I noted you wine interest. Whilst I cannot suggest any particular wine, Georgia is known to have one of the oldest wine making histories. They used to do it into large earthenware jugs (pitches, whatever) which they buried in the ground. Anyway they love their wine and much of the population make their own. Food is very affordable. They make a dumpling thing with meat in a broth inside. It is in the shape of a pumpkin with a stalk. They don't eat the stalk bit. It is just for picking it up. ;)
There is some good motorcycle riding to be had and a tour can be arranged in Tbilisi. I might be able to put you in touch with someone who might be interested in a ride up the Abano Pass to Omalo.
 

RooFlyer

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Almost a week in Georgia, only 2 days in the Baku area of Azerbaijan. Have now organised a private tour in both places, so no room for motorcycle trips, but thanks for the offer!! Main interests are old architecture, churches, historic places, mountain vistas and wine!

Tbilisi-Gori-Kutaisi, then back to Tbilisi, down to David Gareja complex, then onto Sighnaghi and then a few days in the Kakheti wine area (5 or so wineries), before returning to Tbilisi.

The fly to Baku for a rushed trip around the peninsula, Qobustan and home

EY F going over to AUH, J coming back, with QR up to Georgia and Azerbaijan. The QR flight to Tbilisi goes via Baku, hence my quick stop there.
 

prozac

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I think it was nearby to Kutaisi that Stalin first "unionised" the local miners.
Churches. There is one on every hill. You won't miss out.

The tours you have booked will probably stop at some good roadside eateries. All cheap. The Georgians love to toast if the occasion warrants it and maybe even if it doesn't. They are very social.
You can walk around Tbilisi at night safely, without worry. Note the shell damage in Tbilisi building walls which occurred in 2008. For some reason we only heard the Russians infiltrated Sth Osettia.
 

vetrade

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Haven't been to either RooFlyer but FWIW I did read a travel article about a month ago about Azerbaijan (sorry, can't for the life of me remember exactly where) and the author was very positive about it - people fashionable, friendly and modern. Enough to add it to my bucket list for investigation.
 

prozac

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I haven't been to Azerbaijan either but from what I have read I concur vetrade, my overall impression being it is more progressive than Georgia. Will be interested to hear what RooFlyer reports. I think the people of that region are generally welcoming and social based on my experiences in Georgia. There is a lot of trust in the relationships with people I deal with and they put a lot of work in to establish it.
Their sense of humour? Those I know thought Borat was a funny movie but that has do do a bit with their impression of Kazakhstan.

There must be someone else on AFF who knows more about the region than me, which is limited.
 
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