A fun couple of days. The first day we visited a Zoroastrian fire temple, where worshippers would travel from all over Central Asia to see the rocks that burnt all day and night. This occurred as the natural gas escaping from the vast underground reserves caught fire and burnt uninterrupted. It seems the vast reserves have finally run out as we arrived at 8.55am, just before the museum opened and were able to see the chap turning on the piped-in gas and lighting the flames…
Having driven past a huge assembly plant for oil rigs we also visited an area of ground where the natural gas still burns right next to a childrens playground, but the Health & Safely inspectors don’t seem too bothered.
Our next stop was the Gobustan mud volcanos, where gas makes the wet mud bubble and occasionally erupt. This was great fun until we started falling in.
The next day we got to Sheki, a european looking village that is home to the Khan’s Palace (which was quite fancy – see pics). We were supposed to stay in a beautiful candlelit caravanserai, but the agent messed up and somehow booked us into the Azeri Olympic Complex – an easy mistake to make I’m sure. Anyway it was clean and the TV had 1105 channels, of which 1104 seemed to be porn. Fortunately these were predominantly in English so we could follow the plot. Watched a bit of BBC World as well, long enough to find that there is trouble between Georgia and Russia, so we may be heading the wrong way.