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Azerbaijan

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Mehdi Hüseyn Street, Bakı, Azerbaijan
The Flame Towers are three tongue-shaped towers that dominate the Baku skyline. The capital of Azerbaijan has been flush with cash ever since the nation's current oil boom began in the last decade. As a result ostentatious buildings like these...
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One of high lights of being in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is walking around the Old City, a walled section of town in the center. Just outside the walls are palaces built by 19th-century oil barons who came to get in on the country's first...
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92 Neftçilər Prospekti, Bakı, Azerbaijan
If only very country had a Professional Armwrestling League (or PAL). Well, Azerbaijan does. As I was strolling around the walled Old City in Baku, the capital of the country, I stumbled upon the league headquarters, a modest building on a quiet...
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Bayil, Baku, Azerbaijan
No one's really sure why but authorities in Azerbaijan had a very unique goal: to erect the world's largest flagpole. And that they did in September 2010. At 431 feet the $32 million flagpole (which flies the Azeri flag, of course) bested South...
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Füzuli, Şəki 5500, Azerbaijan
Outside an ancient church in the village of Kish, near Sheki, a souvenir shop sells these kitschy porcelain masterpieces.
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Yeddi Gumbaz, or Seven Tombs, is an atmospheric cemetery on the outskirts of the Azerbaijani town of Shamakhi. You wouldn't know it from walking around, but Shamakhi is one of the oldest towns in Azerbaijan, its foundations go back to the fourth...
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20 Yanvar küçəsi, Şəki, Azerbaijan
Cover your eyes, vegetarians! At the main bazar in Sheki, a specialty seemed to be heads: lamb heads, sheep heads, cow heads. Heads were everywhere. The reason? It's a regional speciality. As one local told me, the head will be boiled over night...
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Giləhli, Şəki, Azerbaijan
At the Shah'a palace and fortress in Sheki, a town in Azerbaijan about a four-hour drive from the capital, Baku, there's an underwhelming museum displaying artifacts of the past, such as musical instruments and helmets of warfare. There are also...
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Giləhli, Şəki, Azerbaijan
In Sheki, a small town in rural Azerbaijan, there lives a wolf man. He carries around an object underneath a Persian rug and then accosts tourists by quickly uncovering the object underneath the rug to reveal...a badly taxidermied wolf. Which, as...
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Baku 1000, Azerbaijan
Most people who come to Azerbaijan and want to take home a souvenir usually end up with a rug, for which the country is famous. But if you're into kitsch (and not into rugs) there are plenty of other objects you can take home and cherish and...
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Baku, Azerbaijan
While I was exploring the ancient Shirvanshah's Place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, I came across a view that showed old and new. The old (the palace) and the new, two of the three Flame Towers, which were recently erected and are symbolic...