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Central Asia

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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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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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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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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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Tbilisi, Georgia
Trains don't seem to be the number one choice in transportation, at least not for passengers, in Georgia. From what I was told, there is not a very extensive rail system in the country. In this particular train yard, where there were maybe 15-20...
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Ananuri, Georgia
I took a day trip from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and headed an hour north to the Ananuri fortress. The ancient 17th-century complex is perched on a hill overlooking the sparkling turquoise-colored Aragvi River and Zhinvali Reservoir. It...
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12 Bambis Rigi Street, T'bilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi is a gem of a city. Situated at a spectacular gorge at the muddy yellow-brownish river Jvari, its old town looks like an 19th-century eastern European town, which was preserved in a time capsule for 200 years. When you stroll through the...
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7 Gia Abesadze St, T'bilisi, Georgia
Step out of the hustle and bustle of Tbilisi's Old City into Sioni Cathedral (Georgian: სიონის ღვთისმშობლის მიძინების ტაძარი). The church was initially built in the 6th century and has been destroyed by foreign invaders and reconstructed several...
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Tbilisi, Georgia
Old monasteries are everywhere in Georgia. Note the small shrine right on the water as well as the larger monastery overlooking the river. Old castles dot the horizon across from the river
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Mestia, Georgia
We arrived to the small town of Mestia in the Republic of Georgia by a small charter plane in June 2011. Getting to Georgia is a feat: a country nestled between Russia and Turkey, getting to Mestia was even tougher. A secluded mountain town...
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Mt Elbrus, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia, 361616
As the highest point in Europe and one of the Seven Summits of the World, Mt. Elbrus makes it onto most mountaineers’ bucket lists. This long-dormant volcano is situated between the Caspian and Black Seas on the rugged and dramatic Caucus mountain...
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Mestia, Georgia
Erected in the 9th-12th centuries, the stone Svanetian towers of Mestia were built as protection against raiders and invaders. Located in the highest inhabited region of Europe, Mestia is one of the most beautiful villages in the Caucasus. The...