Soviet Mosaic Art in Azerbaijan


Mosaic artwork which was once decorating streets and avenues of every soviet city and district is now slowly dying out. There is not much history of it that I am aware of and I don't know where it all started. What I know is that since I was a teenager (1990s) whenever I walked nearby this artwork, I took a minute to stop, observe and admire. I wish I had a camera back then since a lot of those that I remember were destroyed over the recent years. Not deliberately of course (except for one in 28 May subway station and on the facade of Baku Slavic University). In most cases soviets used these propaganda messages on walls and facades of industrial buildings (plants, factories, institutions, research centers and etc) which over years were demolished due to lack of use and perfect location, especially when we talk about central streets of Baku (hello real estate hunters). Today these buildings are replaced with high-rise apartments and business centers and the mosaic art which once showed the power and influence of communism perished into history.

Cats of the Old Town during COVID pandemic

One of the popular features of our historic old town was its huge amount of cats. Despite the fact that most of them were not domesticated, they were usually well fed due to a huge tourist traffic. In fact, they were not just overfed, they were sometimes treated with the best kebabs from traditional restaurants. Whether it was the staff giving them the leftovers from tables, or guests of our city packing some extras for these cats, it was usually a nice and juicy peace of meat. A while ago I've decided to take a walk in the same streets that were usually crowded with hundreds of tourists. The streets where you'd eventually hear any language and dialect of our planet were now empty and silent.

5 things about Camping that are NOT fun at all

Nowadays camping has become a quite popular social activity. People drive out to nature, have fun and play some games, make picnics and barbeques and post their photos online immediately. This has led to a wrong idea about the real camping, that it is fun and simple as any other weekend activity. Nevertheless, people keep forgetting that simple does not always equal easy. We tend to believe that camping is fun and great......well, it is indeed great but.......it is not always fun. Camping / trekking / hiking and other similar activities have quite a few "b-sides" (I am trying to avoid the "dark side" term here) that you may not think of at the first glance. It is not always fun, and believe me sometimes there's lots of pain, fatigue and regrets behind those smiles on the photos we see from these events. So, long story short, what is there that we should definitely know and think of, before joining a team of campers (or hikers) or before we decide to start a solo camping trip?! Here are the 5 main "b-sides" of this story:

Museums in Baku with free admission

Visiting museums and galleries is always a part of travelling through a new country. Whether you are a history and culture freak or not, you wouldn't mind at least a short tour in a local museum. At the end of the day, travelling is not only about hiking, eating and laying on a sandy beach. It is always a good idea to have some basic information about the history and culture of the country you are visiting. Thus, in case you are not a big fan of museums but wouldn't mind a free tour in one or two, here is a list of museums in the old town of Baku which have free admissions: