On the 19th of January, our flight was waiting at the Kolkata airport to take us to Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan. Boarding the first flight to Delhi, then to Sharjah and finally the last flight to the final destination, it was already a long and hectic day without even beginning.
The flight touched the ground at seven in the morning and soft drizzles added to the frosty weather of Baku. The tourist bus was already waiting to take us to a five-star hotel called Premiere Palace for our breakfast. On the way, our tour guide also took us to the Baku Olympic Stadium. We had bread and cheese omelettes and then directly went to the Boulevard Hotel right at the shore of the Caspian Sea. We only had time to drop our luggage because we had to start the city tour without a minute’s rest. Our bus dropped us at the spot where huge rocks stood beside one another with connecting bridges. From a far distance, the place looked ordinary but as we came nearer, we discovered that the texture of the rocks was very unique and it seemed as if we can entangle a lot of mysteries that are hidden inside. The place is called Rehesireci. It was already evening when we completed the tour for the day. Light drizzles worsened the weather again and we had to come back early. My body was exhausted because of the tiresome journey and I fell asleep just after changing.
My eyes had never seen such a peaceful morning, with the winter sunshine, light breeze of the Caspian Sea, and the sight of the seagulls spreading their wings across the blue sky that met the waters at the horizon. On one side there was a giant Ferris wheel situated and on the other side, skyscrapers reared high into the sky. I was so tired the previous night, I forgot to catch a glimpse of this view but now that I had seen the beauty of the place, my eyes were at peace. We had sausages, hams, sponge cakes, and apple juice for breakfast at our hotel and the bus was again ready for another tour. It stopped at the shore of the Caspian Sea and we got down. Even from a distance, one could literally feel the cold sea breeze. I was awestruck at what lay in front of me. A sheet of dark clouds stretched over the sea but through a slit amidst these, sunlight managed to brighten up only the centre of the Caspian sea, making it magical. The seagulls were all basking in only that area of light. The temperature was five degrees and I couldn’t capture that view because my trembling hands wouldn’t cooperate. People came here for morning walks, cycling, and yoga classes. We spent the entire morning marvelling at the sea. We went to the Max Shopping Complex and bought brochures. We had lunch at Bulvar Hotel at the Dreamland Golf Club and played golf. In the evening we took a stroll through Nizami Street and saw the beautiful wall art that the local people had created. On our way back from the Park Bulvar we got to witness soft snowflakes falling in the street. That day was yet another memorable one.
Another winter morning brought peace inside my restless soul. We got up early to visit the famous Fire Temple. Although the temple was not in a good condition, it was beautiful in its way. Three were numerous small rooms where artefacts, old statues, and other antiques were displayed. We couldn’t stay there for more than an hour so we decided to go to the Burning Mountains of Yanardag. The sulfur of the mountains continuously reacts with the atmospheric oxygen to produce fire and they’ve been burning for the last three hundred years, hence the name. It was the best place I’ve ever visited in my life. In the evening we went to the nearby market for some shopping and had dinner at Premiere Palace. The next day was going to be the most hectic one.
This was the last day of my stay in such a beautiful city. We had only two important landmarks to visit, the Flame Towers and the City Point of Baku. The towers were the eyecatchers of the city, situated just at the heart of it. And the City Point of Baku was equally beautiful. On our way back to the hotel we also had a train ride at the 28 May Station. For one last time, we again went to the shore to witness the splendid view of the Caspian Sea and the Ferris wheel. We had our lunch at our hotel and while boarding the bus this time, my heart was sinking. Our flight was at four and my first foreign trip was over in a blink.