Up and Coming Destination Baku, Azerbaijan
Jonathan at Gobustan National Monument, Azerbaijan – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
By Jonathan Cohen
It’s hardly a surprise that the first smell your nose becomes accustomed to when you first land at Baku airport is oil, for oil has been at the heart of this newly found republic for thousands of years and is still omnipresent in the city and the Azeri culture.
The other thing that you notice as soon as you land at the airport and on the way to the city centre is how clean the city is. Whether this is an issue of national pride or the fact that the oil money has created a very wealthy city that can afford to look after itself.
Once you arrive in the centre, you are transported back a thousand years and catapulted forward to the future in equal measures. This is a city that doesn’t do things in half measures.
Huge wide boulevards, and ancient palaces, Soviet era monoliths and Zaha Hadid designed buildings all converge to create a cultural hybrid that is very pleasing on the eye and conducive to enjoying the finer things in life.
Baku has certainly rightfully earned the epithet of “up and coming destination” and “one to watch” from an incentive travel perspective. A programme in Baku offers the organiser ease of logistics, knowledgeable and professional suppliers, and the arduous task of working out how to beat this year’s programme, next year.!! For the winners, it’s all about the exceptional hotels, cultural experiences, rich and varied restaurants, and a plethora of amazing activities to whet the appetite before sumptuous gala dinners.
Azerbaijan conjures up a multitude of cultures and identities and seamlessly blends it all together to create a winning experience that will engage and enthral.
If Hans Christian Anderson was correct when he wrote “To travel is to live” then I would encourage anyone to travel to Baku and live it up.