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Have you ever gone somewhere you knew nothing about? That’s what Azerbaijan was for me — the unknown.

My friend Matt and I decided to travel there in a ‘Why not?’, spin-the-globe sort of way. We wanted to go somewhere different.

What we found was a former stop on the Silk Road, a one-time Soviet Republic, and one of the birthplaces of the oil industry. I enjoyed visiting a place in which I had no expectations, where all I knew about it came from a single James Bond movie (The World Is Not Enough, anyone?).

In these photos, you’ll see Soviet-era rustbuckets, gorgeous oriental rugs, Zoroastrian temples, and lavish afternoon teas (do Azeris love their tea). They all represents different facets of Azerbaijan, a country that feels like a jumble of contractions: where ancient history meets oil money meets the Caucasus.

(Note we visited Baku (the capital), Lahij (a small mountain town), and Sheki (former Silk Road city) on this trip).

22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan 22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan22 photos that will inspire you to visit Azerbaijan

Have you visited Azerbaijan? Do you want to?

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.
Ashley Fleckenstein
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