July 19, 2008

Tourist Day

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 11:37 pm by Jenn

Today we spent the day like tourists traveling out of Baku to Gobustan to see the petroglyphs and mud volcanoes and do a little geocaching.

We were on a tour that was arranged by the Embassy.  The group was larger than I thought it would be.  There were 18 adults and a handful of children.  I was so excited to get started on the trip.  I borrowed a GPS unit (eTrexLegend) from our neighbor because ours hasn’t arrived yet.  I programmed it with the location of the cache and watched the miles count down as we left the city of Baku and headed toward Gobustan.  

We went to the petroglyphs first.  The petroglyphs are ancient carvings that were discovered in Baku around 1940.  They date back to the time somewhere around the 12th-8th century.  Around 6000 carvings have been found. 

Before we were able to start our tour we were drawn in to the wedding celebration that was oddly enough taking place here in the dirt!  The bride didn’t look to happy about us crashing her celebration (maybe it was because her white dress was becoming begie), but the family/guests sure didn’t seem to care.  It was interesting to watch.  They danced in a big circle around the bride, clapping and singing.  I don’t know if the groom was present or not, if so he wasn’t easily identifiable (no tuxedo).

Most of the petroglyphs that we saw were of animals, people and boats.  There probably wasn’t much else going on back then to report on.  There was a gathering scene which was interesting because it was very near the musical stone (you hit it with a river stone and it makes musical tones) which makes sense that people would gather in this area to dance in celebration of whatever needed celebrating such as a successful hunt.

Other scenes were of pregnant women, animals and boats

The scenery was really beautiful.


I can’t post all of the pictures here, but I will upload them to a web album (that will take me a few days) for you all to view if you want to. 

Out of no where came a rain shower and while I thought it was refreshing, not everyone felt the same and we headed back to the vehicles and made our way to the mud volcanoes.

Now my MAIN reason for wanting to go on this trip was to search for the geocache that is hidden at the mud volcanoes.  I wasn’t sure if being on a tour would be the best time to do this because of time, amount of people, etc.  Thankfully we were in a private vehicle so we didn’t have to leave with the rest of the group. 

The mud volcanoes were interesting.  I assume there is some sort of gas that is pushing this mud up and making it bubble and erupt.  Note the gas gave a small popping sound when one of the guys put his lighter to it (maybe methane?)

Here is evidence of a recent eruption

and couple of mud volcano pictures.

Ok so, after I took these pictures it was time to do some geocaching.  I started the Tales from the Trails blog so that Scott could give his buddies a blog address and they wouldn’t have to sift through all of my banter and knitting related news to find what they were looking for.  I will make a link from my post on this blog to that blog when I post there.

On the way home we stopped to take pictures of the oil literally oozing out of the ground here.  CRAZY!

So that’s it for this first adventure.  I’m sure there will be many more to come.  One thing we did decide today is that we probably won’t be auditioning for the Amazing Race anytime soon!  : )



  1. Angie said,

    So did you find the geocache?

  2. Carey said,

    So, that is what a petroglyph looks like. Two of Laurie’s boys have had that as a spelling word and both times we had to look it up in a dictionary. I sent Laurie your blog site and I’m quite certain she will have to check the petroglyphs out.

  3. Jenn said,

    Angie – Didn’t find it this go round, we’ll find it next time! We’ve picked our starting point already and we are sure that’s where it is.

    Carey – The petroglyphs were interesting especially the drawings pregnant women! Pictures didn’t do us any justice back then either.

  4. Eva said,

    Wow, fascinating pictures! Thanks for posting them. I had no idea any of this existed, but then we didn’t learn a whole lot about Azerbaijan when I was in school.

    I’m really intrigued by the mud volcanoes. I’ll have to Google those and see what the story is. Of course, once you mentioned that that there might be gas pushing them up, all I could think of was all the stuff you could light and throw down them. Probably best to keep me away from the mud volcanoes.

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