CROSSING THE

SOUTHERN CAUCASUS

Europe's eastern frontier between the Black and Caspian Seas

> Journeying across Armenia, Georgia & Azerbaijan <

 

 

Being an often-overlooked part of our world, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan form together a quite unusual region. They are not very European, but not Asian either. They have certain Middle Eastern traits, but Central Asian characteristics too. There are some very “Russian” qualities especially in the larger cities and during bureaucratic encounters, but also many wonderfully local cultures and traditions that are very unique. Wedged between two seas, surrounded by Europe's largest mountain range and straddling two continents, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia are home to some extraordinarily beautiful scenery and incredibly hospitable people. Amazingly, to many experienced travelers, these countries remain relatively unknown, but we believe that this region is a must for anyone who wants to experience the best of many worlds.

 

We have spent a few weeks crossing from Armenia via Georgia into Azerbaijan. Armenia, a very mountainous land, is dominated by Mount Ararat (5.165m), which we have also visited and climbed from the Kurdish/Turkish side (on another trip). In Armenia are several great monasteries, caravanserais and lakes. Crossing into Georgia reveals churches that are cheek-by-jowl with mosques and Orthodox priests rubbing shoulders with Armenian Jews. It also has impressive underground cave cities as well as rural villages sited below the lofty peaks of the Caucasus range in the magical and medieval Svaneti region. Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea coast, has a lovely, ancient caravan route that is famous for silk weaving and embroidery. Add also a number of interesting bazars, remote mountain villages and a very modern capital.

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© Anders M. Pedersen & Jakob M. Pedersen

All photos have been taken by Anders & Jakob.