Some people think New Yorkers are the opposite of adventurous when it comes to vacationing. Just give them an old she or hut in the Catskill Mountains, and they are pleased as punch. Well I beg to differ. I know several dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers who have explored some of the most exotic destinations on the planet. I am not talking about your ordinary exotic like Tahiti or Galapagos. No. I mean something you probably would think of all on your own. Like Azerbaijan. Yes, this is becoming one of the hottest vacation spots, and I am about to tell you why.
Nasib Hasanov, expert tour guide, probably knows more about Azerbaijan than anyone alive today. He has lived there his entire life, and revels in showing tourists the lay of the land. I was able to find him through a friend of mine who was just in this crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Here is a sampling of my conversation with Nasib Hasanov.
Gowanus Lounge: Tell me what is so special about Azerbaijan? Why would someone from New York enjoy a trip there?
Nasib Hasanov: Azerbaijan is an amazing place. New Yorkers especially will love the variety of landscapes and climates. Out of 11 existing climate zones on earth, Azerbaijan lays claim to 9 of them. There are rivers, lakes, and beaches along the Caspian Sea. I would say no one, even hardened New Yorkers, would be disappointed after a visit to Azerbaijan.
Gowanus Lounge: If you could visit only one place in all of Azerbaijan what would it be?
Nasib Hasanov: Azerbaijan has so much to offer, this is an almost impossible question to answer. But if you really press me, I would say spending time in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, would be a great way to learn about the people of the country. Baku is the largest city in Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea. It is actually several meters below sea level, making it also the world’s lowest capital city. Some of the world’s largest hotel chains have a presence there. Tourists from New York will be enthralled by such popular places as Fountains Square, the One and Thousand Nights Beach, National Flag Square and Park Bulvar.
Gowanus Lounge: Thank you so much.
Nasib Hasanov: You are quite welcome.