October 18 – Independence Day in Azerbaijan

Posted October 18, 2018

Fireworks! Concerts! Parades!

Today Azerbaijan celebrates the anniversary of the 1991 adoption of the Declaration of Independence from the Soviet Union.

Let's compare Azerbaijan to other nearby nations:

It's fairly small. I get Azerbaijan mixed up with some of the "-stans" that also used to be a part of the USSR, but it's only one-fifth the size of Turkmenistan, and it's smaller than one-thirtieth the size of Kazakhstan!

Azerbaijan is the red country on the west side of the Caspian Sea.

The Azerbaijani people, like Turkmen, have a big-time love for beautiful carpets and both of these nations have carpet museums! Check out the cool shape of the Azerbaijani museum:

Like India, Ethiopia, and Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan has an ever-burning natural gas fire that tourists love to visit. Yanar Dag (which means "burning mountain") has been burning for more than six decades.

The currency of Azerbaijan, the manat, looks a lot like the euro of the European Union:

Above, manat; below, euros.

Peru has some stilted communities
that use wooden stilts (above).

Neft Daşları in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan has a city built on stilts. But unlike other stilt cities in the world, those stilts aren't made of wood, but instead are made of steel! Neft Daşları started out as an oil rig but now has bakeries, shops, hostels and hotels, and houses - along with loads of elevated roads and walkways.

The U.S. has Yellowstone National Park, and its volcanic area features the most geysers of anywhere else in the world. (About 60% of the world's geysers are found in that one bit of the U.S.!) Well, Azerbaijan has a "most" in the category of volcanic features:

Azerbaijan has the most mud volcanoes than any other country! When the mud volcanoes are erupting, fire shoots up about half a mile, but when they are dormant, they still bubble up and then *pop* with a smelly sulfuric odor.

Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, is sometimes compared to Dubai for its amazing architecture and colorful skyscrapers.

Baku is also sometimes compared to Venice, Italy, because there is an are with some artificial canals through which people can travel in gondolas!


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