bowl, bottle, bonhomie

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I woke up with something like a faint notion of optimism within me. Sure, the border was still about 50k away, but it felt possible to reach it before midnight the next day. That was when my visa was going to run out.

Zaqatala turned out to be a bit bigger than I had expected:

village with mosque

There was a central square with a tall flagpole:

flag in Zaqatala

And there were a bunch of apartment blocks with old cars in front of them:

car with residential building

Then that, too, gave way to the open road. It didn’t come as a surprise that there were more monuments and flags here than in many other parts of the country:

deer monument

After all, this was already part of the border region:

woman monument

I entered the area of Balakan, the last town before Georgia, through this gate that seemed to be part of Azerbaijan’s ongoing castilification:

Balakan rayon

Then I noticed a tree with a sign that said it was 1,100 years old, so I picked a leaf and put it in my diary:

leaf from really old tree

And then – again – it was the quiet road. The occasional greedy cow:

greedy cow

The occasional shy dog:

village dog

The occasional person waving at me from a car:

road to Georgia

When I reached the outskirts of Balakan an old Soviet artwork caught my eye – it was on the facade of a building that lay in ruins:

old artwork

And then I was there:

enter Balakan

I got some food in a roadside dรถner shop:

dรถner in Balakan

And then I bought some vodka and got myself a room.

I put my feet in some nice hot water:


And then I opened the bottle.

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  • Barb B

    So many highlights to the day, but my favourite of all is the leaf from the really ancient tree. Oh, and the creative alliterative title: bowl, bottle, bonhomie. Why not celebrate!


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