844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Hilly Dead Folk (Above Zaqatala, Azerbaijan)

May 17th, 2010 - When someone tells you there is an ancient graveyard perched atop a hill overlooking the valley around Zaqatala you give yourself a pat on the ass and get cracking. I was given directions but, like always, I missed the mark and bypassed the trail head. That's just what I do. Luckily, I could see the hill leading to my destination so I only needed to cut across a river, through someone's backyard, and up the steepest part of the hill I could find. Yeah, baby.

That's just what I do. It might have been disagreeable if the forest were not so enchantingly alluring. The forests of northwest Azerbaijan feel a little like the stomping ground of Robin Hood though I did not see any merry roaming about (just a guy I presume to be a hunter carrying a shotgun with a peculiar look on his face. Not unsettling at all). It is the kind of place where elfin villages would not be out of place and where you should watch your step so as not to pulverize a smurf. Yeah, you could say the forests are a peaceful place.

Even the rain was not enough to dampen my spirits. Thunder did give me pause but thankfully Mr. Lightning made no appearance. The tops of many of the hills in the surrounding area are a treeless grassy expanses that make you want to curl up in a nook and have a nap. When I reached the cemetery overlooking the valley the area was blanketed with a shifting mist that gave the place a mystical quality while providing intermittent peeks at the Caucasus Mountains to the rear. Although it would have been nice to have a clear view the snow capped peaks beyond the fog did provide the cemetery with that haunting appeal that one hopes to encounter at a mountain top graveyard in a foreign country where no none speaks your language and where it is sufficiently easy to psyche yourself out with perceived whispering voices and an eerie sense of being watched while wandering in between the final resting places of a long dead unknown group of folks you know nothing about by yourself. Yeah.

At first glance the graveyard bears the appearance of rocks strewn about the grass haphazardly. With the exception of one proper headstone containing the date 1611-1697 and another smaller rock with what appears to be writing in Farsi graves are merely delineated with rocks gathered from the ground and organized in a rectangular pattern, if at all. It is difficult to distinguish between individual graves and I have not a clue as to the significance of the varying clusters of graves or the dates of burial. Who are these folks and why are they buried here? No idea. What I do know is that the location is remarkably picturesque and there are worse places to catch a few z's of eternal slumber.

Something about this field made me want to frolic my ass off.

No camera tilt. That is the actual incline

That's Zaq in the back

 "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." — Mark Twain

1 comment:

  1. Hello. İ am KAMAL ALLAZOV. İ am from Zaqatala. And İ traveled places in photo. But İ want to travel our mountain with you.I am waiting your answer please right here. or facebook www.facebook.com/kamalfaceb


'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim