Have you heard of GANJA? Travelling alone to Azerbaijan
This video is brought to you by Squarespace, from websites to analytics Squarespace is the all-in-one platform to build your business or passion project. Hello, hello! Welcome back to another video. Welcome to a new travel series from the country of Azerbaijan. I am currently in a city called Ganja, the second largest city in the western part of Azerbaijan. If you don't know where is Azerbaijan located, it is basically one of the countries in the Caucasus region, which is a very fascinating region in itself, because I've never been to the region. I've never been to any of these countries, so I'll be making
my way from Azerbaijan towards Georgia before finalizing my journey in Armenia. I'm actually strolling around the city centre, which is home to Ganja's main historical attraction. As you can see behind me over here is the Heydar Aliyev museum. No internet? It's okay. A government, okay, a government building. I was trying to confirm whether the building was a museum or a city hall, or a governmental building?! One of the staff, I think the guy was using a translator saying that this is a governmental building. The building is fascinating because of the architecture is basically a Socialist Classic, where they strip down all the details. I think that was built during the Soviet era, and how it looks
so grand but so classic. Fantastic! I am actually standing in front of the Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky. It's been lovely to just admire the intricate building that was built in the 17th century. The design has a lot of red bricks to it and this is the reason, one of the reasons, why Ganja is known as the Red City, because of this similarity in terms of how the building looks like with the red bricks all across the city. So it's a lunchtime and in front of the church, I've been smelling something delicious. I don't know what is it it looks like a very unassuming place.
Salam (Hello!) Oh, outside? As you can see the menu is pretty much local. It turns out it is Menemen, basically egg tomatoes. You can find them in Turkey/Turkiye and this is good because it is a familiar taste and a familiar flavour for me.
He was like.. He was asking where I'm from, I said Indonesia. I'm actually walking towards the Shah Abbas mosque. The mosque itself was built in the 16th century.
There is a Turkic Bath over here, which I assume only valids to men, obviously. Over here, there is an interesting building which is basically a Javad Khan mausoleum. This reminds me one of the buildings I've seen in Iran. Perhaps there is a Persian influence to this. so Javad Khan's tomb which stands behind me is basically a tomb for the historical figure of the last Khan from Ganja. He died in 1800 during the siege of the Ganja Fortress. It is lovely just to be in this historical city because I knew very little of the Caucasus. Let alone Azerbaijan and the history of this particular country, so it has given me a glimpse into the past the present and also potentially the future.
I find it also fascinating to find so many Lada cars in Ganja. I don't know, I have lost count as to how many that I've seen on the street. They are either belongs to the locals or even a taxi or just like regular taxi scattered around the city. So so so unique! I am actually walking along the Javad Khan pedestrian street which is potentially one of the busiest shopping street in Ganja. You will find locals hanging out as well in the afternoon and I think it
is always an interesting aspect to see some countries have this coffee culture, some countries has this tea culture. Either way, it usually like it sort of indicates how people like to spend their time. It is so sour but sweet at the same time. I think it is a perfect drink in the afternoon. Cheers! They're all like, "tourist? tourist? tourist?" and I said yes and I showed my YouTube because obviously, what are you doing with the camera if you're not a YouTuber? We were just laughing here and there despite the language barrier and then I was given a cup of tea which is a very nice gesture. You know, it's so interesting because as you travel you will find everywhere you go, if you showcase kindness you will receive kindness in return. I feel like every time I go to specific countries, that will say, "Oh this country has the best hospitality! This country has the best hospitality!" To be fair, as long as you give a nice gesture and kindness, you'll receive the same.
Cheers everyone! As you can see, there are some fruit sellers over here. I'm entering the underground, but what is fascinating is the fact that there are so many sellers! So this particular underground or crossing is located straight at the very centre of the city. If you have spent enough time in the afternoon and don't know what else to do in the city centre of Ganja, come back to the Square and you will see lots of locals hanging out and about here as well as, they are also playing football and potentially you will see the building will be lit up in the afternoon. It's just so pretty! Before continuing with today's episode, I would like to thank today's sponsor Squarespace for making this video possible and for supporting this channel. I recently launched a website of my own and using Squarespace website builder, it made it so easy for me to build a website by myself.
Squarespace also gives you easy tools to push website content directly to your different social media channels. With many more amazing features, including member areas, website analytics, and blogging features Squarespace is the perfect tool for your passion project or business. Supporting my sponsors also supports me to make more content, so head over to Squarespace.com/syifaadriana to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain using the code syifaadriana Hello, good morning! I'm currently on a bus going to Imamzadeh complex, which is located on the outskirts of Ganja. I was thinking of filming the bus experience because I think it is, it doesn't get more authentic than when you get on a local bus.
I was told by the receptionist that we have to take this particular bus number to get to this place. The bus is quite compact! So the bus system in Ganja only cost 30 Qopek or less than 1 Manat AZN and obviously you will get a lot of stares from locals when you are in the bus, especially if you're vlogging. This is a fun travel experience, if you do like getting onto a local's way of doing things and how they go around the city. This woman wants to be in your video. We're just trying to figure out where to stop, then the local is like, "no, no, not here! Sit down, sit down!" Everyone was like so helpful. So cute! They were like no not here. Is this the last stop? I mean everyone got off here, so we'll just wait. I've paid already. Oh, you paid already? Thank you!
What a fun experience getting onto the bus! All the ladies are just like so very helpful. Spasibo (thank you in Russian)! What do you think? This is Martin by the way, a traveller from Belgium and we met at the same hostel. What do you think of the bus experience and we got a free cake? Great, I never get cakes but now that I travelled with you I get many cakes. Well, you just have to smile a lot! Yeah, wow. Martin is also travelling alone to Azerbaijan. He's going to Saudi Arabia, next week.
Interesting! We thought, okay let's get onto the bus because what can be more authentic than taking a local bus isn't it? Super interesting. So that was your first experience? and cheap. The local was so lovely. She is poor. Ahahaha! I can afford a taxi but she is poor. Yes, yes yes but we are rich in our hearts. This is her first meal in three days. Imamzadeh complex was built in the 8th century and inside this complex is actually the grave of one of the sons of the Imams or the leader. This reminds me a bit of my trip to Iran back in 2018. How you will see a lot of people
are wearing black and obviously because this is a tomb or the grave of a very important person, the leader. You will see them chanting prayer and some Surah from the Quran. Locals come here to pay tribute, a visit and sometimes they do have this sense of sadness because you are visiting a grave. Martin, do you want to tell us, what have we got so far? We got some halva. Halva, for free, like basically a sweet. Let me try it!
Is it sweet? Not so much, getting there.. *Speaking in the Russian language* Is it good? Yes, good, good. *Speaking in the Russian language* It's halva, correct? Yes halva The ladies gave out this free halva or the sweet to all the people that passed by. She's so lovely! You get all sorts of food hey. I am gonna get fat here in Azerbaijan! Martin is trying to bargain with the LADA taxi.
I always find it intimidating to ask for a taxi like that because usually, they would charge much higher especially if you don't speak the local language. I don't have three anymore. Oh, dear! Do you have two? Let me see! I can smell fumes in this car! Are we settled for four? *in Russian* 4AZN? 3 Azerbaijani Manat, OK? You just have to bargain. I must say that sometimes bargaining with a man can be intimidating! You know, there's the part where having another travellers sometimes joining you to travel together makes a huge difference! Martin was basically asking if there's any music and the guy was like "oh it's broken, it's broken!" We should have settled for three because of the broken music, but the extra one Manat is basically for the experience. Are you pleased with your bargaining skill, Martin? Not yet! How do I even open this door? Can you? Now, he's happy. He's happy? He's happy with 4 Manat, that's good! I was just strolling around the local neighbourhood, and stumbled upon a park, that looks to be quite charming. This is potentially not a tourist area at all, however, I found something interesting
that is a resemblance or the remains of the SSR or USSR time in Azerbaijan. Can you see this massive relic? It says "POBEDA" which means victory and there is a specific SSSR, or USSR. It's just fascinating to find such a thing here in a local park in Ganja. Look! I stumbled upon a market. Perfect! Let's go! This is the market where you can get all sorts of stuff, knickknacks and where the locals would go to get what they need. Do you need a bicycle? Sorted! Do you need a fireplace? Sorted! Look, everywhere you go try to find a local market, a traditional local market.
There you'll find lots of life, in terms of what locals do, what they sell, what do they buy? There is this you know fascinating activities happen usually. I always love finding a local market and seeing about the daily life of the local people. Welcome to the Heydar Aliyev parki or park in Ganja. This is actually the biggest park not only in Ganja, not only in Azerbaijan but also in the Caucasus region. Imagine that! The park itself is actually dedicated to Heydar Aliyev, which is the former president of Azerbaijan.
The park is new and massive obviously and located in Yeni Ganja or the new Ganja, so it's slightly on the outskirts of the main Ganja itself. I think it is lovely in the afternoon like this especially, when local comes here to just stroll around, spend time with the loved ones have a bit of a relaxing moment in the afternoon, you know. Yeah, I do quite like it! Thank you so much for watching today's episode. I hope that you learned a thing or two from this very particularly interesting city of Ganja. The name says it all, isn't it? Yeah would you actually travel to Azerbaijan? or even any other countries in the Caucasus region? I think the region and the countries are still unknown to tourists. Would you actually travel alone and mingle with locals? Let me know what you think down in the comment section below. I love reading everyone's comments. I can't wait to see you again on the
next video. Don't forget to also check out my Patreon account, if you wish to support a creator like me and my work. See you again next time, bye!