Quba – Lahic – Sheki

We depart Quba for the mountain village of Lahic.

‘Give me a good road and a desert’ I tell Maria. Sounds like the title of a Country & Western song.

Heading west

Lahic (apparently pronounced ‘La-HEEJ’) is another scenic spot.

It’s kind of like the villages we visited in Svaneti, but the buildings are still in one piece.

An interesting development: we stay at the Lahic Guest House. The first night we have the place to ourselves. Next day, we are joined by the Ambassador of Slovakia to Azerbaijan and his family.

Sign on the door says “No company allowed“…’ – Bob Dylan

They’re very nice people (the ambassador, his wife, and two almost-adult kids). Very down to earth. Rustam, our host serves up an elaborate meal of plov, which is a rice pilau-like dish.

Back in town, there are still a few people making things. I think this is going to be a samovar.

Lahic at one time had many craftspersons. But now we suspect a lot of the wares on display come from somewhere else.


Outside the local library branch.

Librarian says ‘shhhhh!’

Earthquakes occur from time to time.


Maria likes taking photos of herbs. So, I’m putting this one in for her.

Azerbaijani herbs and spices

On departure, we navigate Shorty through the narrow stony streets.

The next stop is Sheki, another town that was once on the Silk Road.

We stay in an old caravanserai, which was an inn for wandering merchants and their wares. We stayed in one in Iran a few years ago.

Courtyard not by Marriot

A view of the outside corner. This photo was taken from the Wine House across the street. They make surprisingly good wine in Azerbaijan.

That’s Shorty in the foreground

I check my phone for vital messages.

Alas, there are none

One of Sheki’s main attractions is the Palace of the Sheki Khans. It’s modest for a palace, but I guess the khanate itself was not very big.

‘He that has a house to put his head in has a good head-piece.’ – King Lear, Act III, Scene II

Sheki also has a silk industry. Maria acquires a block-printed silk scarf.

It’s a gift

The resident kitten decides that we’re good people to hang around with. I don’t have the heart to kick him off.

He’s watching the mouse

We enjoy a full moon on our two nights in Sheki.

The Light Side of the Moon

Sight or Insight of the Day

While driving from Quba to Lahic, we stop for a coffee in this restaurant.

Within a nanosecond of crossing the threshold, we are strong-armed away by a waiter and placed in a separate, small room. The door is shut behind us. We get to drink our coffee in splendid isolation.

The scene of the crime

Our transgression? Maria, as a woman, was FORBIDDEN to be in the presence of the paunchy, coffee-slurping men inside. Our heads were spinning, we were whisked away so fast.

I still can’t believe there are people who declare, with a straight face, that ‘actually, women in Islam are MUCH more respected than women outside Islam.

People who concern themselves in Canada with the unsafe and triggered subset of Canadians often speak of ‘erasure’ by the mainstream. Man, this is erasure in spades. This isn’t a case of feeling left out of the history books; this is being physically removed from a space, as if your very existence is an abomination.

Oh, and this was on a major highway on the outskirts of cosmopolitan Baku, not some benighted remote village.