Mud volcanoes

While we were south of Baku looking at the cave petroglyphs we had to go and see the mud volcanoes.

Find them is pretty fun in of itself, there aren’t any signs so you are navigating there from a hand drawn map in the THE book on Azerbaijan  – Mark Elliot’s Azerbaijan with excursions to Georgia. The track from the road starts out reasonable and then turns into a path where other cars have gone before. The rain of the week before didn’t make the driving any easier.

So what is a mud volcano? They aren’t really volcanos as no lava is involved, instead mud (not surprisingly) mixed with water and gases bubble out and form domes and mud flows – more can be found on wikipedia . They are really great to wander around and watch (and hear and occasionally smell) them popping and bubbling away.

It is a brilliant place to visit and we had 2 very happy and very muddy children.

Trip to the cave paintings at Qobustan

Last weekend was the end of the half term holidays and the first bit of dry weather so we headed out of Baku to Qobustan (pronounced Gobustan) to see the cave paintings and rock art. (We are starting to make a habit of this, we also went to see petroglyphs in Korea.)

There is a new museum there which has some great interactive exhibits and information (in both Azeri and English). Both Katrine and Gregor really enjoyed the museum and picked up quite a bit about the chaining landscape and the different ages of the paintings.

After a toilet stop (clean and with toilet paper which is always a major plus) we got back into the car to head up into the mountains to the site of the actual caves.

There are loads of carvings to see (they are numbered) and rocks to scramble over and the pictures are very clear and it was great fun to recognise the images from the museum and figure out what the story they are saying.

The last picture shows Katrine playing a carved rock which plays a slightly different tone depending on where you strike it.

There was a pagoda set up for picnics, where Gregor made a new friend (every where he goes he has to talk to all the cats!)

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For the second half of our adventure we headed a bit further south to see the mud volcanos.