As I have written in the previous post, I spent a week in Baku upon invitation from the NATO International School of Azerbaijan. We stayed in the suburb of Shikhov, close to the Caspian sea. Since it’s low season, there were almost no other guests. The hotel is far away from the city center. Although it provides free shuttle services to guests, buses run only once in 1.5-2 hours.
I finally found a way to visit Baku (Azerbaijan) – just one day before the application deadline, I noticed that there is an interesting conference on the European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership. I had several friends from Azerbaijan when I studied at CEU, so I had heard lots of stories about the country. But visiting there is not so easy. It’s not like Portugal or Malta, where I can jump on a plane any time. To apply for a tourist visa, one must present hotel reservations for each night and a letter from employer or another document stating that the visitor has enough money to travel. For a personal visit, there has to be an invitation. With an invitation from the conference, making a visa took a week and was relatively easy. Continue reading