Friday, July 18, 2008

Morning stroll

One of my favorite aspects of my apartment in Baku is its location. My apartment overlooks a small park next to the Old City, and it is a short walk from the boulevard by the sea. This promenade, which was created in the early years of the 20th century, is one of the most popular strolling places in the city. In the evening, hundreds of people walk the length of the area, which has now been designated as a national park. At the far end, a new Olympic-style training facility is being built. At the other end are the working shipping docks. In between are amusement parks, restaurants and cafes, flowering trees and gardens. Two crumbling piers also jut out from the promenade, nice places to fish, chat, or just watch the sunrise.

In the summer, this is where I get a good part of my exercise. While running for health is not really a part of Azerbaijani culture, it is accepted on the boulevard, especially in the morning. Later, the day will get so warm that exercise is not very pleasant. But at seven a.m., the temperature is tolerable, about 75 degrees. When the air is still, the smell of oil hangs over the bay, but you get used to that.

Here are some shots I took on my morning jaunt today.