05.30.2013 - 06.01.2013
We say goodbye to our hosts in Baku and head to Sheki - a historical town in the north central mountains and our first stop in the regions.
In Sheki, we stayed in a caravansary - a thousand-year-old building that on the silk route where camel trains had previously stopped.
The caravansary is just outside the walls of the palace of the Sheki Kahn. All the palace was built in the 17th century, within the walls are older buildings and further up the mountain is the oldest Christian church in this part of the world - in this Moslem nation, it is called an Albanian church because it dates to the time of Albanian rule of the area and you don't often hear the word Christian used.
I was asked if I wanted to go to the hamem - the traditional bathhouse that has been used for centuries before people had running water in their homes and often found throughout the villages. Of course, I said "yes!"
When we arrived, I discovered it was a garish spa that could have been on the cheap side of Las Vegas in a strip mall. I did not make my camera because I thought pictures would not be allowed. It was still a nice event with frolicking in a swimming pool with Azeri women who were terrified of the water, a great sauna, and then an invigorating scrub by the attendant.