Tuesday, April 6, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 14

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world, so I continued the series in 2020 and here I am in 2021, the third year of traveling the world. 

This week's country is...


Occupying an area that fringes the southern flanks of the Caucasus Mountains, it is bounded on the north by Russia, on the east by the Caspian Sea, on the south by Iran, on the west by Armenia, and on the northwest by Georgia.

Azerbaijan is roughly the same size as neighboring Armenia and Georgia, but is dwarfed by Turkey, Iran and Russia, who it also shares borders with. It is roughly four times the size of Wales.

Australia is 89 times larger than Azerbaijan.

Mountains cover 60% area of the country and the remaining is covered by plains and lowlands.

You can float through the country's capital city. Baku is home to Little Venice, a man-made waterway that flows between shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. It has a number of islands, connected by bridges and walkways – but the best way to get around is by gondola. 

Azerbaijan also has an abundance of small and large rivers accounting to more than 8400 in total. However, only 24 of these rivers are more than 62 miles long.

Azerbaijan once produced half of the world's oil.

Although it makes most money from oil and gas, Azerbaijan also exploits grains, grapes, cotton and livestock.

Azerbaijan is the home of two of the world class chess players.

The horse is the national animal of Azerbaijan, and the Karabakh horse (rare and beautiful) is especially known for its agility, endurance, and intelligence.

Being a guest in Azerbaijan: Hospitality in Azerbaijan is not just important but a valuable characteristic of the national culture. Food and shelter will be offered to the guest even at the expense of the host’s needs.

Tea takes a special place in Azerbaijan’s customs and traditions. It is a part of almost all social occasions and is served in countless trimmings. Jam, mint, rosewater, lemon are often used to give that extra rich flavor to the tea.

Kutabi – filled pancakes – are practically Azerbaijan’s national dish. They’re stuffed with pumpkin, veggies, meat or just a sprinkling of herbs, then flipped and toasted on a griddle. 

They bake their bread in vertical ovens. Known as a tandoor (but spelled tendir in Azeri), these cylindrical ovens feature a blazing hot fire on the inside, and the bread is placed along the inner walls, where it’s exposed directly to the heat of the coals within the same chamber. The dough is sticky enough that they can just slap it on, and they fish it out with a metal hook when it’s ready.

When bread goes stale, Azerbaijani cooks don’t just chuck it in the bin: they hang it up in bags, separate from the rest of the rubbish, to signify their respect. If you drop bread on the floor, it’s custom to kiss it, as an apology.

When families are matchmaking, the tea tray gives a good indication of how arrangements are progressing. If it’s served without sugar, more negotiating needs to be done; if it’s sweet, a wedding is definitely on the cards.

They bathe their babies in salt water. It’s thought that washing newborns in salt water will make them strong, truthful and bold. 

Children’s fingernails and hair are only cut after their first birthday. 

Cotton and silk from Azerbaijan are known all over the world.

Azerbaijan is famous for its age old carpets that are in great demand throughout the world. Mostly women are involved in weaving these carpets that represent the country’s artistic sensibilities and ability to bring together various symbols and shapes with natural colors.

The country also has a carpet museum in Baku. The museum which opened in 2014 has an appearance like that of a giant rolled-up rug.

Azerbaijan is home to the largest concentration of mud volcanoes. They have in fact four hundred of these of a thousand mud volcanoes that are known to exist in the world. It is also home to the two largest mud volcanos in the world.

In 2001, Azerbaijan experienced eruption of a mud volcano which was almost 1,000 feet tall (height of explosion) and spewed lots of mud surrounded by dense, black smoke; which was visible from 9 1/2 miles away.

The country boasts the world’s only miniature book museum. The museum also has a miniature copy of the Holy Quran from the 17th century. 

A gold, shimmering smile is a common sight, especially among Azerbaijan’s older generations. For some, it’s a snazzy way to replace rotten teeth. For others, it’s akin to a savings account.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Azerbaijan... Baku, Azerbaijan is home to the world’s largest Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Sparkle N Sprinkle Spring Chickens stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Cougar 110# White and SU Real Red CS and Paper Studio Buffalo Plaid DP

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangle

Embellishments: Gina Marie Enamel Dots and Ribbon from an unknown vendor


Tracie said...

I am loving your travel the world posts. Learning so much. Thanks for doing this.

Patti J said...

What an interesting post! The bread and food info was fun...slapping the sticky dough onto the oven sides! Kissing it if it fell on the floor ❤️ thanks for a great post, and that card is as cute as can be!

kiwimeskreations said...

now that bread looks amazing... what a fascinating way to cook it! Loving your card Jeanette - that sentiment is unfortunately true
Stay safe

Barb said...

This is just makes me smile all over!

Lynn McAuley said...

We certainly are not, but I would love to try a piece of that bread before I go! It looks awesome!! Such a fun card, Jeanette!