Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Site Visit to Baku

In case you missed the news, we found out that we are moving to Baku, Azerbaijan! We found out towards the end of February that they needed to get Jason out to Baku for a site visit and handover before the local holiday of Novruz starting just before Easter. That didn't leave much time for planning! Fortunately my mom was able to take the time off and so we got to making all of the arrangements for me to accompany Jason on the trip.

Unfortunately it's not super easy to get a visa to enter the country. Our options were to visit the Azerbaijan embassy in Sweden (where the turnaround time was ~3 weeks) or the embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia (where the turnaround time was ~3 days, or so we were told). We arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia late Sunday night and ended up staying there until Friday afternoon. (You can read about our time there here.)

After we arrived Friday night, we had dinner with the family who Jason will be are replacing. They are a lovely family and have been amazing at answering emails with lots of questions about Baku for both of us. We saw their house and compound and got to know more about the city we will soon be calling home.

Saturday morning we met them for breakfast and they showed us around the grocery store and some of the city. Afterwards we met up with the relocation people to go house hunting. As expats, we will need to live on a secured compound. There are two main compounds in the city - Stonepay and Green City. We saw houses at both and were able to fit a great fit for our family at the second compound, Green City. I'm excited about the house and can't wait to share pictures once we get settled!

That afternoon we had a half day orientation around the city. Most of the time was driving, but we did get out and walk part of the Old City and see the Maiden's Tower. The buildings all around the city were absolutely gorgeous and unique. Jason was thrilled to see a freshly paved road and signs of the upcoming Formula One race being held there this June. ;-)

We had dinner with Jason's boss and his wife Saturday night in one of the three flame towers (picture below). Friday night when we arrived they were lit up to look like fire with the lights dancing on them. We had delicious steak and a wonderful time hearing about the places they've lived and what they've enjoyed about being in Baku.

I flew back early the next morning after being gone an entire week. I missed my girls and needed to get home for my mom to fly back to the US. Jason stayed a couple more days to see the office, visit the school options for Madi,  and start some handover.

We didn't get a ton of pictures since we were in the car most of the time, but we did capture a few during our orientation. Overall, it's going to be a drastic change living in a third world country and a significantly larger city than we are used to from Norway, but we are excited about the upcoming move in the next couple of months!

Maiden's tower - one of the most famous sites in Baku. It dates back to the 15th century and has been names a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The flame towers where we had dinner Saturday night. They are the tallest skyscrapers in the city.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...