Preface

BEAUTY

THE AZERBAIJANI WAY

 

Love of the motherland begins with the first breath, the first step, with the lullaby sung by your mother and, of course, with the love of Mother Nature, which gives rise to the most powerful and exciting feelings and emotional experiences… Love of the Motherland is a virtue for every citizen, the most sacred part of anyone’s life, because this is where one’s roots are, whereone’s parents, grandparents and ancestors were born…From the very childhood, I was taught love and respect for the Motherland, and I love it not only because it is beautiful and has majestic culture, history and traditions, but also because it is the only place where I feel free. I am proud to be a citizen of Azerbaijan, and I want to tell you about its amazing nature!

We love to travel, we dream of visiting other cities and distant countries, but no matter how beautiful the world might be, the dearest place for anyone is where he was born and grew up, where he saw the Sun reflected in the drops of morning dew, heard the murmur of the brook and felt the powerful breath of an ancient sea. People living in Azerbaijan have been listening to this wonderful music of life for hundreds and thousands of years… Here, in the heart of the South Caucasus, time seems to slow its pace. It may be the 21st century and the civilization may rapidly move forward, but the nature of Azerbaijan is still pristine and amazingly beautiful, its people are humane and our values are eternal…

One could talk of the unique nature of Azerbaijan endlessly, and never repeat oneself. But I want to talk about my homeland so that people’s eyes lit up and they wanted to see it with their own eyes. I want my beautiful country to be known not only to foreign tourists, but also to my fellow countrymen.So let me invite all of you on a wonderful journey across Azerbaijan, and anyone who has visited it once will never forget it!

Azerbaijan is one of a handful of countries of the world where almost all climatic zones are present on a relatively small area. Dream of seeing volcanoes?Never been to a desert?Like resting on a beach?Ordo you prefer hunting and fishing? Do you want to stroll through the woods? Are you inspired by virgin nature? Then you definitely need to see every corner of Azerbaijan because there is everything here! High mountains of the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras, Alpine meadows and valleys, thousands of rivers and hundreds of freshwater and saline lakes, endless plains, glaciers, waterfalls, citrus and tea plantations, burning mountains Yanardag and Ateshgah shrouded with many legends, the Gobustan reserve with rock images of the Neolithic period, Absherondeserts, mud volcanoes for the number of which Azerbaijan is in first place on the planet, priceless mineral springs and Naftalanoil which cures many diseases, deposits of iron, titanium, gold, silver, copper, cobalt, limestone, travertine, marble, quartz sands, oil and gas. Azerbaijan has even preserved the unique forests of the Cenozoic era, which are found nowhere else in the world! And there are so beautiful tree species adorning our forests – pistachios, oaks, hornbeams, beeches, poplars, acacias, chestnuts, different kinds of nut trees, maples, willows, lindens, alders, elms, junipers, ironwoods, Caucasian persimmons, boxwoods, Hirkan figs and, of course, the famous Eldar pine!

Hundreds of bird species fly over Azerbaijan every year. This is where white swans and pink flamingosnest and hibernate, not to mention the unique variety of wildlife living on the entire territory of the country, ranging from lizards, iguanas and many species of poisonous snakes to deer, bears, wolves, raccoons, martens and leopards!

It is impossible not to mention the Caspian, which is around 13 million years old. The Caspian Sea is fed by hundreds of rivers and is home to dozens of islands, not to mention the fact that one of the rarest and oldest species of fish, the Caspian sturgeon, lives in this unique sea. It is also found only in the American Great Lakes!

As a matter of fact, during one day, without ever leaving the territory of Azerbaijan, it is possible to make a trip around the world –to get from the desert into the eternal ice of the mountains, drive past the subtropical zone to reach alpine meadows, swim in the warm gentle sea and walk through the dense deciduous forests!

It is not surprising that the government carefully guards this valuable natural wealth, which is why many reserves and national parks of international importance have been set up in Azerbaijan. Because of this, our country is regarded an environmentally friendly region with all the conditions for the preservation and promotion of health. In general, the environmental protection theme is close and understandable to every citizen of Azerbaijan, because we have to preserve and pass this priceless heritage down to our children.

I have traveled across Azerbaijan with an open heart and great expectations. I have enquired not only about the history and culture of ancient Azerbaijani towns and villages, many of which I have already visited. First of all, as someone living in the city, I was extremely interestedin getting acquainted with the nature of my homeland, and I must say that it made a strong impression on me! In every corner of the country, I discovered a vast new world filled with life, and I felt that by the will of the Almighty, I was lucky to get in touch with the primordial energy of the universe created by Him.

But one should be in no hurry when traveling across Azerbaijan. You should observe, watch, listen, absorb, because everything around us is full of the unique aroma of flowers. The water of the emerald-blue lakes is so clear that it seems as if there is no water in them at all. The fragrant fields with succulent herbs seem endless. The green seas of trees and shrubs surround ancient mountains and the crystal clear air is simply breathtaking. Everything is so beautiful that one can’t help thinking to oneself–isthis a fairy tale?

Nature … A grand creation of the Almighty, the cradle of humanity, the embodiment of beauty and harmony … From the very first steps of man on earth, she fed him with fruit, gave warmth and healed with its herbs. Yes, life goes on – this is the law of nature, everything in it is changing, and so does my Azerbaijan. I dream only of one thing –for my country to change only for the better! I want to be able to take the time stop in the rapid current of life, look around and see the beauty of our nature, inhale its energy, enjoy its uniqueness and get convinced yet again that our homeland is the most beautiful place in the world that will always live in my heart!

 

Bahram Baghirzadeh

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