83 | What's Happening In The Caucasus?
The Caucasus is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea; mainly comprising Armenia 🇦🇲, Georgia 🇬🇪, Azerbaijan 🇦🇿 (you can now watch all my videos of the 3 countries) and parts of Southern Russia 🇷🇺.
Those 3 countries really combine many things that I love about travelling.
The people are super friendly and some of the most helpful I’ve ever met. It was super fun to explore the region with Kristina.
It's impossible not to hear about the Silk Road, the Soviet Union, War stories and sensitivity between them. History in this part of the world is captivating, particularly for me growing up in South America.
The gastronomy is a whole new thing. Some of the best wines I've ever tried come from this region. In terms of food, yes of course being vegetarian is not the most qualified opinion but I can say flatbreads (lavash), pies and stews are incredible. To be fair, a lot of food was similar to Lithuania as they share some history with the Baltics and other ex Soviet countries.
What to do? Monasteries, mountains, valleys, rolling hills, vineyards, colourful villages and plenty of hiking opportunities. Absolutely underrated region. I still don't understand why tourism is so small in these places. In my opinion they beat many Southern European countries but have less marketing, that's the truth.
I explored a lot of Armenia, took a Soviet train to Georgia where I got super sick crashed my drone (almost jail if it was in another country) and faced uncomfortable questions in Heydar Aliyev airport (Azerbaijan) as my passport had an Armenian stamp. It was all good at the end and Azerbaijan took me completely by surprise, in a good way!
This is the only thing I'll say about the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It's sad to see what's going on between them. I love both countries and people. Both are incredible countries and some of the most hospitable people I've ever met are there, in BOTH countries. I don't want and will not take any side here. Enough of division (Russia vs Ukraine, China vs Taiwan, Azerbaijan vs Armenia). Nobody wins here, we all lose. Is the world going nuts? It's hard to accept in 2022 that we need to fight each other and cannot agree in any possible way to avoid a conflict that will end up dividing people, nations and the entire world really. This is not about going with one or the other, it's about expressing both arguments in a civilised way and make a mutual agreement. I can't remember where I read this quote but this is exactly how I see it: “The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.”
Have a great week!
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🗺️ Road To 197
Georgia 🇬🇪 and Azerbaijan 🇦🇿 have respectively been my 70th and 71st country but I've recently visited my 79th country in Moldova 🇲🇩 and will hit the 80th and 81st very soon, keep an eye here in the next few weeks to find out! 🤫
I've received a bunch of questions about Africa. Yes, it's now my favourite continent and have 5 extra countries on my list to see this year such as Algeria 🇩🇿, Ivory Coast 🇨🇮, Ghana 🇬🇭, Togo 🇹🇬 and Benin 🇧🇯. Still dealing with visas but after that I'm good to close the African year after those ones! 🤪
As a reminder the first episode of the West Africa series will air in October on the channel. Believe me this has been by far the most challenging thing ever to shoot. West Africa is no jokes, logistics are a whole new thing so I cannot wait to share these episodes with you! 🍿
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