Transafrica 2018 STOP 1

April 28, 2018

Mollis – Burgas – Baku

Flight distance: 1957 nm
Hours in the air: 8.20

Memorable F1 race in windy city

Driving to the airport early Saturday morning, we noticed again how pristine Switzerland is.

Things went fast all the sudden and we were up in the air in no time. Beautiful aerial views of the Swiss mountains, Lichtenstein, the Austrian Alps all the way down to the plains in Bulgaria. A super fast fuel stop in Burgas at the Black Sea brought us somewhat in time to Baku. Then handling including fuelling all the sudden was running at different pace.

Well maybe we need to explain why we ended up here in the first place. Originally we wanted to fly down to Africa over Syria but the plane insurer (believe it or not) was the last minute party crasher. So we decided to check up a country point missed 4 years ago! The timing was perfect for the F1 race. And what a race it was, not short of any excitement. In between we strolled around the windy city and treasured local food and atmosphere. Monday morning greeted us with clear skies and visibility, perfect for the first drone outing leading easy and comfortable first steps into the next 5 weeks.

Facts & figures

Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south.

The exclave of Nakhchivan is bound by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an 11 km long border with Turkey in the south west. With an area of 86,600 km² the country is slightly larger than Austria or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Maine.

Azerbaijan has a population of 9.7 million people (in 2016). Main religion is Islam, Azerbaijan is one of the few countries with a majority Shiite population. Capital and largest city is Baku. Spoken languages are Azeri 90% (official), Russian 2%.

The earliest evidence of human settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan dates back to the late Stone Age and is related to the Guruchay culture of Azokh Cave. The area has a long history of foreign powers and short periods of independence until the early 20th century.

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic state in the Muslim-oriented world. The country was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, prior to the official dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. In September 1991, the Armenian majority of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region seceded to form the Republic of Artsakh. The region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994.

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