Awhile back, I traveled with some friends to the country of Azerbaijan. Do you think you can find that country on a map? I know that I couldn’t before I found out that I was going for a visit. It is a small country off the Caspian Sea and surrounded by five countries: Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, and Iran. Caught between Asia and the Middle East, it makes for a very interesting culture. I had the preconceived notion that Baku was going to be very Islamic, but it was much more secular than Istanbul or Cairo. Azerbaijan was actually the first country to establish a democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world. Baku is also much larger than I thought; over 2 million people! It is rich in history that dates back to the 4th century, so it was really neat to be able to travel to such an interesting place.
Full version here: mariaandnateineurope.blogspot.com