Azerbaijan with a difference
Neither Europe nor Asia, Azerbaijan is an incredible tangle of contradictions and contrasts. It’s a fascinating nexus of ancient historical empires. Azerbaijan has for centuries been regarded as the threshold of Western civilisation and Eastern tradition. It is a country in which people with diverse backgrounds, religions and languages have struggled to live together, forging a national identity that is always somewhere in between East and West. Azerbaijan is probably where the Vikings came from, and definitely has the most mud volcanoes in the world. Sundry Nobels and Rothschilds made their fortunes on Baku oil and helped to found the world's first oil and gas industry here.