Russia and the Caucasus Countries

Armenia

Armenia is the only country remaining from 3,000 year old maps of Anatolia. It became the world’s first Christian country more than 1,700 years ago in 301 AD and has a large Diaspora all over the world. As a former Soviet republic lying in the Caucasus region straddling Asia and Europe, Armenia has a rich and ancient culture.

Tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs gorge is directly across from the Noravank Monastary

We visited Yerevan, Gandzarsar, Sevan, Vardenzisv, and Goris in 2018 as part of our 6-week Germany, Eastern Europe & Caucasus trip.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a former Soviet republic in the Caucasus and variously considered part of Europe or Asia. The country is a tangle of contradictions and contrasts, neither Europe or Asia, it’s a nexus of historical empires, but also a ‘new’ nation rapidly transforming itself with an extraordinary amount of petro-spending.

The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum in Baku is shaped like a rolled carpet

We visited Baku and Qobustan in 2018 as part of our 6-week Germany, Eastern Europe & Caucasus trip.

Georgia

Georgia is a country in the Caucasus, in between Western Asia and Eastern Europe.  It is a rather mountainous country and is home to some of Europe’s highest mountain peaks. Georgia is the oldest wine making country in the world, with some wine samples dating back to 6,000 years BC.  The country has a rich heritage, Georgia’s cities and countryside have numerous UNESCO medieval churches

Rike Park, Tilibisi after sunset

We visited Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Gereti, Gori, Uplistsikhe, and David Gareji Monastery in 2018 as part of our 6-week Germany, Eastern Europe & Caucasus trip.

Republic of Artsakh

Artsakh, also known by its official name between 1991 and 2017, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, is a de facto independent country in the South Caucasus, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The region is populated mostly by Armenians and the primary spoken language is Armenian. Artsakh controls most of the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and some of the surrounding area, giving it a border with Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. Its capital is Stepanakert.

Stepankert at sunset. The “We Are Our Mountains” monument.

We visited Stepanakert, Askeran, Agham, and Tigranakert in 2018 as part of our 6-week Germany, Eastern Europe & Caucasus trip.

Russia

Russia  is by far the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area.  While geographically mostly in Asia, the bulk of Russia’s population is concentrated in the European part and, culturally, Russia is unmistakably European. Much of the Asian part, however, has more in common with Kazakhstan, Mongolia or Northeast China than with Eastern Europe. It boasts a rich history and culture.

Palace Square, St. Petersburg

We visited St. Petersburg and Moscow in 2012 as part of our 3.5 week Russia and Scandinavia trip.

See next – Middle East Countries

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