Azerbaijan: The Land of Fire
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Azerbaijan is often referred to as the "land of fire" so when visiting Baku for the first time, where better to stay than in a building designed in the shape of a flame? Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers opened in June 2013 and is located within one of the tongues of flame.
To carry on with the fire theme, a half day excursion outside the city leads onto the Ateshgah Fire Temple. Located a few miles east of Baku, the Ateshgah Fire Temple is one of Azerbaijan's most popular tourist attractions. The current, restored building is actually an 18th century fort, built by Indian fire worshippers, but in a previous incarnation, it is thought to date back to pre-Islamic Zoroastrian times and the sixth or seventh centuries.
Carry on a little further on the same excursion, and a unique phenomenon awaits you. Yanar Dag or burning mountain, is said to be the result of an ignition around 50 years ago. It is - literally - a strip of about seven meters of burning mountainside. It is even more memorably when viewed at night.