Azerbaijan. July 2015

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The countries of the South Caucasus have always been the “lands in-between”. In between the Black and Caspian seas, Europe and Asia, Russia and the Middle East, Christianity and Islam and, more recently, democracy and dictatorship. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and the territories around them have the mixed blessing of being at the crossing-place of different cultures and political systems. However, in my memory, those 3 nations were a part of one country I was born in – USSR. The beauty of the land, hospitality and heroism, three things that are always associated with Caucasus, I learnt in childhood by reading Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Leo Tolstoy and watching the all-time …

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Malta. July 2015

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I chose Malta as my wedding venue! Yes, I chose the entire island where early Christian catacombs and Byzantine walls, Muslim streets and Norman towers, megalithic temples and Knights’ forts defined the world history for thousands of years. When D. and I started to plan our wedding, we considered a few options, however, it didn’t take us long to settle on Malta as it had everything we wished for and even more (and of course, D’s great-grandma was Maltese-born). Malta isn’t just another European island. Its history goes back to the 5000 B.C. blending together the cultures of ancient Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans etc. It is home to one of the oldest European …

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Meteora, Greece. July 2014

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July 26, 2014 Last night D. and I drove from Delphi to Kastraki so that we could start our day at the Meteora early in the morning. We stayed at the Doupiani House, which was a nice and comfortable hotel with fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. Please don’t expect an extraordinary customer service and neither fast-speed internet, but if you’ve got a room with the view, who needs the internet?! Meteora, which means “suspended in the air” is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the second largest and most important Greek Orthodox monastery complex in Greece, after Mount Athos. The mountains of Meteora became the place of refuge in the 9th …

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Delphi, Greece. July 2014

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July 25, 2015 Today, D. and I started our road trip around Greece and on our first day, we planned to visit 3 places: Thiva (also called Thebes) – the birthplace of Hercules and Dionysus, once the most powerful city-state in Greece Delphi – one of the most famous and influential places of Ancient world, where Oracle of Delphi prophesied the future of the kings Thermopylae – where the infamous battle of 300 Spartans with the army of Persian king Xerxes I took place in 480 BC. This historical event served as a plot for the “300” movie by Zac Snyder. Night we planned to spend in Kalabaka, at the foothill …

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