Slept in and left Qax after noon. I took the ‘old road’ to Şəki (pronounced Shäki), which the Lonely Planet lists as ‘unpassable’ due to broken bridges. I was sure to find a way across the dry rivers or streams. It turned out that the road and all the bridges are being upgraded, and that the streams are indeed dry at this time of the year. The road was flat but in very, very bad condition most of the time.
Got invited to tea on the road side, and met Failez, student of Maths and Computer Science in Baku. The ride would have been almost pleasant, if it weren’t for the last 10km or so, which were, again, an uphill battle. The digital mercury climbed to more than 50°C (in the sun) multiple times today.
In Şəki an old karavanserai has been renovated beautifully and is again being used as a hotel. It is recommended by Lonely Planet, but due to multiple ‘de-recommendations’ by locals (“too expensive”) I decided against staying there. Instead I checked into a somewhat shabby place closer to where I arrived in Şəki.
There’s a silk factory here in town which cannot be visited but has a shop were its products are sold. That was my first stop after a cold (read: warmish) shower. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten my cash in the hotel…
Then I hurried to Cingiz Klubu, museum and cinema, which was supposed to show a movie at 6pm, hopefully with English subtitles.
Unfortunately, the movie’d started at 5pm (it was almost 6 when I arrived).
I walked up the street to the Karavanserai hotel. Single rooms are not really expensive and cost less than 5 Euros more than what I’m paying in the other place.
I was seriously considering staying another night in Şəki, if only to have slept a night in the Karavanserai and to go to the movies! Well, the Karavanserai is fully booked but at least I’m using their wi-fi right now.
It was almost too hot to do sightseeing, but I still managed to wander around a bit and have a look at the old khan’s fortress.