A deserted city in a country recognized by no one.
In the Caucasus over summer, I traveled far east to Nagorno Karabakh – a controversial little ‘country’, recognized by no-one.
Armenian culture wrapped-up inside Azerbaijan’s borders.
Issued a do-it-yourself Visa sticker on the boarder, and told to pay at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs once I was in town, things were clearly done a bit different here.
My main reason for visiting was Agdam – A ghost town. A city captured by Nagorno Karabakh Republic Forces in 1993, and soon destroyed.
Traveling in the Caucasus, Agdam the type of place you here rumors of, someone knew someone that had been there, but never anything first hand, never any real info, just stories.
Possibly because, its completely off limits to foreigners.
With that in mind, off we set, it seriously took an hour of haggling with Taxi drivers, trying to find one that would take us that far.
Some would just shake their head, some would drag their thumb across their throat (as someone just got shot there the week before), and some would rant in Armenian.
Then we found this one old guy, he didnt seem to care about much, his taxi was a piece of crap, and we were on our way.
But not before stopping off for a Watermelon break.
Arriving into Agdam was nothing like what I had imagined, the Highway just disappeared, which then turned into decayed old roads, which then turned into (what was) the city’s streets.
The whole city was in ruins, almost flattened, grass and trees growing tall, not a single sign of life.
I think I was expecting something much more preserved, something like Chernobyl where you could explore the buildings, but this was like a bomb went off and the whole town turned to rubble.
The most preserved building however was across town, a mosque, where you could still climb one of the minarets.
Driving over our taxi driver suddenly ushered that a put my camera down, pointing to another tall building nearby, what seemed like a silhouette was actually a military sniper, and he insisted photos were definitely not welcome.
I remember getting pretty excited at that stage. This is it, I was in Agdam.