Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baku Underground Metro System

Against the advice of the US State Department and the US Embassy in Azerbaijan, I rode the underground by myself for the first time. Okay, I only went one stop in each direction but nonetheless, it was still a journey. The system built during the Soviet glory days is actually quite spectacular...nothing like the Paris Metro ...but the station closest to my apartment is filled with amazing mosaic scenes out of Politburo worker's lives. Unfortunately, it is a BIG NO NO to take photos of any of the stations....they are just a little paranoid since there was a terrorist bombing several years ago at two of the stations. I won't even daring to try to sneak a cell phone photo..too bad...amazing works.
So why does the US govt suggests that Americans not ride...well, the potential for more bombings of course...but what struck me immediately (I've rode the Metro with colleagues) there is only one entrance (and exit) at most stations. So if there is an event---fire, power outrage, could easily get trampled in the rush to escape. for now, I'll keep my journey to one station.

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