This year for Victory Day, we drove past Besh Barmag (now that we've visited three times) and up to Chirax Castle. This was attempt number two, as number one began on a rainy, cold day in March and ended in failure.
The usual route, via a sanitarium, was closed because of construction.
So we decided to make attempt number two on a warmer, and hopefully drier day so that we could try a back route that the guidebook described as "accessible by 4WD." Good thing we own a 4WD. Azerbaijan - a country where a 4WD vehicle is actually necessary.
The day didn't start out very promisingly - we left Baku under a dark grey cloud raining on us as as we fled the city. But as we drove north the weather showed some promise of clearing and we headed up into the hills.
After some spots requiring, if not the 4WD capacity, some high clearance, and a u-turn through a village hosting more horses that cars, we made it to the trail head and unloaded the children for our brave assault on the castle.
The hike was quite lovely with beautiful views out onto the rolling hills below. I think that I am a waste of a diplomat's wife because the cities hold no interest for me (I guess I got my fill during college) and now my favorite thing to do is to get out of town and see nothing but trees.
Within ten minutes we spotted the castle.
And commenced the adventure part of our hike as we scrambled up rocky hills,
Through very small holes in walls,
And finally to the top with a crumbling tower and very sheer drop-offs that made Brandon almost pass out with anxiety every time the children looked at them. It's good to have at least one parent be safety-minded.
Then we came back down and had a picnic. Because no outing is complete without a picnic. I think the children probably put up with our plans only because they involve chips, cookies, and juice boxes.
The children seriously considered testing out the mutiny clause in our car insurance, but gave up the plan when we pointed out that Brandon had all of the money.
After we talked them back into their own seats, we drove home, put them to bed, and congratulated ourselves on another successful holiday. Hooray for Victory Day!