Where Europe, Asia and the Middle East come together are three countries that have intrigued me for more than a decade and have long been near the top of my travel list. The three countries, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, all ex-Soviet republics, are often collectively called “The Caucasus,” named for the majestic mountain range that runs through them. After years of reading about this area, I have finally set aside the time to backpack across it, starting in Azerbaijan and finishing in Armenia.
My fascination with this locality began while studying Russian literature in college. Authors like Pushkin, Lermontov and Tolstoy set several of their most famous works in the region. Books like “Hadji Murat,” “A Hero of Our Time,” and “A Prisoner of the Caucasus,” tell tales of young Russian men adventuring through the high mountain passes, fighting remote hill tribes and getting into romanticized duels. As these countries have long sparked my imagination and tantalized my thirst for adventure, I am very excited to witness the dramatic landscape and experience the renowned hospitality of the Peoples who live there.