Thanks for flybmi for these short introductions to some of their destinations.
Situated in the north part of Kyrgyzstan in the Chui-Region, Bishkek is heavily influenced by the Soviets, so you will be able to enjoy typical architecture of that era, not forgetting The Philharmonia concert hall, Historic Museum and Monument for the Great War of the Native Country. But there are also modern monuments in keeping with the traditional Kyrgyz culture, plus being one of the greenest cities in the world, thanks to its numerous parks, Bishkek is an interesting and vibrant place to visit.
Addis Ababa (ADD)
Addis Ababa (meaning “new flower”) sits snugly in the foothills of the Entoto Mountains and is encased by woods, hillsides and streams. Like its surroundings the actual city itself has kept an organic, unstructured ambience, due to the fact that until recent times there was no urban planning. Cosmopolitan and classy is blended with traditional and unspoilt, with elegant hotels, glass and aluminium office buildings and theatres set alongside rustic wooden houses.
Aleppo is a magnificent ancient city, mostly famed for its citadel with medieval fortress, the great Umayyad mosque, and the ever-busy souqs (bazaars) that sell leather goods, colourful fabrics, spices and anything else you can possibly think of. Should you want to marvel at relics from times gone by or a more modern era then The Archaeological Museum of Aleppo contains exhibits from the Stone Age to recent centuries, alongside remains from Roman and Islamic periods.
Azerbaijan, an ex-Soviet republic on the Caspian Sea, hosts seven oil and gas pipelines and over recent years the nightlife and entertainment scene in Baku has undergone a dramatic upsurge – mainly because of the oil boom. An impressive number of nightclubs, bars, pubs and discotheques have opened around Fountain Square, catering largely to the expat community. Baku is a dynamic place regarding theatre, opera and ballet, showing both local productions and those from the international stage.
The capital of Syria, Damascus is also the most ancient city in the world. Nestling in the Old City is where those travelling here will find the Umayyad Mosque and breathtaking churches including the Chapel of St. Paul and the Souk Medhat Pasha, which are situated in an area that dates right back to biblical times. There are many wonderful buildings, monuments and museums to visit, including the National Museum of Damascus and Azem Palace. Tishreen Park is host to the annual Damascus Flower Show and is a memorable event.
Riyadh is a thriving business hub, where oil refineries, national administration and financial services are situated. It is a modern metropolis in its appearance, dominated by high-rise office buildings lined along busy roads, but it is rather traditional and conservative as far as entertainment goes, which is largely banned. Riyadh is mainly geared towards work, so it is a popular destination as far as business travellers go.
Deriving from the Georgian word ?tbili? which means warm, Tbilisi is a hive of business activity, set in the foothills of the Trialeti mountain range. This cosmopolitan city is also famous for its historical monuments including Sioni Cathedral Church and Anchiskhati Church. The Old Town is linked together with narrow alleys and imposing crooked houses built around courtyards, adding even more character to this old and unspoilt place, where ancient architecture stands side by side with theatres, cafés and restaurants.
Highly cosmopolitan and full of antiquities, Tehran offers visitors the chance to really immerse themselves in the history and culture of Iran. The Archaeology Museum, Contemporary Arts Museum and the Crown Jewels Museum are well worth a look and should you enjoy going on picnics, like the Iranians do, try Mellat Park. To buy keepsakes to take home The Grand Bazaar is the best place to shop and The Azadi Tower is an awe-inspiring building and attraction, built in honour of the 2500th anniversary of Persia’s empire.
The capital of Armenia, Yerevan became independent with the fall of Soviet Russia, but still holds reminders of its dramatic past. The city is packed with ancient buildings and places of interest, including the fortress Erebuni, built in 782 B.C., and the National Art Gallery which houses a stunning collection of Armenian paintings. The Alexander Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet is worth a visit and he Demirjian Cultural Centre runs historical and cultural lectures, mostly highlighting Yerevan’s fascinating past.