Caspian Sea

  • Date
  • 4 March 1999
  • Lodging
  • Azerbaijan Ferry
  • Distance
  • 350 KM
  • Total
  • 16285 KM

Dinner aboard the Azerbaijan, the wretched ferry boat that took us from Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan. Inside the small ‘restaurant,’ there were eight tables with vinyl tablecloths. We sat with Sergei (translator) and Dominic (videographer). Jim brought vodka and Georgian wine left over from Baku and Georgia. I ordered a beer from the cook/waiter. We drank, talked about the boat’s dismal situation and laughed – the only option when things look this bad. We ordered sturgeon and boiled potatoes. The cook/waiter brought out bread and then pickled cabbage apologizing for not having any fresh salad or vegetables. The cabbage smelled awful and was pink/light red in color, but still Sergei and Jim ate a little of it. About 20 minutes later the cook brought us bread and more cabbage and then another 20 minutes passed before he brought us potatoes, which were light green in several spots. Even so, we ate them willingly since we were starving. I asked for salt and pepper and everyone at the table looked at me as though I’d lost my mind! To my delight, the cook/waiter brought out salt and pepper. Then fried sturgeon followed about 30 minutes later. Jim joked that the cook only had one pot and that’s why it took so long between servings. My first small piece of fish was crunchy and tasty. When I went for a second piece of fish, the grease had settled and the crunchy coating had softened so I opted to conclude my dinner. All in all, the meal was enjoyable and fun, but the food did not add much to the evening. Dinner for all of us was less than $20.