An easy day trip from Baku takes you to the Absheron Peninsula. Here you will see the shrine of Mir Movsum Aga, a mausoleum for a holy man and a favorite burial ground for Baku’s elite.
You will also find Yanar Dag, the “fire mountain” which appears in Marco Polo’s journals. It is a hill with natural gas vents that burns. You can have a cup of tea brewed in water heated by these fires.
Then you can visit the temple of Atesgah (fire temple) near Surxani, sacred to the Zoroastrians. It too is built over natural gas vents. There is an eternal flame, and originally there were also flames at each of the 4 corners of the temple. With gas and oil having been exploited the corner flames are out and the eternal flame needs help from the Baku gas works.
And, of course, with all of this gas, there was drilling. All of these three wonders are set into an industrial wasteland of oil soaked land and abandoned oil derricks and pumps that look like decaying preying mantises.
And here is the beach that the driver took us to. Not sure I would want to swim here or eat any fish that came from these waters.