The Caspian Sea is glittering. All along the crescent promenade the sun illuminates the water as the city wakes up to a beautiful day. I can see gardens along the waterfront—and all of Baku, for that matter—from my room on the 20th floor of the Flame Towers. Azerbaijan has long been on my list of places to visit—it’s the 102nd country I’ve traveled to—and I can’t wait to spend the next 48 hours in Baku.

Baku, Azerbaijan