On Any Given Afternoon, You Might Go to Hirkan
Right after putting up yesterday’s post about walking around with Fərid, we went at it again, seeing where we would go this time, checking out the sites. Lo and behold, we struck gold. Or, at least, a nature-loving man’s gold. I had heard of the Xanbulan and Hirkan National Park, but I hadn’t been there, and didn’t realize how close it was. Six of us hopped into Fərid’s car and we shuttled down to Xanbulan and up into the hills of Hirkan. After parking the car half way up what seemed to be a pretty nasty hill, we disembarked and walked along the muddy muddy road.
There’s a lot to like about Hirkan. The road winds along a reservoir that supplies drinking water for Lənkəran. Though it’s a man-made reservoir, constructed from 1962 to 1976, it was gorgeous, with the hills sprouting up around it, at a nearly impossible angle to climb, especially with the excess mud. At one end of the lake, it looks like there’s a pump of some sort bursting water up into the reservoir. It looks like it’d be fun to swim in.
For some good sources to check out, there’s a decent website for the Hirkan National Park here, and of course there’s a Wikipedia article here, doing a good job describing the flora and fauna. And don’t neglect the photo gallery here.
As well as the hills mounting the scenery, you can look around you and see close by the Talysh mountains. You can also see the residence of our good friend, President Ilham Əliyev. He’s got a few nice pads set up in the middle of Hirkan, and they sit right atop a few hills overlooking the lake. Apparently he took up residence just a few years ago, because Fərid remembers tromping about the property there before the good President moved in. In fact, the running joke of the afternoon was that we were only going to see what was left of Hirkan, since Prez has taken over most of it.