Baku is a city of contrasts. From the promenade at the Caspian Sea where there are designer shops, large 5-star hotels to the old walled city to the gloomy Soviet designed apartments and buildings further from the promenade. The streets are full of the noveau-rich Mercs, Porches, Beamers and Lexus and the not-so-rich Russian Ladas. It’s an expensive city, petrol is AZ Manat 1.60/litre (Manat 1= US$1.28). Even though the roads are wide the traffic in the city is horrendous, worse than Kuala Lumpur, construction is everywhere, but there are parks and greenery dotted throughout the city. However these contrasts make it a fascinating city. The old walled city is uncrowded and a joy to walk through. This photograph taken from the palace in the old city shows the modern buildings being constructed in the background. Taken 4th May 2012.