I am now back from my trip overseas as part of my translation work. For now all I will say is that my work was hard but successful. I also managed to enjoy myself, including seeing old friends, unexpectedly attending a wedding. And I visited a mountain village. This post is about that visit.

Xınalıq, or Khinalug, is a fascinating place. (I will leave it as an exercise for my readers to discover where it is! – please don’t post the answer in a comment.) This village of about 2000 people is situated in a remote mountain valley. The inhabitants speak a unique language, related only distantly if at all to any others now known. According to some linguists, this is the most complex language in the world in terms of the number of distinct sounds (phonemes) used in it.

Until last year Xınalıq was accessible only by difficult mountain tracks, and it would take all day in a four wheel drive vehicle to get there from the nearest town. Last October work was finished on a tarmac road to the village, including several new bridges, and so the journey from the town now takes only an hour and a half. This meant that a small group of us were able to make a day trip there from the capital city.

Here are some of my pictures of Xınalıq and of the road leading there. Click on the pictures for 1 megapixel (~ 800 KB) versions.

Gorge on road to XınalıqXınalıq roadXınalıq valleyXınalıq villageView from Xınalıq

The picture at the top of my blog is not from Xınalıq (it is in fact from the Pyrenees), but it almost could be except that there is not yet a church there.

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