After a brief shoot on the coast of the Caspian Sea, filming a story with BirdLife international, a few of the ornithologists planned to travel to Xinaliq. With houses of grey stone, and a population of a couple of thousand that speak their own unique language, the ancient village is the highest, most remote village in Azerbaijan. It is also home to the lammergeier, a gigantic bearded vulture with a bright ginger mane - the subject of our visit.
A hike at dawn gave us a spectacular view of the hill-perched village, and a glimpse of the gliding dragon-like creature left the bird-enthusiasts satisfied. Elena, a fellow filmmaker and I decided to hang back and spend a few more days wondering the fog-choked streets. We also went around the mountain to Laza, another similarly picturesque village, where we stayed with Khalid, a teacher at the local school.