There is a Trump Hotel and Tower, so Baku is no stranger to Donald, although like many instances about him there is a bit of controversy surrounding this investment. The city has grown exponentially in the past 10 years according to the oilman from the U.S. who has lived there for the past 12 years. He watched the pleasant old city be surrounded on 3 sides by buildings that would rival Dubai.
From my hotel I walked through the new city including apartment complexes that were built to house Olympic athletes. This area of town looked more like Paris. Baku failed in its bid for the 2016 Summer Games but hosted the 2015 European Games. Their new airport, roads, London taxis, promenade, stadiums and big city stores are quite impressive.
Within the confines of the old city walls the Palace of the Shirvanshahs displays its history and stories in grand fashion with guides who speak your language fluently. The young woman who gave me the tour said she was taught Russian in school but only a few years later, the students learned English. She was most knowledgeable and friendly with answers to any and all questions. But what surprised me most was that she refused a tip, reminding me that tourists were most welcome in their country.