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Abyaneh – Under The Rain

Iran-171In every travel guide and in most hotels we would see breathtaking posters of a hillside village, red adobe houses on a hillside surrounded by greenery – Abyaneh. A must-see we figured and together with two travelers from New Zealand, we headed off in the early morning from Kashan. Continue Reading →

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Kashan

The Tabātabāei Historic House (Khāneh-ye Tabātabāeihā), Kashan, Iran

The Tabātabāei Historic House (Khāneh-ye Tabātabāeihā), Kashan, Iran

Kashan is famous for its once-splendid traditional houses with their sunken gorgeous courtyards dominated by flowers beds, trees and a longish rectangular pool. A few have been renovated and we visited them all. Built by super wealthy merchants in the XIXth century, they feature everything from intricate stone relief, fine stucco, elegant mirrors and stained glass work. Again these visits turned out to be an excellent photo opportunity. Iranian tourists kept politely asking to have their photo taken with us. Continue Reading →

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Riding The Train To Kashan

Highly Modern Trains in Iran

Highly Modern Trains in Iran

It is the journey that matters. Our train ride from Yazd to Kashan was just so very pleasant! Already when boarding the train in Yazd it was clear that this would be a superb experience. Helpful staff took us to our seat and helped with the bags. The carriage itself was very comfortable and the service exceptional. Tea and coffee was serviced, sweets and sandwiches, newspapers (in Farsi) waited in your seat and everybody was extremely friendly. We were the only non-Iranian on the train and our travel companions found our presence quite surprising. Continue Reading →

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Ancient Meybod & Kharanaq

Ruined Safavid village of Kharanaq, Yazd, Iran

Ruined Safavid village of Kharanaq, Yazd, Iran

Heavily advertised in Yazd we could not resist spending a day and 95 USD (!!!) on this trip. We certainly paid way too much. The driver was organized by the manager of our hotel – the Oriental Hotel. An amazing person, who deserves to be mentioned here. He seemed to be the only person around and in command, always ready and answering endless questions and requests. Continue Reading →

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Yazd’s Zoroastrian Past Temple

Fire Temple - a Modern Zoroastrian Shrine, Yazd, Iran

Fire Temple – a Modern Zoroastrian Shrine, Yazd, Iran

Who has ever seen a fire that has been burning for 4.000 years? We did when visiting the the Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd. This eternal flame is said to have survived all this time and even the transfer from different temples. Flickering brightly behind a glass barrier – so it would not be polluted by human breath – it is the only attraction inside the simple building. The entrance is adorned with a winged figure, a few scripts and photos on the wall of the viewing room are the only décor. Continue Reading →

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Caravanserai On The Silk Road

Robat-e Zayn al-Din Caravanserai, build by the Safavid government of Kerman on the Silk Road, Yazd, Iran

Robat-e Zayn al-Din Caravanserai, build by the Safavid government of Kerman on the Silk Road, Yazd, Iran

Zein- O – Din Caravanserai is a two-days camel ride outside of Yazd. In spring 2014, we covered the distance in a bit more than an hour – by car. Those ancient resting and trading places were built every 30 km, we were told. All of them were fortified with a high robust windowless wall. This was necessary, since the riches the caravans were carrying attracted intruders. Continue Reading →

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Yazd – Catching The Wind

With 34 meters the highest Windtower or Badgir in Yadz, in Dolatabad-Garden, Yazd, Iran

With 34 meters the highest Windtower or Badgir in Yadz, in Dolatabad-Garden, Yazd, Iran

Old Yazd is a maze of mud brick houses all interconnected by passages that once used to be the alleys of an extended bazaar. Nowadays most shops are deserted and motorbikes noisily ride through the passages avoiding the traffic outside. Yazd can be extremely hot in the summer months, but ancient architects had a solution ready: Badgirs, or wind catchers on the roofs. These little towers on top of a building have slits on all four sides to catch the wind, take it down into the house, while the hot air is sucked out through the same system. At affluent households the incoming air was further cooled by a small pool of water, also moisturizing the bone-dry air. Continue Reading →

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Na’In – Bartering A Carpet For Our Canon EOS D7

In Na'InThe excellent Tourist Inn and two or three places of interest make this small town a perfect stop over for tour busses on the way to Yazd. We gave the place a closer look since an Austrian friend had raved about it.

With little time at our hands, we decided to contact a free lancing guide, who was recommended in the Lonely Planet. Within 30 minutes he showed up, stuffed us in his car (two German Backpackers joined us) and off we went to Masdje–e-Iman, with 1.300 year one of the oldest mosques in Iran. Particularly interesting was the underground praying room for the hot summer months, lit by three alabaster stones in the ceiling. Continue Reading →

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Iran – Hospitality At The Highest Level

In Teheran, Iran

In Teheran, Iran

It’s the people! Our enthusiasm for Iran was fuelled by the incredible warm welcome we received EVERYWHERE we went. People went out of their way to help, get us a hotel room, a seat on a bus, a taxi when arriving late at night. Never did we feel overcharged, not even by taxi drivers, the notorious guild to rip off newly arrived tourists. Continue Reading →

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Pigeon Towers

Pigeon tower, Esfahan

Pigeon tower, Esfahan

The outside of this terracotta colored circular tower would never give away their very purpose – ancient guano factories. The inside is intriguing, a dazzle of geometrical patterns, a maze of corridors, floors and levels that make you feel lost easily. But the birds feel comfortable and clean. Each one has its small cubicle and when sitting on the roosts, the droppings fall straight onto the floor. All this is still intact, but only a few odd pigeons reside here now. Nothing compared to the 4.000 pigeons that would live in each of those once 300 towers. Nowadays, only a couple of these guano producers are left. Continue Reading →

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