Twelve days in Iran – Part 1

In my last post, I explained few facts about Iran to help you organize your trip in this country. Today, I will explain in more details what we did there !

Twelve days in Iran, between Tehran, Kashan, Isfahan, Yazd and Shiraz.

Tehran and Kashan

Tehran is a noisy and messy city. Roads are full of shops like garages close to each other : tires and ground sheets, you have to be careful and walk between everything there is on the sidewalk. On the roads, cars never stop, the motorbikes either, it’s a big mess, noisy and polluted. I don’t understand how it works : signals are red but the cars never stop, pedestrians cross the streets whenever they want without being killed by a car, and I was always praying to stay alive every time I had to change the sidewalk.
In Iran, the landscapes are really different and impressive. We were in the middle of Tehran, dying because of the heat, and on the background we could see mountains and snow. It’s really impressive to see this.

We spent two days in Tehran. We visited the Golestan Palace, we walked in some parks, and we went to the Tehran Bazaar. To be honest, every time I go somewhere, I enjoy my time walking around. To tell you the truth, I didn’t like Tehran that much, capitales are not what I prefer.

Then we took the bus to go to Kashan. During the journey, we saw for the first time the Iranian’s kindness. Maria was in the same bus, and when she heard that we speak french, she started the conversation with us. We didn’t have any hotel, didn’t know where to go so she called one of her friend to ask if she could host us. Then, she called and payed the taxi for us and we arrived at her friend’s house.
We visited the house and after (we didn’t understand why), the girl told us that she couldn’t host us and she called one of her friend, an Iranian couch surfer.

When we arrived, he invited us for dinner in an Iranian family. It was kind of unreal : we were in this family as if we knew them for a long time, every ten minutes a new person was coming over. They took picture of us, we even did a Skype with one of the son who lives in the US and there was always food in our hands. Every time the plate was empty, someone else came to fill in. It never stops. Around 2AM, it’s time to leave, we are exhausted and it’s time to sleep. Our couch-surfer prepared our beds : mattress on the floor in the middle of the leaving room with a table between my friend and me.

Mosquée de Kashan

We walked around Kashan, we ate Iranian food (delicious) and then we visited the Mosque. After this, we left to go to the desert. The desert is one of my favorite place, it’s really hard for me to explain what I feel every time I am there, alone, in the middle of all this sand. The first time I went to the desert was in Egypt and I still remember the feeling.
In Iran, there is two kind of deserts : the sand’s desert and the salt’s desert. The atmosphere in the salt’s desert is really impressive, it’s kind of apocalyptic, I will never forget it.

sand’s desert – kashan
Salt’s desert – Kashan

Isfahan and Yazd

The next day, after a night in the desert, we took our bag pack to go to Isfahan. To be honest : it’s, for now, my favorite city in Iran. It’s such a beautiful city, full of history, it’s like an open museum. Every time you look around, you can see something really beautiful. It’s a particular atmosphere in this city, full of energy, the architecture is amazing and impressive.
It’s the perfect city to walk around. There is a big promenade next to the river, Iranians go there to eat and spend time with their family, on the grass next to the river. It’s really lovely. Every body says hi !, waves at us and smiles. We walked around all day long without being tired or bored.

Unfortunately, we arrived in Isfahan on Friday, so a lot of things are closed.  We visited the Sheik Lotfollah Mosque.
Be careful, if you go to Iran, Friday is the day off : everything will be closed. 

Sheik Lotfollah Mosque – Ispahan

After this, we left to go to Yazd, small city in the desert. It’s really hot there, but the city is really cute and lovely. We arrived in the perfect hotel : the place is really nice and the staff is so welcoming, it’s a real pleasure to stay there. The first day in Yazd, I spent it sleeping… I was really tired after the last days going there and there. The second day, we went to Saryazd, it’s a small fortified city really well conserved.

The place was used as a shelter for the villages around in case of being attacked. To walk around in this small closed city is a real pleasure. We are alone there, nobody is there and we climb on the top to see and enjoy the view. The rest of the day, we stayed with our young guide. She stdies tourism and she wants to speak French and German, in addition to English and Farsi. She is proud of her city and she wants us to see everything.

So we went to three different places : one Wind Tower (bad-gîr in farsi), the museum of The Fire Temple and one Silence Tower. The first one is really interesting, talking about architecture. It was used to bring in and out the wind, to make places cooler. Our young guide explains to us that the small pieces of wood are sticked together, without glue, like a puzzle. The colorful windows bring a lot of beautiful lights inside the place.

Wind tower – Yazd

The Silence Tower is really impressive. The Zoroastrians didn’t want to make their ground dirty, so they didn’t burry the corpses. So what do they do with dead bodies ? They bring them on the top of one of the Silence Tower, dig a lap and put the corpses inside. They were waiting for the vultures to eat them. On the top, there is no noise, I think it’s the first time of my life I am in a place that silent. Honestly, it’s weird to be there because it’s like an open cemetery. I can’t stop thinking about what they had to do after a death.

Top of one the silence tower

Around midnight, we left for Shiraz ! If you want to read about the end of the trip, it’s juste here !

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