Saturday, December 24, 2016

On to Kashan

We had a final day in Esfahan, but it was not exciting.  The weather was very cold, it was a public holiday and not very much was open.  We walked over the bridge to see an Armenian church, but when we got there it was closed for lunch.  So we had lunch at an average restaurant, then walked a few kilometers uphill to see the Armenian cemetery.  But when we got there we were not allowed in as you needed written permission from the Armenian diocese.  So we walked back to the hotel in the cold.  Not all days travelling, are magic ones!

Our final Iranian destination was the small town of Kashan.  We decided to hire a driver to take us there via Abyaneh, a picturesque village that we couldn’t get to via public transport.  The Lonely Planet did warn us it is positioned to be cool in summer and freezing in winter.  As we drove out of Esfahan we started to see a little snow on the roadsides.  And in the next hour or so, the snow got heavier.  We did look at each other – what had we been thinking to make this trip in winter.  We got to the village and it was snowing constantly and it was freezing.  We did a speed-walk through the main thoroughfare and then hot-tailed it back to the car.  The driver was quite excited and walked off to talk some photos.  We did meet one local woman in the traditional dress for which the village is famous for.

Apart from the final 3 days of this trip, the weather had been warm and ideal for comfortable travel.
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We carried on to Kashan, our resting place for one night.  There we stayed in a beautifully restored boutique guesthouse, set around a garden courtyard.  Not the best time of year for sitting around the water feature, but it was a beautiful setting. And the restaurant meal of chicken and barberries, was just delicious.

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The town itself is small and in the middle of the desert.  There was plenty of rebuilding/restoration being done.

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The town had a number of wealthy merchant houses and we chose only one to visit.  Khan-e Tabatabei was a nice building, but completely unfurnished, so hard to imagine what it was truly like when it had been built and in use.

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There was a very old market in the center of town where we spent some time out of the cold and snow.  There was a lot of copper and rose water on sale.  And a spice shop with grinding wheels that dated back 700 years. There were some illustrations on the wall of the wheel being pulled around by camels. And food highlight was the coconut macaroons nargili which we purchased - we savored those all the way back to Laos!

We did see an unusual method of storing a shop’s plastic storage boxes.  One can only assume there are not a lot of strong winds in this region to blow them off the roof and around the neighbourhood

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From Kashan we took another taxi the 2 hours directly back to Tehran airport.

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