The calm of Kashan

It took 3 hrs to get to Kashan. We got a taxi from the bus drop off point to a hotel in the guidebook, it was a nice place in a historical house but they wanted US$35 for a box room that just had 2 beds and a narrow runway between with a shared bathroom or double that for a slightly bigger room with bathroom. The taxi driver had waited and said he knew somewhere close that was cheaper (he spoke basic English) so we headed there.

IMG_0826For US$35 we got a room in a historic house with 5 beds to ourselves and our own bathroom next door. This was a bit of hassle as it meant that technically we needed to have arms and legs covered and headscarves on to go from one to the other but our entryway was up some steps and then in a recess so we could have probably not bothered.

They made us tea and we sat chatting to an Australian guy for a good while before heading out to check out where we were in the last couple of hours of daylight. We got lost and had to get the guidebook out to look at the map. We still weren’t convinced we knew where we were but eventually found our street. The hotel showed us where a restaurant was for dinner but we’d already eyed up a kebab shop so decided to try there first. It was ok but surprisingly didn’t have much flavour.

We could see the mountains behind Kashan so decided that before exploring the town proper we’d get out into the hills and visit the historic village of Abyaneh in the foothills. At breakfast the hotel called the taxi driver we’d used the day before for us as he had offered to take us to a bunch of places for various prices. By 8:30 we were on our way. It took an hour at high speed. On the way we passed Iran’s major underground uranium enrichment plant. It has a double perimeter and is surrounded by manned surface to air artillery under camo nets.

IMG_0763Abyaneh was nice, it wasn’t really what we expected, all the buildings were red. There was one main route through it. It was a pleasant way to spend an hour or so; Marie wasn’t really taken with it but Emma liked it. On the way back we visited Fin Gardens in the south of the town a UNESCO Iranian traditional garden. Again it was nice enough but if it wasn’t for the water features it would have been a waste of an entry fee.

When we got back we got the driver to drop us at one of Kashan’s historical houses Khan-e-Tabatsbei, down the road from where we were staying. Built in 1880 it was multi stored and set around 5 courtyards. We spent a good hour exploring before going down to the Iranian restaurant off it for a tea break. The restaurants are when you really know you are in Iran.

We’d been told that there are no buses to Yazd, where we’re headed next and given we want to leave in the morning and the guidebook says train tickets need to be bought in advance we figured we’d better get onto sorting it. But first we detoured to look at the old city wall. Back at our accommodation they called the train station and checked the time of the train, and what time the ticket office closed. It closed at 4 and it was 3:30 so the guy that owned the place ran Emma down to get them giving her a Farsi lesson on the way. They got back just after 4 so we headed out to see what more we could see. We visited a big mosque that was very calm and tranquil.

IMG_0862We got back to our accommodation just as the sun was setting to find the Australian guy and a Chinese couple up on the roof of our accommodation. We headed up there, it was an awesome sight to look over the town with the mountains in the background. We reckon you could have walked the whole street on the rooftops as they were all interconnected. We discovered that our accommodation is next door to the historic house that we’d visited that afternoon, so we could have taken a shortcut as it is a good 5 minute walk to get to it via the backstreets.

For dinner we headed back to the same restaurant we’d had are tea stop in. The fact it has decent WiFi and our accommodation’s WiFi is rubbish was an extra incentive, a bonus was the food was decent.

Observations:

  • Everywhere has video cameras, hotels, the gardens, restaurants etc
  • Rosewater and rose oil is sold everywhere in Kashan

Click on any image to enlarge and scroll through


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