Iran - Tehran - Kashad PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Thursday, 09 April 2009 10:04
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Day 22: Tehran to Kashad Sunday 14th October

Today's breakfast was by the far the best yet anywhere on the journey. Once again this hotel showed its four star status with a choice of juices, teas and coffee, cereals with a selection of raisons and dates, three types of eggs: fried, boiled or scrambled either plain or with mushrooms and sweet green peppers and a selection of melon to finish.

When we entered the early morning traffic jam and made our way to downtown Tehran the city had a better feel to it: a vibrancy that is missing at night. I asked our guide about my observations about the lack of a pavement culture and agreed. But early the in the morning the place buzzes with office worker and academics pitying their wits against the traffic. We made our way round the main bazaar and although it didn't exhibit the architectural features of the grand in Istanbul it was enormous taking the bus ten to fifteen minutes to circumnavigate it at a steady pace. Our guide announced we would very quickly get lost if we were allowed to walk round it. Some smart arse at the back quickly challenged his assumption saying 'you underestimate our map reading skills'.

After a few minutes we stopped to look at the ? Palace in central Tehran passing the various embassy but the British. Barry asked the guide if we could go and see the British Embassy, a strange request I thought for a Republican until he explained it stands on Booby Sands Street. The guide promised but it never materialised; we quickly skirt the station the starting point for trains to Europe, Russia, Azerbeijan and Pakistan, the old airport now military and eventual the Holy Shrine the resting place of the young martres of the Iraq Iran War and Aoyttolah Amenii before heading out into a barren landscape of hills.

After A short journey we arrived at the famous town of Kashan. Had a rushed dinner and then went with Vali our guide to visit the bazaar. At first it looked a bit disappointed until we made our way of the main passage. Firstly he took us to an old Persian baths which had a coffee shop/ restaurant with Zoe and Kate sat eating a traditional meal and chi. He then took us to a large central area with an absolutely beautiful large dome which unfortunately has been left to the effects of time. I was beckoned by an old man who had an antique shop on one of the corners beneath the dome. He wanted to show me coins mainly from the Shah of Parsia's period and The 1979 Revolution. I asked him if he had any older coins thinking a thousand year old. He nodded and pulled out a little round tin and handed me handful of very badly worn coins, two of which had been bastardised into pennants by adding silver hooks for chains. I asked him if they were very old and he nodded saying one hundred and fifty years old a thousand less than I had been led to believe. He told me I could have both for 250,000 rial and I bought them for my daughters. Had a they been very old I wouldn't have bought them because I object to objects of antiquity going out of their country of origin.

On our way back to the bus Vali managed to locate a chouda for Anne who has been looking since we entered Iran. As you know women must wear head gear and cover their shoulders, necks and legs in Iran. Anne has been wearing a thick scarf, jumper and skirt and has been very hot. As she tried the robes on it caused much interests especially from some young female teenagers who had to help Anne them properly because a man, including the stall holder who sold it us, is not allowed to touch a women. Even though she looked like other women walking about in traditional dress she obviously stood out because of the attention and looks she received from both men and women.

Once back on the road we entered a most amazing gorge which ran for many miles with a lush green floor of fruit trees and vegetables, a stream which disappeared underground now and then and the odd citadel on the hillside. Our hotel for the night was modern and stood at the top of a hill looking out over the barren countryside and a very old mud build village below. Our rooms were beautiful once again and there's no way we can complain about the accommodation so far. After booking in we made our way down the very steep hill to look at the village and immediately drew attention to ourselves by the fact we were there. This now well off the tourist trail. At first the village disappointed but then we were chaperoned by a young villager on leave from the army who took an instant attraction to Kate who does seem to charm the young men. He led us down some very dark street which led to an area consisting of newly made mud three story houses built into the very steep hillside. Running through the whole town is a water system of narrow canals running down the streets leading to a very beautiful wash house/ prayer room. As we attempted to photograph the interior we drew the attention of a very old little women with the most amazing voice. She looked and spoke for all the world like a witch straight out of Macbeth. She most have some power over the man who ran the washhouse because he immediately opened up and welcomed us in.

On making our way back to the hotel we encountered the lads playing young villagers at Volley Ball. Later we had a meal at the hotel which again consisting of soup, chicken and rice etc: this seems to be typical Persian faire. Again went to bed early, nothing to do but watch the lads playing a card game called spoons. Hotel doesn't have internet access. Becoming more and more difficult to get access that is fast enough to make it worthwhile persevering.


Last Updated on Thursday, 09 April 2009 10:26