Final Stretch


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Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan
April 23rd 2016
Published: May 8th 2016
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My time in Iran was quickly winding down. It was my final full day and we left Esfahan early, on our way to a historic village known as Abyaneh. The village itself has been in existence for the past 2500 years, back to a time where Zoroastrianism prevailed in this region. The village is situated about two hours north of Esfahan and is on a mountainside. Red sandstone is the main construction theme here and gives Abyaneh a distinct look. Predictably, many Iranian tourists could be found here. We walked the narrow alley ways and some of the locals were dressed in very traditional garb and were selling food and wares. Kurush, of course, gave us some historic pretexts about the place. I was then free to go around. The others with me decided on checking out a traditional tea house (traveling with English people so of course!) while I decided I much rather wanted to go out of the village so I could see what it looked like from a distance. I headed down the hill and then made my way up another hill that was the site of several mud ruins. The village looked amazing from this vantage point and I wasn't disappointed. I took some snaps and then headed back where I met everyone at the bus. They had waited a little extra for me but I figured it was worth it.

Our next stop was an hour north, the desert city of Kashan. Since there was so little time left, we went to a big restaurant for our usual late lunch, and then hit some sites. First up was Khajarid House which was a historic residence of this city. Then we to Amir Ahmad historical bathhouse, and learnt the history behind the man and of his fateful demise. Finally we went to see a place called Fin Gardens, which was near the hotel we would be staying at. By this point I was quite tired. Kurush dropped us at the hotel and everyone got their rooms and began to settle in. This was probably one of the best rooms I've had so far since I began traveling in January, and the frustrating thing was that I wouldn't even have a chance to sleep in it. My flight was at 0430 the following morning, but since Kashan was about three hours from the airport and since I had to arrive several hours earlier for my flight, I would be leaving the hotel and ten that evening. I took a shower and made sure to charge all my electronics. Then I went downstairs to an awesome chill zone that had a snooker table and hung out with Karl, Rebecca, Nicole and Vilina. We got on quite well and I would miss them. That's the reality of travel though; you meet people, get to know them pretty well in a lot of cases, and then leave them behind and vice versa as you all go your separate ways towards other adventures. Also I suck ass at snooker. I ordered a pizza for my final meal, and had to eat it quick since I had a cab waiting to take me all the way to the airport. I thanked Kurush for teaching me historical Iranian things, and he wished me to come back to Iran soon. Then I grabbed my stuff and we were off. On the way the cab driver, who didn't speak any English, stopped to buy snacks and gave me ice cream. Amazing!

My flight was slightly delayed and I had a long and tiring wait ahead of me. Immigration gave me a bit of a hard time getting out and my aerosol deodorant was confiscated which is not something you want to lose on a long journey ahead. But as I waited I realized that my time in Iran and quite incredible. Actually traveling here blasted so many preconceptions that I had previously formed about this place. The kindness and generosity of the people here was some of the best of I have ever experienced while traveling. That along with the interesting history of the country and the beautiful landscape and relics made this a truly great travel destination. Although I had to be part of a tour to come here, there were advantages to doing this. Mainly, there's no way I would have been able to see nearly as much on my own on such a tight time table, and luckily I still had some flexibility to go off on my own as well. I highly recommend Iran, it might be off the beaten path but very worth it.


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9th May 2016
Posing

Impressive portraits!
I'm amazed that women allowed you to take their photos and even posed for you! I'm generally too shy to take these, so I especially appreciate those who can. Too bad we Americans have to take tours there, but glad yours was a good one.

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