Blogs from Kashan, North, Iran, Middle East


Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan November 11th 2016

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. For 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 ... read more
Our room
Door knockers

Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan April 23rd 2016

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 ... read more
Old Man
Abyaneh Village

Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan October 15th 2014

My morning's sightseeing Masjed-e Agha Borg; free entry and almost directly opposite Ehsan. It was wide open and virtually deserted. Another imposing mosque- very open air. I have pretty much run out of adjectives to describe the mosaic works- this one is as impressive as most. One thing that is a bit different here is that a lot of the mosaics are nature based- lots of bird depictions, lots of flowers. There is also some renovation work going on- pillars look to be being restored with painting and tile work. Another point of difference is the sunken courtyard- it is apparently a males only zone, there is also a 1st floor level so it looks to be a 3 level mosque. I was pretty keen to try to access the roof but couldn't find anyone to ... read more
Masjed-e Agha Bozorg
Masjed-e Agha Bozorg
Masjed-e Agha Bozorg

Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan October 14th 2014

Last night's Tango equals this mornings very friendly international communal breakfast. We all seem to have emerged for breakfast at the same time. The Ambassador and her partner and Brigitta and Jasmine are heading off on a day trip and I have arranged a car to get me to Kashan via Abyaneh and Natanz. A bus would be a cheap option but this way I get to see another 2 places on my list and get to Kashan in time to see some of it. I managed to get the last room at Ehsan Historical House (a tiny (=cheap)one on the roof- "am I ok with climbing ladders" the receptionist asked- sounds cool IMO) after ringing around a couple of places that are completely full. I tell Jasmine about it and it transpires that this is ... read more
Masjed-e Jameh Natanz
Masjed-e Jameh Natanz
Masjed-e Jameh Natanz

Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan May 17th 2014

Sialk Hill (Tappeh-e-Sialk) Kashan, the city of contrast between the parched immensities of the deserts and the greenery of the well-tended oasis. There are many old beautiful houses and also Fin garden there. You need at least 2 days to visit Kashan. Sialk hills are located in the Kashan. it is almost inside the city and you can take a taxi for 1-2 euro to go there. Sialk Hill, is the remains of an ancient city, with the world's oldest zigurat in the world from 7500 year ago belonging to the Elamite civilization. The site is still under excavation. Based on archeological investigations carried out by both the French and Iranian teams, 6 cultural periods were differentiated in ancient hills of Sialk. The remains of people who used to live there can be seen. In the ... read more
She was 10 years old!
Pottery vessles
The view of Kashan city

Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan May 9th 2014

Today was all about houses. Visiting old mountain houses in the city of Abayaneh, touring rich merchant houses in Kashan, and reclining with a belly-filling plate of Kebab in house-turned-restaurant. The home is an important part of Iranian culture, and today we hoped to get an insight into what those homes looked like ... well, what they used to look like, since we were visiting historic homes. Abayaneh is a Zoroastrian village up in the mountains that is fast dwindling into a retirement home. The young folks have long left the red-mud village and headed into the city, leaving behind ailing parents who eke out a living entertaining tourists with their quaint old village. Folks still dress in traditional Zoroastrian garb (or at least they do when the tourists are watching) and live in traditional red ... read more
Abayaneh local in traditional Zoroastrain garb
Kashan - enjoying lounging in our traditional hotel

Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan June 29th 2010

Sa-lam again from Iran and chet-ou-rey? - how are you? I’m having a wondrous time here in Iran, this place ticks all of the boxes; good weather, layers upon layers of history with accompanying ancient ruins, inquisitive people, friendly people, hospitable people, that happened to be rather oppressed because of a culture dictated by religious fundamentalisms and utterly foreign to a Western traveler like myself. I’m in my element. Travelling south from Tehran on a modern Volvo coach I headed for the town of Kashan, bypassing the city of Qom. Why? Its where the hard-line mullahs who run Iran all live and thus is a conservative place for anyone to stay. When I say conservative I mean unsmiling sombre mullahs in beards and robes walking around and women covered form head to toe in black chadors ... read more
Kashan mansion

Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan March 7th 2010

Back in Iran... Tehran-Kashan-Esfahan-Yazd. More pictures to come ... read more
...and the road goes on
mmmmm the free goodie box on the bus
...and its contents

Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan October 19th 2009

The highlight of my Monday morning in Tehran was a visit to the local English class. A handful of students were very excited to meet a native English speaker, and I was more than willing to help them practise their skills. After this Corrine and I met some more of Reza's freinds - local tailors, operating from a small shop down a side street. A minah bird bobbed around in a cage suspended from the ceiling. I travelled back to the centre of Tehran - Essie (Ismail) from the train gave me a lift and offered a bed for the night at his more-central address. Near there I had a frustrating session in the cafenet (internet cafe) which was dial-up slow, and of course Facebook is banned in Iran (not sure I will cope without Facebook...). ... read more
Majid with the London carpet
With Hamid
The president

Middle East » Iran » North » Kashan July 3rd 2008

After two days spent in Kashan on the way back to Tehran I was ready to face the big smoke again. But it was not to be for as long as I imagined.... Kashan is famous for its traditional 'houses', clustered together on a few streets just outside the city centre. Many of these 19th century Qajar style palaces built by Kashan's great and good, are now empty and echoing, lit by delicate stained glass windows, the light hitting the faceted mirror decoration. Once large extended families as well as their legions of servants would have lived here. I visited the Khan-e Abbasin and the Khan-e Tabatabei. The houses are set round a series of courtyards, demarcating private and public spaces. The Khan-e Tabatabei was built by a rich carpet seller who used the public side ... read more

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