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Published: October 1st 2005
We leave Yazd early morning heading west for the last of the big cities on the tour - Esfahan. The familiar desert landscape is all around us, and to keep spirits up Mr. Bergman is assaulting me with a barrage of quotes from the spoof magazine Grönköpings Veckoblad
which is about as exciting as it sounds. Well, you've heard of the Esperanto language haven't you? I bet you didn't know that it has a cousin called Transpiranto
. And I bet you didn't know how to say "Prohibited to walk the park lawn". It's "Non stampas on Pampas". There you go, I'm afraid it is all that I can remember.
Crossing into Esfahan province we encounter the ruins of another caravansaray on the outskirts of Na'in. Parts of it are now in use as a camel pen. Outside we can see little puddles of water from the local qanat, one of the pools is full of tiny, tiny fish, not what you would expect to find in this part of the world. We meet a strange camel keeper who offers to let me pose with one of his seven months old baby camels, and Mr. Hoseyn takes the opportunity to start chasing
it. Apparently a seven month old camel has the advantage, and I soon give up the idea. Our next stop is in a small town where we visit an underground weavery. Walking down a small earthen stair we are standing in a dark and comfortably cool cellar which serves as the workshop for a number of weavers, each sitting in a small hole in the ground with their equipment around them. They are producing beautiful robes of the kind used by the mullas and I get to try one on. They are heavy and warm, and I wonder what it must be like walking around a whole day wearing one.
As we reach Na'in we stop to have a look at the old city and its now closed bazaar. Some buildings are only ruins, like the small citadel. The most beautiful building in the area is the Jame Mosque, but we don't linger too long, instead having our lunch and then spending most of the afternoon on the road to Esfahan. We arrive in the late afternoon to a massive five star hotel known as the Abbasi
. Its style is lavish but as with all hotels of its kind
Caravansaray ruins in the desert
Somewhere between Yazd and Na'in.
and size there is something missing about it; personality. We have dinner at the hotel restaurant, the usual kebab meat with a novelty for dessert -ice cream with saffron flavour. Farzaneh invites me to join her for a stroll to the nearby bazaar to pick up some things. We are back in the 21st century for sure, and nobody is paying any attention to the khareji (foreigner) here, which is in sharp contrast to being constantly stared at the past days. Ceasing to be a novelty is both relaxing and disappointing at the same time. I walk on my own to examine the bookshops in the square across the street of the hotel, and count no less than 12 shops, but the availability of anything readable for me is rather slim. My hopes of picking up a book about the Persian wildlife will have to wait.
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