Historical beauty and more random kindness
Yazd Travel Blog› entry 394 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Julia (Russia)
The bus was 90 minutes late arriving into Yazd and as usual the taxi drivers were pestering us before we had even taken our bags out of the luggage compartment. The opening offers for a ride into town started at 20,000 Rials ($2), but we knew this was too much, so set off walking down the road. After 100 metres one driver caught up to us and agreed on 10,000 Rials ($1), which we knew was the right price. Saving a dollar may seem like no big deal, but when you add up all the dollars over a day and then divide it by 28 months, it really is a lot!
Sadly the couchsurfer we had arranged to stay with had not switched his phone on for the last couple of days, but we didn't mind staying in a hotel again, in fact it made a nice change.
By now it was 22.00 and we were both famished, so decided to go for a walk to see if we could find somewhere to eat. Leaving the Hotel we were confronted by the towering, nicely illuminated Jameh Mosque, with its 48 metre minarets dominating the evening skyline. A short walk took us past a Clock Tower and soon we arrived at a small eatery, where we wolfed down a burger and some salad, before heading home for an early night.
In the morning we took a walk to the Amir Chakhmaq Complex, passing the Jameh Mosque, Clock Tower and Hazireh Mosque on the way.
Whilst walking to Ateshkadeh, a Zoroastrian Eternal Flame, a young guy approached us and offered to walk us to the site. I certainly didn't mind the company and enjoyed our conversation. Once we reached the building, he said goodbye and went about his daily life again. Normally the site is closed and you need an appointment to visit, but we were lucky enough to find the door was open when we got there. Having taken a brief look around, we hid in the shade for five minutes to take a drink and eat some cookies.
The next place that we wanted to visit was also a Zoroastrian site, called the Towers of Silence and these were located 7 kilometres away in the South East of the City. This was too far to walk in the baking desert heat, so we stood by the roadside and tried to flag a taxi down. All of the drivers who stopped either asked for too much, or didn't even know the site, so we continued to wait. Eventually a car with two young men pulled up and offered us a lift and when i asked ow much it would cost, they said nothing, so off we went! In any other country i would know that there would be some sort of catch, but in Iran, i know that this is just the way the people are - incredible!
Neither guy could speak much English, but we managed to communicate through small talk, gestures and smiles.
Back at our Hotel, the attached restaurant served up Camel with potatoes and this was too good an opportunity to pass up on, so i had a portion for lunch. Julia settled for a less adventurous aubergine and vegetable stew, but it gave us some energy to head back out into the sapping heat. It made sense to pay the Jameh Mosque a visit, as it was so near and the interior was just as impressive as the exterior. The 15th Century structure had colourful mosaic tiles adorning most of the walls and roofs, and a handful of worshipers sat praying and reading the Koran in the cool airy space below the central dome of the Mosque.
Exiting into the maze of small alleys that form the Old City, we had no real idea of where we were heading. Twisting and turning we passed buildings topped with badgirs, which are traditional air conditioners for the houses.
Alexander Prison was located on a square next to the Tomb of 12 Imams and we went inside for a look. There wasn't too much to see other than a well, so we carried on to Khan-e Lari, a traditional house located a couple of streets away. Having been to Kashan's traditional houses, this place didn't impress me at all, although it was nice to stand in the shady courtyard and get some respite from the sun. From here we went to the Hosseinieh, where we climbed onto the roof for spectacular views across the Old Town. When we returned to the square at the bottom, we got chatting to a very nice Iranian guy, who had lived in America for a year and England for a month.
Back at the hotel we relaxed on the tea beds and ate some fresh grapes and pomegranates, before heading back to the Amir Chakhmaq Complex to see it lit up, which really was worth the effort, as it looked spectacular. On the way home we stopped off for a burger and ice cream, and went to bed before 22.00, as we had an early start the following day.
On Thursday we were up at 06.00 and having showered and packed, we checked out and caught a taxi down to the bus terminal. The 08.00 bus took us through a barren desert wilderness, as we made our way to Kerman.