Two years and counting... Our second anniversary together

Kashan Travel Blog

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People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Hamid (Iran)

Departing the bus around 18.00, the usual cries of 'Mr Mr, taxi taxi' began to echo out, to which we politely replied 'No'. Today we had arranged with our couchsurfing host Hamid that he would come and pick us up, as long as we called him when we arrived. The only problem was how to find a phone, but we needn't have worried, as six Iranians were soon around us trying to help the lost looking Westerners with the huge backpacks. A nice young chap who spoke English won the right to let us use his phone first and having explained in Farsi where we were to Hamid, he gave us his phone number and said that if we needed any help or wanted to have Dinner with his family, then we should just give him a call.

Welcome to Kashan!

Having waited for half and hour with no sign of Hamid, the taxi sharks began to circle once again. After assuring them that we really didn't want or need a taxi, one of them insisted that we use his phone to call Hamid and see what was causing the delay. The news on the other end of the phone wasn't great, as Hamid had pranged his car and was having to fill out some police report forms. A short time after 19.00, the same driver came up to us, gestured for us to use his phone once more and when we declined, hit the redial anyway. From what we could gather, he began lecturing Hamid on why he shouldn't be leaving his important foreign guests alone for so long! He finally turned up a little after 19.
30 and drove us to his home, stopping to pick up his brother Hassan on the way.

After a quick guided tour of the house, we met Hamid's other brother and then looked through some photographs of Iran on his computer. Both Hamid's parents were in Tehran for a few days, so we ate some left overs from the fridge and sat in the living room chatting. Just before bed time two other couchsurfers turned up, a German girl and her obnoxious Polish boyfriend. I really disliked this guy from the word go and there was one main reason that got me particularly disgruntled. This was the fact that he'd had his personal organiser stolen and had decided to blame two Iranian girls that he had met in Kashan, who had kindly shown him around for a few hours.
He had no proof whether it was them and even admitted that it was just a hunch. He had not even seen it for the previous 24 hours before realising that it was missing, so anyone could have taken it, or he could have dropped it, but he didn't want to take any responsibility. As he had a photo of the girls on his camera, he took it to the Police and filed a report. The Police had then phoned the girls, who lived in Tehran but studied in Kashan, and demanded that they return to Kashan for questioning or risk arrest. The arsehole had then left Kashan and asked Hamid to go to the Police station to deal with the matter, whilst he went off enjoying himself travelling around Iran. He had returned this evening to see what had come from the situation and when he found out there was a police hearing for tomorrow, immediately said he couldn't stick around and must leave in the morning.
Rather than just dropping the matter he asked Hamid to go to the station to continue pressing charges! In Iran a girls reputation is about the most important thing that she has and this guy had ruined two of them on a whim � i really wanted to give him a slap, but instead i went to bed.

The next day we ate a light breakfast and went out sightseeing in the centre of the City. Leaving Hamid's house we were a little disorientated as to where we were, but a man on a bicycle helped to guide us to where Kashan's Historical Houses are located. The first one we entered was Khan-e Abbasian, which has six buildings containing several courtyards. It was enjoyable to walk through the rooms, which had some nice carved windows and plaster reliefs, although it was the decorative pools that really stood out for me.

The next house that we visited was Khan-e Tabatabei, which was built in the 1880's. Again it had several courtyards, each with ornate rooms set around central pools. Nearby was the Hammam-e Sultan Mir Ahmad, which is a traditional Iranian bathhouse. The interior was beautiful and after we had looked around, the guardian opened up a door that led to the roof and offered lovely panoramic views.

We decided to leave the area for the time been and return at sunset, when we understood the buildings would be illuminated. Making our way to Fin Gardens we passed the old City Walls and also met a nice man who offered to be our guide for free. We declined the offer on this occasion, as we thought it would be nice to relax in the gardens on our own. We caught a savari there as it was around 8km away and once inside hid away on a bench to eat some bread and crisps.
It always felt silly to be eating in secret like this, but with Ramadan still ongoing we didn't have much choice. The gardens were nice enough, with a little pavilion and a water channel running by that cooled the air a little.

Exiting from Fin Gardens we opted to go back to Kashan by foot and went by the Imamzadeh-ye Abu Lolou on the way. It was a tiring walk in the searing heat and i was pleased when we made it back to the centre. Looking for some respite, we headed to the covered bazaar and after walking around for some time got shown up to the roof. On top of the bazaar there were countless miniature domes, along with openings that gave an opportunity to look down on the people below. Equally appealing were the fine views across the City, with minarets, domes and badgirs appearing at regular intervals on the skyline.
On the way home we stopped at one of the traditional houses to watch the sunset, but found that it had already shut. Normally it stayed open longer, but due to Ramadan it closed before nightfall for the entire month.

Once home, we waited for Hamid for some time, but when he didn't show up we decided to go out and eat without him. Now it was dark, I expected the streets to be crowded and restaurants to be full, but it was more like a ghost town and there wasn't a restaurant in sight! Eventually we came upon a pizza shop that served a tasty 'special', which we had with a hamburger and Lemon Delster. As there is no alcohol in Iran, Delster is the non-alcoholic substitute for beer, which is quite refreshing, but i would rather stick to the real stuff! Back at home, we sat in the dining room with Hamid and chatted for a few hours before going to bed.

Deats says:
Thats just with Julia mate ;) The trip is into its 28th month!!! How did you like your trip, i guess you are back home now? I need to check out your blog, but internet in Iran goes at snails pace!
Posted on: Sep 19, 2008
JeAr says:
has it been?!? u're the man, Phil!!! :D
Posted on: Sep 18, 2008
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photo by: Biedjee