Tehran bus terminal
After a days rest to help my lungs recover from the water pipe exercising, I decided to take a bus down to the town of Kashan. I was happy too, because it meant I got an opportunity to take Tehran's subway out toward the bus depot. The bus terminal reminded my of a sports stadium but I never did look inside because there was a bus already waiting to head south. I was a little disappointed that I would not see Qom although my friend assured me that because it is a city with many fundamentalists, I would not find it very interesting. Still...I hope I can check it out one day.
The drive to Kashan was relatively uneventful but I did notice the terrain became quite a bit drier and with the sun shining, it did feel noticeably warmer than Tehran.
Once in Kashan, we got off and with a little assistance were able to grab a local bus that would take us to our first place of interest, the famous Fin Gardens, representing an oasis in this desert city. As the local bus headed through the suburbs, I was amazed to see people camped out along the road, beside a flowing creek/drainage ditch. This was New Years, so I guess Iranians were taking advantage of getting outside and enjoying the nice weather with family. It seemed a bit strange to me to see this alongside a major road; tents were pitched and everything. But I guess in these conditions, you take advantage of any source of water and the refreshing mini-climate it offers whenever you can.
Kashan bus driver's assistant
The fact it was a holiday was most apparent at Fin Gardens where there was a lineup for tickets and entry into the beautiful site.
Despite the oasis setting, it was still quite dry as evident by the state of the vegetation. However, the beauty of the surroundings clearly painted a picture of green and extravagance when the wet season was on. It was a pleasure seeing so many Iranian families with their young children checking out the pools and baths and everyone was so very friendly. I even had one family ask to have my picture taken with them. This I found quite strange but my friend explained that it could be because they see few tourists recently and are grateful when they meet someone interested in their country and the people. I am not sure but I joked about being a celebrity in Iran, especially after the second incident with a group of young men. I had to chuckle….”How did they know I am not an axe-murderer?”
After the relaxing, despite the crowds, stroll through Fin Garden, we headed to town to have lunch.
However, it was a bit late and due to NoRooz, the one restaurant had no more food “How does a restaurant run out of food?” so we were finally forced to eat at a fast food place with some absolutely awful kebab pizza! From there we headed to the not so well known Sialik hills which represent the site of an ancient civilization. The “ruins” were not particularly inspiring although the site was interesting. However, what helped most was a very energetic student guide who was so enthusiastic to talk about the site, it was almost impossible not to be similarly captivated.
Entrance area to Fin Gardens
By the time we finished touring the hills and headed back it was near midnight when the bus returned to Tehran and I was definitely in need of a good sleep!