Day 71 (3): Like kids in a candy store (well, ice house in fact)
Meybod Travel Blog› entry 100 of 260 › view all entries
June 15th, 2010 – by: Biedjee
Meybod was the next town on our trip and the main attraction of the day tour. The town boast a nice, 1800 year old centre, made from mud bricks that is still inhabited (like Yazd, but with less tourists) as well as several attractions.
Here we had a very nice lunch in an old, restored caravansary (Meybod was one day's travel by camel away from Yazd and an important stop over on the silk road).
The major attraction is the ruin of a mud-brick citadel in the middle of town. Part of this citadel has been restored, while another part is left to crumble (and since this morning we knew just how fast these mud brick buildings tend to crumble).
Another interesting place was the pigeon tower. Back in the old days pigeons were kept at large scale. Not so much for postal service, like in neighbouring Turkey, but for fertiliser. Pigeons have the habit of always returning to the same nest, so these giant towers were built housing thousands of pigeons, producing hundreds of thousands of kilos of, erm, well, fertiliser!
One of these towers has been restored and occupies an awkward spot in the front yard of a police station. Awkward because it is not allowed to take photos of police stations, police cars, police men or basically anything that has something to do with police (or army, or government, etc). And what do people do when they come across a restored ancient structure? Right!
Now I have no idea which genius decided to open a police station at this spot, but we were given very clear instructions that we could only shoot photos of the pigeon tower at a certain angle, so that no part of the police station building would be in the photo.
But the highlight was the restored ice house. Back in the days before electricity the only way of refrigeration in order to keep food fresh in the scorching desert was to collect ice in winter time and keep it frozen during summer. These huge double-layered domes can be found all over Iran and they worked surprisingly well. In winter snow would be gathered and compressed into ice. The ice would be covered with earth and the entrance would be sealed and the ice would stay frozen throughout the summer. No one has been able to explain to me how the people would get to their frozen food behind a sealed door and under a layer of earth, but I am sure they had a way.
But the impressive building and interesting story behind its use weren't the reason why we'd call this a highlight.
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