Day 72 (1): The most beautiful garden in Iran (...is not a Persian garden)
Mahan Travel Blog› entry 102 of 260 › view all entries
June 16th, 2010 – by: Biedjee
As we exited the bus from Kerman we were greeted by Hossein, an Iranian guide I had been in touch with for the past two weeks. I had e-mailed him for information on tours into the Kaluts desert. Despite not being the best season to visit the desert, I really wanted to do an overnight trip there. Michael was keen on doing this as well, so we had been planning this trip for tomorrow.
Then yesterday Hossein had send me an e-mail saying that he had to do his tour guide exam on Friday morning, so it would be impossible for him to do the trip on Thursday night. If needed, he could arrange a friend to do the trip instead.
On the bus we had another look at our planned schedule for Kerman and surroundings and suddenly we got the idea to change everything around. We had been planning to visit the towns of Bam and Rayen as a long daytrip. But today seemed to be a lost day anyway, so we figured we might as well continue travelling and stay in Rayen tonight. That way we could visit Bam tomorrow, come back to Kerman tomorrow and do the Kaluts tour on Friday night. I love it when a plan comes together!
Upon hearing our plans Hossein immediately offered to drive us to Rayen tonight, via the town of Mahan. We thought about it.
After he helped us sort out our onwards transportation for Saturday, we set off in his car, a Paykan, of course (“it is my friend's”, he explained, “I have a better car when we go to the Kaluts”)
We drove to the small town of Mahan, 35 kilometres south-east of Kerman, which is primarily a summer retreat for Kerman's wealthy (of which there are quite a few, as we would later learn). There are two attractions in this town, which merit a visit.
The first of the two is the Aramgah-e Shah Ne'matollah Vali. A mausoleum, for a change, however, with one with a twist.
After visiting the mausoleum we went to the Barg-e Shahzde, a lovely green garden in the middle of the arid desert. It is a wonderful place and we both liked it immensely. Several people had pointed out to us that this garden is not a Persian garden though. Yes, it made use of qanats for irrigation, but the design was more European than Persian. Perhaps that was the reason why we liked it so much, after all, we had already concluded that Iranians and tourists do not always like the same things.
We had a nice tea here and took a few dozen pictures. Once the sun started to set we went on our way again.
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