Tag: Kashan

Kool Kashan

The village of Nushabad, where my small apartment was, has underground cities. (which I never got to see!) The taxi driver Saleh, took me back to Kashan, early the next morning. He had been told by my host to spend the day with me, but since he spoke NO English I dismissed him as kindly as possible.

Kashan was impressive. So many really old houses which are slowly being restored. As soon as I entered the first museum house, I was asked for a selfie, I ” snarled” that they could take one and then leave me alone! Oops! This is very unusual for me, I am friendly most of the time, then I realised I had nothing to eat since lunch the day before. I needed a coffee and some food. By sheer luck I found “Mister Coffee”, a trained barista, who just opened his shop only ten days ago! Iranian omelette and two cups of wonderful coffee later I felt human!

I visited Khan-e-Boroujerdi, which was stunningly beautiful with its six sided, domed badgirs, and frescoes painted by the famous Iranian painter, Kamal al-Molk, of the VIP blob. khan-e-Tabatabaei, which is renowned for its intricate stone reliefs and lastly Khan-e- Abbassian which has many courtyards. Then I wandered into the Hammam Sultan Mir Ahmad, which was build over five hundred years ago!

I wandered around the ancient bazar, where trading has been going on for over eight hundred years! It was beautiful, and compared to the bazar in Tehran, very quiet. Shopping is a main past time, especially just before No Ruz, the Iranian New Year.
My host ignored all the messages and calls until seven at night. Again, no dinner, but luckily I had a fabulous cheese cake with my superb coffee, so I wasn’t really hungry. He did stop at a stand so I could buy some bananas, where I met a lovely young fellow, who had lived and worked in Germany. So a good time to practise my German!

The next morning, after a lot of hassle, I finally got the taxi driver to drop me of at the same place as yesterday, as I had booked a tour, which would take me to Isfahan, and drop me of in front of my hotel. This tour took me to the old picturesque village of Abyaneh. It is at the foot of Mt Karkas (3899) . It is a warren of steep, twisting little streets, red mud brick houses that are deteriorating rapidly. The houses have lattice windows and lovely little balconies. The men and women still dress in their traditional clothing. I was on a tour with a lovely young Dutch man, rather than the French couple, which I was told would come with me.

After about two hours of walking we visited the old mosque Masjed-e Jameh, built in the early 14 th century. Our taxi driver had to be taught, very early in the trip, NOT to use his mobile! And after several prompts, he got my drift! He would pull over to use his phone! Well, done, ineke!! I arrived at the Iran Hotel at four thirty, and thought I was in heaven!! Great room, friendly English speaking staff and a very, very hot shower to ease my aching bones! Welcome to Isfahan or Esfahan! The city of MAGIC!

Ouchy Couchy

Couch surfing in Kashan! My host, Javad, met me at the bus stop, hurried me through lunch to take me to the Bagh-e-Fin gardens with a group of his English students. A very scary exercise as he used his mobile phone all the way, to film me, to look for music, to text! This by the way is extremely common, but terrifyingly scary. The traffic being mad as it is without the added complexity of mobile phone!

Bagh-e-Fin Gardens were beautiful. It is the place where the martyr Mirza Taqi Khan, better known as Amir Kabir was killed or killed himself. History is a bit vague on the how and what exactly happened. Either way he ended up dead. The water at the gardens comes from a seven thousand year old spring, it is luke – warm. I wished it was boiling hot so I could sit in it for hours.

Just before I left home, I had a fall off my bike, same as I did three years ago. (My father would say it is stupidity, to make the same mistake twice! )But due to this stupidity I am in a lot of pain. A hot soothing bubble bath is just what my inner doctor would order! Not so. I ate my very first pistachio ice cream. Have I told you about the Iranian ice cream?? I could do a whole blog about it! Last night I had saffron ice cream and tomorrow I hope to eat SPAGHETTI ice cream! REALLY,! In’shallah!

The worst things in Iran are, the traffic, I might have mentioned that before, the money, it has so many zeros, but people say fifteen when they mean a hundred and fifty thousand!! The official money is rial but people tell you the price in toman! Just to make sure it is even more confusing! Luckily people are really honest.the taxi driver whom I gave five hundred thousand to, gave back my money, went through my wallet to find the fifty thousand note. Personally I would suggest to drop at least five zeros, and call the money by just ONE name. Now there is rial, but people call it toman all very confusing!

The thing I hate the most is the request for selfies, hundreds, no thousands in a day! I have spoken to other people in the hotel who don’t have this problem, but with my blue eyes I resemble Angelina Joli, ah, the weight of fame! All young women want selfies with me and put them on Instagram!

Now I have been introduced to Insta- gram by my daughter, who sat me down for a serious talk about the facts of life! She has been running my Instagram account for the last year, but I am now considered old enough to do it myself. Another bloody thing to do on top of e -mail, Facebook and TripAdvisor!! And of course my famous blob! It all feels terribly like homework to me!!My next trip is certainly going to be without any gadgets! Although to be fair, here EVERYONE has Insta, as they call it. It is rather hard to get onto Facebook as it is blocked by the government. It is worth for American apple products. I need an app called VPN on my i pad to get to Facebook!!

Okay, after I was relieved from the papparazie, I was taken to an English school. For just ” half an hour” which turned into over two hours. I was exhausted! At least I could understand this English teacher, but he had some ” strange” expressions. He asked me if I was knackered! I nearly fell of my chair! I WAS knackered ,but that is NOT how to ask an elderly woman how she feels! I wish he had left the room, there were seven woman there and we would have had a lovely chat about womanly things. Instead the women had to ” intuit” what kind of a person I was! Very judgemental!! The next class was beginners and was lovely.

By now I am completely ” knackered” to stay in the local language. I was then taken to a friend’s house where I was told to draw a picture for their eight year old child, as there was a city wide competition and if I drew it, she would win! Duh?? I offered to help the little girl, which impressed no one! Then music was put on and I was ordered to dance! Since I have never , ever, done anything in my life, that others have ordered me to do, I said NO, this went down like the proverbial. I am NOT performing monkey! It was now nine thirty, no dinner, up since five am. Totally ready to go home to bed.

My host drove me out of town!! What the……..? Nine kilometres later of horrific driving and texting, I arrived at my small independent apartment. It was eleven o’ clock!! Still NO food!! Thank god for some small mandarins and biscuits left from the bus trip. I washed some clothes and at twelve thirty I was ready to drop.

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