Kashan, Abyaneh and the Nuclear facility

05th of August 2017 ​(14 Mordad 1396), 39°C, clear sky and no wind. Left Tehran on a bus to Kashan (4€) at 6pm, around 9pm was arriving at the 7000 years old city.

This time I didn’t manage to find a Couchsurfing host, therefore had to stay at an Hostel called Shirin, that was shamefully advertised using Couchsurfing, but that was in the end good value for money, 5€ for a nice bed (the first in weeks), hot shower and breakfast. Of course it was no coincidence that there were two wonderful Sufi Marrocan girls (Sara and Salma) staying there, with whom I talked for a couple of hours about my unsuccessful quest for Sufism, particularly in Konya (Turkey) and in Tabriz (Iran). They had been and were going back to Yalova (Turkey), where one of the biggest Sufi gatherings is happening till the 23rd of August (more information here). How amazing is that?

​​06th of August 2017 ​(15 Mordad 1396), 38°C, clear sky and no wind. Dreamt about my father… Today would be the 56th anniversary of his body, in case it would still be alive… 

That morning Mohsen, the friendly manager of Shirin hostel, guided me on a tour around the city’s historical houses (combined ticket 10€). Sultan Amir Ahmad Hamam, a public bathhouse from the 16th century (Safavid period) smartly designed and decorated with gorgeous turquoise and golden tiles. 

Sultan Amir Ahmad Hamam

Tabatabaei house, a 5000m² property from the 19th century with forty well decorated rooms and four beautiful gardens, that belonged to a wealthy trader in the carpet field.

Tabatabaei house

Abassi house, which is another great exemple of Kashan 18th century residential architecture and presents several smart solutions to keep the rooms fresh during the hot summers, such as windtowers and water canals, amongst others. These houses were prepared to host big caravans traveling the silk road.

Abassi house

For lunch we had a tasty kashk o bademjan, eggplant and yogurt purée. After which went to visit the overrated and overpriced (5€) Fin garden, the place where the Safavid kings used to spend their vacations, allegedly one of the most beautiful and important Iranian gardens, designed in 1574 based on a symbolic idea of heaven, devoting attention to water in a place surrounded by desert.

kashk o bademjan
Fin garden

Afterwards went to what should be the number one attraction in Kashan, the 7000 years old Sialk ziggurat, one of the first human permanent settlements on Earth, thought to be associated with the Zayandeh river culture. Sadly it is in fact closed and practically abandoned! Since my visit to the Babak Castle (that you can see here) that I’ve been having this feeling​ that everything not related to conservative Shia Islam is not worth preserving for the Iranian State…

Sialk ziggurat

On the way back to town nothing better than a khakeh shir o tokhmeh sharbati (teff and basyl seeds) juice to wash the bitter taste in my mouth. 

khakeh shir o tokhmeh sharbati 

After a tour in the Bazaar had a kebab for dinner and went back to the hostel.
During that day while visiting an ordinary mosque I came across this fine example of anti-Western propaganda…

Anti-Western propaganda

​​07th of August 2017 ​(16 Mordad 1396), 39°C, clear sky and no wind. Happy birthday to my little cousin Sofia! Not so happy day for me, spent the night throwing up due to food poisoning (I guess), the first of my trip, thus decided to stay around the hostel the whole day…

​​08th of August 2017 ​(17 Mordad 1396), 37°C, clear sky and no wind. It has been three years since my father’s mission in this world finished… I can feel his Energy all around but I still miss his hug…
Left Kashan early in the morning on a tour (6€) to Abyaneh together with three Spanish friends that I had met at the hostel. Abyaneh is an historical mountain village composed by houses made of red clay and women wearing the traditional colourful headscarfs. Once again I found it overrated and focused on the wrong things, the 2500 years old Zaraostrian Harpak (Fire Temple) or the Sufi Khanqah (gathering place) were completely despised.

Abyaneh panoramic view
Abyaneh detail

The most surprising part of the tour was driving right next to this huge fenced facility sorrounded by anti-aircraft artillery and the driver saying in a very relaxed way “Oh, that’s Natanz Uranium Enrichment Plant, my brother works there. He is an engineer and he earns a lot of money, but he can’t have children… Too much radiation…” Wow! (More details here).

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