The big day was finally here, Persepolis was going to be mine (I mean for my visit). As usual, I left things to the 11th hour and went around during breakfast asking if anyone was willing to accompany me when i realized the ride would burn quite a hole in my pockets.
Time for some real Yazd exploration. I checked out and left the bag at the reception assuming the day could be wound up by noon and that Shiraz seemed a possibility to reach by night. Clearly, I was wrong.
The breakfast was a nice spread and the amount of orange juice I drank must have put my other love, beer, to jealousy.
Day 11 – 1st August, 2016
All the money i saved for shopping will now vanish into thin air – Shiraz it is baby! Well, there’s more, the reason i came to iran for, Naqsh-e-rustam, also brings me here.
The bed was so comfortable that I woke up by 10 and the dining table’s chair was so comfortable that I had an extended breakfast. Well, the former is true, the latter was because I spent time talking to a French lady who was quite familiar with India, her arts and had also learned bharatnatyam!!
Day 8 – 29th July, 2016
I could not sleep beyond 930 despite wanting to, the room was just too damn warm. Breakfast was decent and Reza came with a surprise. It seems there was a funeral of some dead soldier to be held, which was apparently a sight. I didnt understand much of what he said but decided to check it out for myself.
Day 7 – 28th July, 2016
I checked out leaving the plump guy at the reception with a big smile and some of his business cards to market his hostel! I was pretty unsure whether to head to Yazd or Na’in or Varzaneh. I was anyway going to the first, 2nd was an option, the 3rd a spontaneous choice. So i got on the local bus heading to J Terminal from where inter city buses could be found for all 3.
Day 5 – 26th July, 2016
Late and lazy start but with clear objectives unlike the previous day…Naqsh e Jahan square it was. With my water bottle loaded and backpack tightened to hug me close, i set off like a toddler.
Day 6 – 27th July, 2016
Started a bit late and took the bus to visit Monar Jonban, the shaking minarets, outside the city. The bus cost 10K one way and the entrance, no surprises there…200k!!! And the worst part, you cant even get a glimpse of how it looked like, just in case you wanted to turn back and head elsewhere. In i went and man was it unimpressive. Every 90 minutes, a guy climbs up to one of the minarets, wedges himself between that and a wall and rocks it by pushing against his feet. You can hear some bells ring and see both the minarets shake, which fortunately coincided when i went. No doubt this was an architectural marvel no doubt. Then i contemplated going to the fire temple which was a few kilometres down the same road but decided against it as meant a 1.5 km climb from the foot. And my foot i was going to do that in the scorching heat, also the experience of the previous fire temple near Kashan dissuaded me.
I was back to the city and meanwhile Behnam, my friend from the previous evening had invited me over for lunch which i graciously accepted. He messaged me his location and I was headed there. I got off at the right place but the address was confusing and took me a while to find out where he lived but he was down by then to receive me. We picked up some veggies and eatables before heading home. He had a pretty spacious and clean apartment, shared with someone who was not in town.
He cooked something with tomato puree + mushrooms + onions and we had it with bread, pretty damn good lunch it was. We chatted mostly about Indian customs as he was rather inquisitive and curious to know our side of the story on daily life. So i ended up giving a discourse on everything from marriage to religion to food and blah. He worked at the cafe and was to graduate sometime soon while his folks lived somewhere in the northern part of the country. He was pretty well travelled within Iran and is someone you could safely count on for getting advise about Iran. All in all a lovely host and a better friend had been found. We departed by 5 as he had to get to work while i made my way to the square where i spent over 3 hours people watching and writing what you are reading right now.
I packed up and was on my way to see the bridges.
Grabbing a rather heavy falafel on the way, i reached the Khaju bridge first which had been lit up and looked much better now than earlier. Moving on, next stop was the si-o-se-pol bridge which was even more beautiful. I sat for a while before the mosquitoes drove me back to the hostel.
Stay: Amir Kabir Hostel
Price: 15 USD / night
Monar Jonban – entrance 200K
Khaju Bridge – free
Si o se pol bridge – free
Day 4 – 25th July, 2016
The decision on where to go next was made while handing over a 50 rupee note during check out when the receptionist asked if i had any indian currency (they had a large pin up of notes from across the world). Rewind…I woke up supremely confused whether to chill during the day and leave for Maranjab caravanserai to spend the night under the stars or head to Abyaneh, one of the most important on my list of to-dos and proceed to Isfahan.