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Iran – Discovering the Traces of Old Persia in the Islamic Republic – Abyaneh. Episode 6

Ladies in traditional Persian clothes

Our next stop after Kashan was the little village of Abyaneh. Abyaneh is considered to be a special village in Iran. It is one of the last settlements where the Middle Age Persian is still spoken, the traditional clothes are extremely colored in a country in which the black of the chador is considered the “right color”, furthermore, because of the location at the foot of an almost 4000 meters mountain, it is very chilly in the summer… So many Iranian tourists choose to run away from heat at Abyaneh. Do not imagine that you will find mega-hotels, ski lifts or any other wonders of the mass tourism. There are hotels, but in the new city, while the classic village continues to be inhabited by the locals in houses made of red mud bricks with two floors – in the winter they live on the ground floor, while in the summer at the upper floor, with roads full of meanders and with an air from another century.

The plan was to leave after lunch from Kashan, to stop en route to Abyaneh and then to arrive at night in Isfahan. This plan was impossible by public transportation, therefore we found a car, obviously with a driver.

After leaving Kashan, we also left the flat areas of the fields… Bald mountains appeared, eroded by the harsh climate of the Iranian plateau (here, during winter, the thermometer goes well below zero, while in the summer, the over 50 degrees temperatures are usual), a fascinating spectacle… And eventually the peaks of almost 4000 meters appeared, covered with snow…

The main road that ties Kashan to Isfahan passes a strategic objective, extremely sensitive and “hot” for a few years now – the underground laboratory of Natanz where it seems that there are thousands of centrifuges that enrich the uranium. “For nuclear bombs” is Israel thundering, an undeclared nuclear power itself. What is certain is that once we passed by the bunkers of Natanz, the driver told us nonchalantly that they are building the atomic bomb there. I don’t know how this place is defended,  I did not see anything more than some boys maneuvering some antique anti aircraft weapons… I simply hope for the life and the health of millions of so welcoming people that the anti aircraft defense is much more high tech and efficient than it seemed at first sight.

After the laboratory of Natanz, we turn right at the only crossroad after tens of kilometers of desert. We enter a valley full of vegetation – only in the desert you can truly appreciate properly the miracle of water and what this element means for life! Until the valley, we have passed through a dead and moonlike landscape, but now, together with the water, grass miraculously reappeared, the trees and human settlements as well… Plus the ruins of an antique fortress.

After some good kilometers, we finally reach Abyaneh… Firstly, the new city, with some hotels and guesthouses and eventually we reached the entrance in the old village – here we left our car at the entrance and took it by foot.

Tradition is the key word in Abyaneh. But also the tourism… The immense majority of the inhabitants are old women, toothless, of an extremely short height… The village’s basketball team would probably never pass an average height of 1.60 meters. But as short they are, as mean are the “witches” from Abyaneh. I think they are the most aggressive saleswomen I have ever seen in the entire world… But according to Lonely Planet “they take no prisoners”, so you can escape in good health if you entered a house in search of souvenirs.

Adriana tried some negotiations, failed however, so I was content in the end with the famous local brand (very local probably, as I have never seen this anywhere else inIran) – Cool Cola, imitating the logo of Coca Cola… Furthermore, the taste is lemon based, therefore, Cool Cola is a kind of Sprite!

Since we are talking about Coca Cola… You can imagine that in a country being under a strict American embargo, you will not find Coca Cola, only probably in special places at astronomic prices (I found Coca Cola even in Cuba, while Sprite was available in the restaurants for foreigners in North Korea)… My opinion? Rubbish… since the variations of Coca Cola are far more extended than in many European countries – in my country, Romania, there is no Fanta Light or Sprite Light, while in Iran, you could find it in the larger shops.

The walk through the village was pleasant… I saw the temple of the Zoroastrian fire temple (on the outside), we walked on little roads and we completed our tour at the mosque where they sell everything, including souvenirs and photo albums (in English as well!). We admired the houses resembling to citadels, they reminded me of Ait Benhaddou village from Morocco, with massive walls made however from strengthened mud. We even got ourselves lost through a beautiful blossoming apple orchard on the shores of the river. Over the river, there is also a deserted fortress, from where I suppose there was a beautiful panorama over the village, the valley and the surrounding mountains, but we didn’t make it until there in the end. The night was approaching and our friends had to be at a fixed hour in Isfahan in order to catch the basketball match from Romanian league between Sibiu and Ploiesti…. Oh these hobbies! And the miracle of internet that tells you what happens live from the sports arena in Ploiesti in the moment you are in Isfahan, in Iran!

On the way to Isfahan, we also stopped in the city of Natanz. Yes, the one with the centrifuges… Obviously that the enrichment plant is not situated in the middle of the city, but about 10-20 kilometers outside it, however in the city you can find a picturesque mosque, covered in shiny colored ceramic tile, providing a sample of the wonders of Isfahan.

We also caught a sublime sunset on the motorway, but a terrible traffic in Isfahan… After two peaceful and quiet days in Kashan or Abyaneh, we returned to “the real world” of furious car and motorcycle races from the Iranian cities… However, we will find some oasis of quietness in Isfahan. But about “Esfahan nes-fe Jahan” (“Isfahan is half of the world”), the pearl of Iran, in the next episodes…

Images of Abyaneh

 Abyaneh

To Abyaneh

Abyaneh

Abyaneh

The entrance in the village

Abyaneth: The temple of fire

Zoroastrian temple of fire

Abyaneh: locals

On the small alleys

Abyaneh

Cool Cola

Abyaneh

Abyaneh: Zoroastrian gods

Zoroastrian gods

Abyaneh

How is this holding?

Abyaneh: locals

What are you saying, girl, about these tourists?

Abyaneh

Through the apple orchard

Abyaneh: the village

The village of Abyaneh

Abyaneh

Abyaneh

Abyaneh

For sale

Abyaneh

To Natanz

Iran

The mosque of  Natanz

Natanz

Minaret detail

Abyaneh: Motorway

Sunset on the motorway

 

Până acum există "1 comentariu" la acest articol:

  1. Hossein taheri says:

    hossein natanz

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