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Yazd’s Zoroastrian Past Temple

Fire Temple - a Modern Zoroastrian Shrine, Yazd, Iran

Fire Temple – a Modern Zoroastrian Shrine, Yazd, Iran

Who has ever seen a fire that has been burning for 4.000 years? We did when visiting the the Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd. This eternal flame is said to have survived all this time and even the transfer from different temples. Flickering brightly behind a glass barrier – so it would not be polluted by human breath – it is the only attraction inside the simple building. The entrance is adorned with a winged figure, a few scripts and photos on the wall of the viewing room are the only décor. Continue Reading →

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Caravanserai On The Silk Road

Robat-e Zayn al-Din Caravanserai, build by the Safavid government of Kerman on the Silk Road, Yazd, Iran

Robat-e Zayn al-Din Caravanserai, build by the Safavid government of Kerman on the Silk Road, Yazd, Iran

Zein- O – Din Caravanserai is a two-days camel ride outside of Yazd. In spring 2014, we covered the distance in a bit more than an hour – by car. Those ancient resting and trading places were built every 30 km, we were told. All of them were fortified with a high robust windowless wall. This was necessary, since the riches the caravans were carrying attracted intruders. Continue Reading →

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Yazd – Catching The Wind

With 34 meters the highest Windtower or Badgir in Yadz, in Dolatabad-Garden, Yazd, Iran

With 34 meters the highest Windtower or Badgir in Yadz, in Dolatabad-Garden, Yazd, Iran

Old Yazd is a maze of mud brick houses all interconnected by passages that once used to be the alleys of an extended bazaar. Nowadays most shops are deserted and motorbikes noisily ride through the passages avoiding the traffic outside. Yazd can be extremely hot in the summer months, but ancient architects had a solution ready: Badgirs, or wind catchers on the roofs. These little towers on top of a building have slits on all four sides to catch the wind, take it down into the house, while the hot air is sucked out through the same system. At affluent households the incoming air was further cooled by a small pool of water, also moisturizing the bone-dry air. Continue Reading →

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Na’In – Bartering A Carpet For Our Canon EOS D7

In Na'InThe excellent Tourist Inn and two or three places of interest make this small town a perfect stop over for tour busses on the way to Yazd. We gave the place a closer look since an Austrian friend had raved about it.

With little time at our hands, we decided to contact a free lancing guide, who was recommended in the Lonely Planet. Within 30 minutes he showed up, stuffed us in his car (two German Backpackers joined us) and off we went to Masdje–e-Iman, with 1.300 year one of the oldest mosques in Iran. Particularly interesting was the underground praying room for the hot summer months, lit by three alabaster stones in the ceiling. Continue Reading →

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Iran – Hospitality At The Highest Level

In Teheran, Iran

In Teheran, Iran

It’s the people! Our enthusiasm for Iran was fuelled by the incredible warm welcome we received EVERYWHERE we went. People went out of their way to help, get us a hotel room, a seat on a bus, a taxi when arriving late at night. Never did we feel overcharged, not even by taxi drivers, the notorious guild to rip off newly arrived tourists. Continue Reading →

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Pigeon Towers

Pigeon tower, Esfahan

Pigeon tower, Esfahan

The outside of this terracotta colored circular tower would never give away their very purpose – ancient guano factories. The inside is intriguing, a dazzle of geometrical patterns, a maze of corridors, floors and levels that make you feel lost easily. But the birds feel comfortable and clean. Each one has its small cubicle and when sitting on the roosts, the droppings fall straight onto the floor. All this is still intact, but only a few odd pigeons reside here now. Nothing compared to the 4.000 pigeons that would live in each of those once 300 towers. Nowadays, only a couple of these guano producers are left. Continue Reading →

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Esfahan’s Water Issue

Allahverdi Khan Bridge, also known Se-o-Se Pol, Esfahan, during the day, with the dried Zayandeh River, Esfahan, Iran

Allahverdi Khan Bridge, also known Se-o-Se Pol, Esfahan, during the day, with the dried Zayandeh River, Esfahan, Iran

The truly sad story about Esfahan is the dried up Zayandeh River. Its riverbed does not even show a small puddle, making beautiful old bridges like Se-O-Se Pool Bridge rest in a dire-looking flat terrain of gravel. Why is that? The precious liquid is diverted upriver, around the area of Yazd, watering pistachio farms and used for making tiles (the desert sand providing unlimited material to do so) in the many factories around Yazd. Of course the lack of rain has added to the problem. Continue Reading →

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Can I Take A Picture With You?

In Kashan, Iran

In Kashan, Iran

Iranians love taking photos of themselves, their family, famous sights and above all of foreigners. This reminded of our travel through southwestern China where Gilles became the photographic object of desire of young Chinese women. In India Heidi was frequently asked to pose with large families. What a blessing to have such freedom in an Islamic country where it can be truly touchy to take pictures, especially of women. Continue Reading →

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Christian Julfa

The Place To Go Out In Esfahan

Holy Savior Cathedral, or Vank Cathedral or The Church of the Saintly Sisters, in the Armenian District Jolfa of Esfahan, Esfahan, Iran

Holy Savior Cathedral, or Vank Cathedral or The Church of the Saintly Sisters, in the Armenian District Jolfa of Esfahan, Esfahan, Iran

The Armenian Quarter, Julfa, is where we ended up staying in Esfahan, by sheer incident. All the hotels closer to the center were booked, only the Julfa Hotel had rooms. How lucky we were! This neighborhood has an almost Mediterranean flair: small alleys all lined with trees, cafés and chic restaurants. Throngs of young people stroll the sidewalks and the girls are super stylish, dress elegantly and are so very pretty. Trendy clothes shops that would never make you guess of where you are. Obviously Iranians dress – especially women – very differently in private. Continue Reading →

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