Iran: Yazd

After a afternoon bus from Esfahan, about 5 hours, I made it to Yazd and to one of the more cool hostels I have stayed in – The Silk Road. If u ever come here make sure u give this place a look. Cheapo 40,000rial/night dorm beds to some apparently nice “proper” hotel rooms. The best part about the place is the friendly staff and a very chilled out courtyard open area, where u can sit around, drink tea & pretend beer, meet other travellers.

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Funny story, when I stayed at the Amir Kabir hotel in Esfahan the staff advised everyone to be careful of some snatch & grab people in town – they burn along on their motorcycles and rip ur bag off u. Well i didn’t see anything anywhere close to this. The funny part is that when i arrived at the Silk Road I met the girl who this security advice has risen from! Poor young Australian girl Yolly! Yolly was unfortunate enough to have her bag with passport, cash, camera, ipod etc.., nabbed from her!

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Yolly, Tobi & I were fortunate enough to meet Bez, an Iranian dude who’d been living out of Iran for the past 23 years in Hungary & Australia. This dude loves Australia. We met Bez in Dakhmeh, Yazd, whilst checking out the towers of Silence – great view from up there!
Bez & his cousins invited us to come to their place in Maybod the next day, to drink a little Iranian vodka and get a taste of uni life!

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We ended up making it to Maybod – driving way to fast through a heavy sand storm, took a little tour with Bez and his cousin Amir around Maybod and then spent the night at Amir’s place with his uni mates playing table tennis, playstation and talking about all things Iran. Interesting to get the well off uni student pov on things. And very cool to drink some Iranian vodka! How naughty! Apparently it is ok to drink, just only in ur home, and u have to smuggle it around in a water bottle from Tehran.

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What else did we do in Yazd? Well the plan was to do a ‘desert tour’, but most of the travellers said it wasnt really worth the 210,000 rials, and i figured I will hopefully get to see some real sandy desert when i get over to Egypt/Jordan eventually. Hmmm, what did we do?… Walked around the old city (getting invited in for tea and a view from the roof of one family), ate a camel burger, drank tea and waxed philosophical about life & religion – what else to do when there’s no real beer around.

Iran: Esfahan

“Hello hello, where are you from?”
The catchcall of this stint in Iran.
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In the first day in Esfahan I think Tobi & I must have met 15 people and some of them we chatted with for hours. Within minutes it seems people are pretty keen to get onto talking about religion and the government. Most people seem to miss the freedoms of the Shah days and see Islam as a connection between them and their god and not something that should be used by a government.

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What about the sites? Well the Imam Square and mosque were great, a walk over the bridges (Khaju, Choobi, 33 Pol), a look over Esfahan from the Ateshkadeh-e Esfahan Fire Temple, some towers I can’t remember the name of and the bazaar.

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Food – finally got to try a proper kebab served with rice, bought some noughat called “Gaz” which Esfahan is apparently famous for, and Beryooni – delicious!

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A Persian proverb says Esfahan is “Half of the world”.

Whilst i didn’t quite have that feeling when I was checked out Esfahan it is indeed a grand city.

Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Imam Square) is massive and beautiful to see, and is also cool because it was once used to play polo in (someone told me Polo was first played in Esfahan).

The Imam Mosque is full of mosaic work, 2 minarets, and some imperfections to show that nothing on the world is perfect – seems if they hadn’t added intentional imperfections then the building would have been perfect. hmmm…

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