Yazd, a city to make movies

(March 2016)

Getting to Yazd was long and exhausting. From Esfahan to Yazd we didn’t see a single city, 5 hours on the road and only just a few kilometers before arrival the first city showed up. If you arrived, like we did, to the bus stop you’ll think “Where am I?” A small, far away, forgotten station at first sight awaits. And the taxi driver… It was like buying lottery tickets to end up dead: horror! Luckily they light of day changed or first impression of this movie-like city.

But before we start let’s get a bit of information about the old city. Built with sun-dried mud bricks it is one of the best places to see the wind towers (an old version of the a.c.), according to UNESCO, it is one of the oldest cities in the world and part of the Silk Route. Marco Polo described it as “a splendid city and a center of commerce”; the reality is that there is nothing before or after Yazd. But it is also the second most populated city of Zoroastrians in Iran. Iran-Yazd1

Who are Zoroastrians? They are the followers of Zoroastrism, one of the first monoteists religions, its founder was born around 1000 or 15000 B.C. and its God (Ahura Mazda) doesn’t have any icons to represent it.

In such a movie-like place we didn’t want to stay just anywhere: Kohan Traditional Hotel was our place for two nights. Its interior courtyard, symmetric, around a small pool and bougainvillea tree gave the final touch.

Of course, there are many things to visit in Yazd, it is one of the oldest cities in the world; but the best is just to flow, get lost in its streets. And this is easy because there is nothing that shows where you are. So we started walking…

We arrive at Alexander’s Prison as it is known, the poet Hafez described it in his poetry; however, it is not a prison. Although is not a “worthy” visit it is the first discovery of Yazd’s architecture and an opportunity to buy a few things, its interior is full of handicrafts shops and the basement is a teahouse.

 

These are the materials and the traditional way of knitting in Yazd, it is called daraei.

We left confused, maybe the city is not ready for tourism, and we found a square. A square where there were more wonderful handicraft items and a tent where children were playing and learning during the school break. Further ahead was the mosque Masjed-e Jamed what is that smell? And behind a door, there is something similar to churros. So delicious!

Masjed- Jameh mosque, put the chador back on, is simpler than the previous we had seen; but of course, how could you compare it with the mosques in Esfahan. However, the view between the sun-dried mud brick houses and the mosque makes the trick.

The fire temple Ateshkadeh is a small building away from Yazd’s city center. Worldwide Zoroastrians come to see the fire. This fire that gets everyone rattle is basically a flame that has been lit since 470 BC and taken care of by its followers. But this is not the place where the fire started and it was transported to Yazd only in 1474. One of the best moments in Yazd was when we became a bigger hit than “the flame” as we were tourists, a bit of chaos, some photos and let’s keep going.

We couldn’t miss the sunset in Yazd with those houses, those colours… so we looked for a nice roof-terrace to have some tea and waited for the magic to happen.

All the pictures and videos of Iran are in the Gallery and if you want to see other places around the country check our Iran section

 

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