Sunday, 25 September 2016

Day 81: Kashan to Esfahan: 230km, 4 hours, 25-35°C

We roamed the market during the evening.
Rested to the sound of babbling water fountains in the courtyard.
Dined under the stars.
All ready for a new day in the morning.

Macaroons at the market. The baked treats were tender and delicious.
I was looking forward to the evening meal because we had heard such good reports. This would be a departure from the shashlik and kebab as we have seen in the menu most days.  The eggplant vegetarian dish was delicious. I was a little disappointed with the lamb and chicken dishes. They looked good but the chicken was overpowered by the pomegranate and spices.


Dresses at the market are beautifully decorated.
Fabric stores have many rolls of black chador fabric. When I looked more closely I could see that they had be woven with all kinds of patterns. The are really black - the flash has 'greyed' them.

The ancient design of the wind towers (badgirs) provides effectived air conditioning in the hot, dry climate. The first historical evidence of the wind towers dates back to the fourth millennium BC. In Kashan the houses are closely set together, have thick walls, small windows facing away from the sun.
The courtyards often have a pool and here at Eshan hotel there were pomegranate trees.



The rooftops in Kashan.
Orlanda was parked on the roof. Exit through the narrow doorway was choreographed carefully.
Ready to ride south.

Desert for the whole day's ride.
People come and talk to us when we stop at the petrol stations. 
Many have their mobile photos in their hands...
They want to take our photos and are happy for me to take theirs. 
Many folk have Instagram accounts and are happy for me to post photos on my pearlsonwheels Instagram page. 
Cheerful waves from cars and motorcycles along the way.
Sometimes drivers cross the white line and come and look more closely at Orlanda. Then they swerve away. I find it a bit disconcerting sometimes- especially when they are driving at speed.

Arrival in Esfahan (Isfahan).
Cool under the shade of the treelined avenues.
Hotel Abassi is our home for a couple of nights. 
The main building was a caravanserai. Caravanserai are places where travelers can rest after a day's journey. I am very happy to be visiting this one. Caravanserai were found frequently along the Persian Empire's Royal road which was built during the Achaemenid empire 550BC-330BC. The road stretched 2,500km from Sardis in west Anatolia to Susa in Iran that Herodotus

The Abassi hotel is around 300 years old. It was built during the Safavid era by Shah Soltaniyeh Hossein Safavi. 

What a treat.

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