The Road to Isfahan

From Kerman, we continue up the road. In the village of Fahraj is one of the oldest mosques in Iran.

Jameh mosque – around 1,400 years old

It has that plainness of most early-period religious buildings, before they turn into palaces.

Maria takes a load off

Next stop is Meymand village, where people live in caves.

Meymand village

There is an underground mosque.

The women’s section is on the other side of the hanging sheet

Reminds us of Matmata in Tunisia.

Bedrock East

We have been traveling in Saeed’s car since Shiraz. Back on the road, we greet a truck full of friendly field workers.

Daily we are pleasantly surprised by the friendliness and welcoming attitude of Iranians. Good thing we have Saeed with us: everyone is curious about how we find Iran, but few people speak English.

Arriving at the Zeinodinn caravanserai, where we spend the night. Caravanserais were inns – located about 30 KMs apart – where travelers would spend the night.

Holiday Inn

It’s on the old Silk Road.

We are told merchants would keep their goods on the central platform

This is the corridor lined with rooms.

The camel stables are elsewhere

Next day, we arrive in the desert city of Yazd.

Another Jameh Mosque

Like many desert places, it’s pretty conservative.

Two Mullahs went into a bar…

Zoroastrianism has a visible presence in Yazd. Zoroastrianism was the religion of all classical Persia before the arrival of Islam in the 7th century.

Yazd fire temple

Inside is a fire said to have been burning since 470 AD. It was first lit in the time of the Sassanian Empire.

An old flame

Close to town are two Towers of Silence, where Zoroastrians used to expose their dead.

Also known as a Dakhma

From the top, you get a good view of Yazd.

We attend a session of zoorkhaneh, which is part sport, part exercise, part theatre, part religious ceremony.

Mens sana in corpore sano

Maria dons an obligatory chador when we visit the Shazdeh Fazel shrine.

We visit the water museum. Of course, water has always been a concern in the arid parts of Iran.

Down to the well

In the heat of the afternoon, the Dowlat Abad Gardens beckon.

The tower is a windcatcher. Many buildings in Yazd have them.

Next day, we stop in the town of Varzaneh to see the old bridge.

Varzaneh Bridge

There’s also an ancient pigeon tower.

The interior is remarkable.

In days of yore, the dung was collected and used on the fields.

Sight or Insight of the Day

Across the street from our hotel in Yazd is a girl’s school.

The self-effacement begins early

It’s difficult to understand the motive for the startling difference between what men can wear (virtually anything) and what women and girls can wear (the more concealing, the better).

This is taken from an Iranian talk show on the TV in our room.


You can barely hear the poor woman’s mumbled responses.