We are staying in Kashan for just one night, from where the Three Wise Men are traditionally
said to have set off for
Bethlehem to visit the infant Jesus. The town is also famous for its ceramics, and the manufacture of expensive silks and
carpets for the Safavid Court.
Tourists now come here to visit the rather fantastic merchant houses and the
impressive Persian Bagh-e Fin or . Fin
The morning as usual dawns bright and sunny and soon we are in the
– very close to our hotel – and
they are really very lovely. We have traditional tea and Iranian biscuits
served with style in a garden café there – peaceful and relaxing. The
coffee/tea houses here are in a similar style to those experienced on our 2013 visit to South
East Turkey at Dana with traditional "beds" to relax upon. There are
some very grand houses in Kashan with equally grand furniture shops selling
ornate gilded chairs, settees and stair rails and the young people at least are
very friendly and chatty and want selfies with us. By contrast an older woman
is seen washing clothes in the street side irrigation channel or jub and we
pass a motor cycle laden with pomegranates stacked high in lovely wool panniers,
the machine being driven by the father with his wife and child clinging on
precariously behind him. Fin Gardens
|Tea at Fin Garden|
|Tappeh Sialkh 5000 BCE|
We are now on the final leg of our journey on the road to
|Khaneh Tabatabiyeh two doorknockers|
for men, and women/children!
|five door room in Khaneh Tabatabiyeh|
Soon we stop at a huge shopping mall for a comfort break – Adidas outlet store is prominent as we drive into the car park – a family have settled down in a marked parking bay for their picnic – the usual rug on the ground – shoes on its perimeter – food spread out! Imagine that in the
at Ikea! There is a sparkling 1950s Chevrolet in the entrance foyer attracting
a great deal of interest.
The mall is very grand – with plenty of shops and quite the poshest loos on the whole trip – spotless and we feel even our footprints are being dusted away behind us! We have a picnic set up by the coach before moving on – the driver cutting up a huge water melon to share amongst us. It’s still 26 degrees outside - very pleasantly warm but murky. The air now is noticeably polluted and not nice at all.
|rose water still Kashan|
|typical smart villa in Kashan|
All the tour buses are equipped with a luggage hold, a hold where the driver can sleep as necessary, a hold for the picnic kit, including a gas stove – one driver was seen to light this stove within the hold itself (!).
The motorway here has many break down trucks along the way, waiting for their summonses to help cars in need. Our first sign of the city is the airport and the traffic now is pretty bad – it takes quite a while to get through it to our hotel.
We were going to see the Ayatollah Khomeini monument tonight – but we are running late and it will be very busy being Friday. So we pass it by and we will see it on the way to the airport on Sunday instead.
We eat in the hotel in Tehran- the meal is poor for us all, the usual salads, kebabs, (the meat is reconstituted) and some very uninspiring vegetables and chips for me. The crème caramel is the highlight - the Iranian creme caramel rarely disappoints my sweet tooth!
|1950s Chevrolet at Tehran shopping mall|