Time to bid Kerman farewell and embark on the first long day of driving. It will be a four-hour ride, but with a few stops on the way.
Masoud packs enough hot water for chai and pastries, to make sure his tourists won’t starve and we are off with full blast Persian pop songs. The funny thing is that, officially, pop and techno songs are not allowed, but every car you pass seems to be listening to the current greatest hits they got off the internet. Here’s an example of what was in last year:
And in case you find yourself wondering about what they might be singing, the singer is heartbroken and being driven crazy by the ungrateful lover, who ignores him. Not that far off from what we have in our radios, right?
We drive through endless fields of pistachios. We even climb out of the car and I get to eat my very first pistachio from a tree!
Pistachio fields as far as the eye can see
On the road
On a beautiful new and spacious motorway we cross one of the biggest copper mines. It feels surreal to cross mountains of copper towering around you and Masoud telling us the mine is completely open, no need to dig into any mountain. He even stops the car and encourages us to pick up some pebbles of pure copper to take home with us.
Mom and me in Meymand with a local forcing us to pose 😀
After a couple of hours, we arrive in Meymand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (in 2015), counting nowadays approximately 20 people living there. This village carved in stone is over 8000 years old and, nowadays, counts around 20 people still living there. The living conditions are hard: The earth is very arid, summers are extremely hot, while winters are incredibly cold. Although the origins are unknown, some theories state that is was a place of worship for the Zoroastrian people, since mountains are considered sacred. Inside the dug caves, you can see ancient drawings dating back 10,000 years.
View on Meymand
A quick lunch – ostrich
Delicious ostrich Kabob
It is already time for lunch, when we reach a restaurant by the road, where a lot of truckers, which is an international code for “good food inside”. The specialty of this restaurant is ostrich kabob. With ostriches happily lurking around the restaurant. At the entrance, a creepy severed head of an ostrich, as a symbol of the fresh meat of the day. The kabob was simple and delicious.
An ostrich from the farm
Welcome to 1 in 999
Entrance to the Caravanzarai
In the late afternoon we reach our first caravanzarai. In the past, when Iran was an important step for the silk road, 999 caravanzarai were built all over the country. Every 30km caravans could find shelter, rest, feed the camels, have water and shelter. Inside, you can still see a quite tall step, which was used for directly and comfortably unloading the camels and getting on them when you were ready to travel again.
Caravanzarai from the inside – here you would unload your camels…
Nowadays, several caravanzarai have been restored as hostels for tourists. However, in a way to give you a feeling of how it was back in the day, when merchants traveled the Silk Road.
At sundown, Masoud brought us to Sar Yazd and its old castle. This ancient fortification shows its glory at sunset, if you climb all the narrow steps all the way up its walls and look over the whole area around you.
Sar Yazd – inside
Masoud and us in Sar Yazd
It’s already dark when we reach our traditional hotel in the heart of Yazd. To give you an idea, I tried to give you a tour of our hotel:
It’s already late, we sip some tea on a carpet, breathe in the cool air and look at the stars.
Good night! شب بخير /shab bekheir/