Travel

Yazd – the city of sand and fire

Good morning and welcome back!

It’s morning and we wake in our traditional Persian hotel with a coloured view.

coloured view for our bed

We got a lovely traditional breakfast on our Persian seating arrangement outside of our room. It was great, because we had like our own patio. As for our breakfast, we enjoyed some naan, dates, cream cheese, the famed carrot jam and a delicious lentil stew.

The city of wind towers

Time to head out and explore the city. Yazd is known for its wind towers. These towers, as I have described before, find it here. The tower was used as an air conditioner. The tower is constructed in such a way that it creates an airflow from the scorching air outside, to the water at the bottom of the tower. The water would cool down the air and refresh the whole house.

wind towers

The towers also clearly showed how wealthy you were: The richer you were the higher the tower, which would also translate to a cooler house, whereas the poorer you were, the lower your tower.

wind tower inside

When you go under one of these towers you can feel the fresh breeze blowing and you can even let a tissue fly and be sucked up the tower. I am impressed how people could build an air conditioner without using electricity.

The towers of silence

the towers of silence

Next up are the towers of silence. In Yazd there is still a very prominent Zoroastrian community. Until 50 years ago, the silent towers were in use for “burying” the dead. There would be a funeral and the dead would be placed on top of the tower, at the centre. The vultures would pick the bones clean. In Zoroastrianism, the dead body was considered impure and polluting. Fire and Earth are considered holy elements and there is a deeper reason. Burying a body could have polluted the water reserves and burning it would have required too much precious wood. So the body was left to feed the birds. After 3 to 4 days the body would have been clean and the bones were then gathered and thrown to dry into the pit at the centre of the tower. After the scorching sun dried them properly, they would have been gathered and buried or collected in an ossuary, usually at the bottom or close to the towers.

the top of the tower

These structures rose outside the cities, usually on a hill. This method was used up to 50 years ago when the government prohibited them due to hygienic reasons.

At the bottom of the towers, there is a Fire Temple, that are still in use by the Zoroastrian community.

fire temple

Next up was the Zoroastrian Ateshkadeh, which is a museum showing Zoroastrianism with their celebrations, holy days and practices.

Zoroastrian Ateshkadeh

Time for lunch…

Passing a few mosques, a salt shop with some impressive salt blocks and a very dusty henna factory, we go to the best restaurant ever. I think of the 3 weeks, this one single restaurant was my favourite. Obviously, I do not remember the name, but the atmosphere was incredible..and let’s not even start with the food.

inside the restaurant

Our corner was so spacious and comfy, just perfect to to relax and stretch out.

The interior also looked incredible…

the interior

First we start with some lovely starters containing delicious olives with walnuts and pomegranate molasses, also known as Zeytoon Parvardeh, some Shirazi salad witih cucumbers and tomatoes and a warm chicken soup…

Our starters

Here’s a close up of the soup and the starters…

Chicken soup

starters

Next up, we got a nice plate of kabob, chelow and vegetables…

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And after this huge plate containing lemon marinated kabob, pomegranate marinated kabob and minced meat kabob, we got a huge platter with melons, pears, grapes and other fruits, which we could not eat up.

With a huge food baby each, we went back to the hotel for a siesta.

Persian ice-cream and pomegranates

In the afternoon, we went to the water museum and Masoud brought us to get some freshly squeezed pomegranate juice…

squeezing them pomegranates

whilst he and Ryu enjoyed a huge ice-cream bowl…

ice-cream

Zurkhaneh – traditional dances

After that, we went to a Zurkhaneh, which is a traditional dance with some impressive wooden club dancing performance, with chain dances and Dervish like spins. In the past, these used to be part of the warriors’ training routine.

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After this experience and being still impressed about the skills of the dancers, we go back to our hotel and call it a day.

Kudos to you if you made it all the way down and see you again soon!

Love,

Raffi

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