Welcome back to my little corner of the internet!
Today we are going for a day trip. We have just left Kashan and are on the road to Esfahan, how could we not make a short detour to the town of red clay, Abyaneh?
We leave the motorway and rush past one or Iran’s biggest Uranium mines and we start our descent into the Zagros mountains. The landscape looks dry and unwelcoming. The sharp tops of the mountains look like teeth. On the other side of this chains, Iraq is waiting. Crossing these mountains is harsh even nowadays.
It is mid October, but some peaks already show snow. I open the window and a cold mountain air blows into the car. Masoud, our driver, explains that in winter, there are only few accessible roads. Mostly nomads dwell in these mountains.
One of the oldest villages in Iran
Abyaneh is one of Iran’s oldest villages and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was build over 2,500 years ago. Much like Meymand, Abyaneh is a living museum. Its people have their own traditions and habits. As for the clothes, you see no Hijab and no Chador. Women wear wide skirts and a handkerchief on their head, much like old Russian women from the countryside. It seems like rulers and influences left these mountains untouched.
From the fort Takht-e-Haman, you can have a lovely view over the whole village. Its red clay buildings make it appear almost surreal. When walking through the streets of Abyaneh, you feel like time has stood still for the past centuries. You mostly find elderly people strolling through the streets, some cute grannies selling delicious dried apples, while the granny next door is chopping up a new batch that will be left to dry outside. Other objects are also on display to be sold. The youth has mostly left the town. They have moved to the cities for work.
What to see
We leave the car in a parking place, as Abyaneh can only be discovered on foot. You can walk through the whole village by following the main road, with a small waterfall at the end of the village.
Walking through the streets on Abyaneh
If you have a guide, you can climb up to the Palahamoona fort and see the whole village of red clay houses.
The view of Abyaneh with the mountains surrounding it
The Jame Mosque of Abyaneh
This is one of the few mosques in the town. Its wooden mihrab, or altar, dates back to 1074 AD and is beautifully carved.
An Iranian getaway
The people of Abyaneh rent out their houses to Iranians from the big cities, who want to escape the crowded city life during the weekend and enjoy some fresh mountain air and a more picturesque and relaxed life. As we happened to be there on a weekend, we could see several Iranian couples strolling through the streets.
We climb back into the car, after greeting a donkey and are off on the road to the busy city life of Esfahan.
Have you ever been to Abyaneh or Iran? What is your best memory? Let me know in the comments below.