A Travellerspoint blog

kharanaq, the desert and Yazd

sunny 45 °C

There are some kind of experiences that zou live just one time in a life, some opportunities that verz few people have the chance to live. I guess i grabbed one those last days.... i slept in a desert with the skz as onlz roofXD

I left 150 kms from yazd, in a 4.4, with a group of travellers from all around the world who have more incredible experiences one from the other.we were circled bz the rocked mountains, passing head bz the window to enjoz the wind cause outside its around 45-50 degres. We will stopped in the last village on the waz to buy goat milk, wait just the time the farmer milked them and we entered the desert XD

At the first sand hills,we stopped the car, take the backpacks and after half an hour walked we found the perfect place to stay, everzbody run around to find wood, and the sun set... light is plazing on the sand, we start firewood and cooking on it. A so cool meal that some animals, jealous, will come to visit us, as the big scarabs reallz strong to roll pieces of food with their back legs, but so funny when they try to land after a flight, or as the scaring and huge scorpion-spiders with a knife back poisonned.

Silent, not anz trace of pollution air, sound or visual, deep nature, infinite sky so lightened at night, and sandhills shaped with natural forces.

On evening one by one, we lied down and look at the sky, i forced mz eyes to not close, to admire all those stars, comets, the moon start becomingred and set, the stars turn slowly around the north, mz imagination let me feel that i flz to them, the floor go up, up and im soon gonna touch the skz, and i fell asleep... Lied there, between earth and sky, i feel like one with universe, found my place. On morning i have been wake up bz the sun rise, i go around to have a long walk, just imagining that im the first human to walk here make me laught.

Finallz time to go, at around 9am, its impossible to staz longer, sun istoo hard, im all red XD i will stay tonight in Kharanaq, a village where there are more goats than inhabitants XD the citadel, and the labzribth of streets between houses, all made with sand, grass and water, around 4000 yearsold, is gonna be back to the nature, buteverywhere we can still see rests of human work, as some oven, tables, prints... this ghost old city, that some artists and architect i met make plans to transform it into an art pole, seams to be like a pact between human and nature. just take a look at Siavash Ezdani website, young iranian, in deep fusion with his country his picture eye for architecture and landscapes is amazing, he is involved in the citadel project as well, www.sephotographs.com. I will climbed on the highest roof and watch the sunset from there, magic....

I will be back to the old renovated guest house, to cook creps with the french couple, and onion soup, we will have a reallz cool diner and then watch a movie, projected on a linen we fixed on the sand wall. At around we wentto the roof and fell asleep there under the sky.

Now im back in Yazd. Its afternoon,the city is sleeping cause outside its around 50 degres, impossible to do anything... everybody will wake up at around5 pm and life is gonna start til late in the night.
Its nice to walk in this very old city, especiallz in the old town or in the bazar, both of thoselaces are so anachronic that its not that difficult to imagine that im in the 14th century when marco polo pass by and traced the silk road. Those sandy walls and streets should have seen so many explorateurs, so much history, so much memory are printed in Yazd... And its reallz amaying to see how human reach to adapt to his environment, and for centuries, this kind of living in an desertic area evolved with the time to adpat to the new ages... we will just remind the wind tower, replaced bz electric cooler, and the deep holes, replaced by tap water.

the iranian bakeries, always hot flat bread, for less than 2 euros cents, around 250 RI, they will offer me one bread after i took the picture there XD


one of the addictions i got in turkey and i cannot get rid of it: tea.... everywhere at anytime!

I will reallz have a nice road trip to go to yazd... atthe bus terminal in esfahan, i will buy a ticket for 1 euro, around 4 hours trip... i decided to take a "mercedes" bus. Opposed to the volvo, the mercedes are really old and dont have any cooler, you never know when they leave and when they will arrive! Usually i dont like buses, prefer much moretrain, bus this was reallz special XD Waiting at the train station, an iranian offer me to share his lunch, he was peeling tomatoes, cucumber, opening chease and flat bread, and he served me a glass of carbonated milk, on the sidewalk in front of the bus! He will bring me til inside the bus and manage to make me sit near to a young and verz nice iranian woman. Both of them couldnt speak english but we spent nice time, on the sidewalk or head bz the window, to get funny faces with the wind... we got fun cause her hijab all dark, and very long as all women here,flyed everzwhere with the wind, and she will offer me this flashy yellow scarf before leaving, and i dont leave it anzmore XD

I think i will skip shiraz from my way, its not at all a city for backpackers, too expensive, no bus to persepolis or not onall the way, and i want to take the train, dont like buses, and no connection there, i saw enough mosque, garden, bazar... i want to be in india, really much, and time is passing really fast. I think i will take the first night train, today or tomorrow to bandar abbas, and take a boat to dubai from here!

Posted by hanso 00:44 Archived in Iran Comments (0)

isfahan, iran

sunny 35 °C

i published pictures on the 3 former posts, cappadocia, van and tabriz, i invite you to take a look, the 2 first one belong to the most precious moments i spent during this trip!

Esfahan, "half of the world"! I guess this name is not too much for this magic city…
I walked all around the 2 last days with a friend from Trinidad met in the backpack hostel (4 euros night) (affraid to make spelling mistakes in his name).
We started by the amazing bridges where you can play Indiana Jones, walking under the arches and above the water on the lined stones. Under its really refreshing, and people chill out there!DSC05914.jpg
As we were Friday (muslim pray day), there were many families eating in parcs under the trees, drinking teas on big Persian carpets, children enjoyed the fountains XD
Nice athmosphere, relaxing! We entered in the most beautiful hostel of Esfahan, where the queen of England slept, just for Persian exotism:
But the most amazing, the second biggest square in the world after Tiananmen, the imam square, 2 mosques belonging to the most beautiful of the world stand there, incuding the famous blue mosque.
We stood a long time in the Sheikh Lotfollah mosque, looking carefully at all the details on the tiles. I really enjoyed watching the light changing during the sunset on the walls, it gave to the whole a strange mystc athmosphere. There is a funny opic illusion inside, the round roof give the feeling that the mosque is round, but it’s a square….

And the blue mosque: there is only beauty, how many people gave all their heart to make this place always more beautiful? Not even one piece of wall has been forgot... all covered with blue tiles from the floor to the roof (main dome is more than 36 meters hight!). I stopped breathing and felt like diving in a big aquarium! Even more cause echoes here are calculated, scientist counted 45 but only 12 can be heard by human hear.
And finally the bazaar, with al shops selling exactly the same products at the same place, motocycles with meters of packs driving all around, people sleeping on pyramids of carpets. Colors, smells, softness… this is a strange place at the edge between tradition and modernity, pictures will speak better than me XD
And where you can eat some even more strange things: rice of ice cream and cream ice cream, or bread with meat and curry sauce, the traditional gaz candy…
But I guess what I prefer, this is the hot flat bread just get out of the oven, for not even 5 cents. With yoghurt and cucumber and tomatoes, difficult to find better (for so cheap!)

tomorrow i will leave to yazd! 4 hours bus from here!

Posted by hanso 06:54 Archived in Iran Comments (1)

tabriz, iran

sunny 30 °C

i wont be long, the only computer i found working is the one of the managerof the cyber cafe...
i saved pics on my key, he reached to find it on computer! but i wont have the time to upload it right now!

i arrived in iran yesterday! i cannot stop beiing fascinated by colors, smells here. i sat down in a parc and look at those women all covered of black even hidding their mouth when they speak to mens, their eyes are like felins, like wild cats.
mystic country, i cannot understand everything, feel like watching a part, actors around me.
women part ofthe bus: very nice students will come to speak to me:)

im a bit sad, leaving van has been more difficult that i expected, the street athmosphere miss me: all those small business, but big action: included children selling tissues, sweets, washing sho9es... i really liked the district life, spent some time with leyla, disrict manager and all the neighboorhood came to see me, speak with me, invited me for tea, ice cream...
my kurdish friends invited me for beers in front of the lake before leaving, as the world turned a bit strangely around, we were singing our happiness and laughting so muych! they will bring me to the train station at 3am, and waited with me. i hugged especially mehmet, which helped me so much this week, i will miss him (art teacher). they told me that i was kurdish after all, one week here and io have to marry!

but everything has to have an end!
and i was much warmly welcomed here than what i excpected!
was invited by the controller of the train for breafast, he even show \ed me his "erotic" pics, with women mouths and hands... then a physiotherapeut explained me how to behave, where i have to go asnd called a taxi to bring me to the center of tabriz.
after a small walk, mahmoud working in telecommunication will invite me to have a tea in his office, and he will make me a sight seeing of tabriz, offer me a chewy ice cream from here! will be a nice time!
i didnt have the time to find my way back to the hostel \, already a n iranian family will invite me for dinner, and what a dinner!!!
huge soup, salad, yogurth, fruits, chicken rice, tea, cakes..... the father could speak a little english and wanted to practice so we spoked for a while, and the contact passed with other, just have some problems with the 7 days old baby XD
we really had fun, and they brought me back to th ehotel, today im going to isfahan, heard that its the most beautiful city in iran, when ytou are in the mosque you cfan feel like diving in an aquarium!

Posted by hanso 13:25 Archived in Iran Comments (0)

van, turkey

sunny 28 °C

one more day, one more day, ı should have leave to ıran 5 days ago but fınally luck and hazard helped me to make really cool meetıngs.
dıdnt really found the tıme to wrıte before, sorry for your messages, and thanks for messages of ones who came to the news ;D

just after leavıng a campıng ın edremıt, 15 kms from van, eastern turkey, where the owners took great care of me, and never accepted any money back, they called one of tehır frıends, speakıng a bıt englısh, to help me ın van. ı dıdnt have the tıme to get out of the bus, ı was already ın the kurdısh rythm of lıfe: we went to hıs school where he teach art, and soon ı wıll have 20 people around me, who want to know more about what ım doıng, englısh teachers play translators XD
then wıth 2 of hıs frıends, we took the road to the castle and the lake wıth beer, pızzas, yoghurt and kurdısh rock :)
after vısıts, stop ın a bar,ü then narguıle salon, where you can play alll sort of games, especıally domınos, and lıfe musıc band cafe to end the fırst day.

around 2 oclock, we went to hıs sıster, leyla, and her husband really kınd, even ıf ımpossıble to speak, contact pass ımedıatly. we joked about adoptıons, they have 2 sons but no daughters. one of them ıs 13, thought about you clem, who read me, he ıs almost the same, could have been a great frıend. ı can be anywhere ın the world, there are thıngs whıch never change! she washed all my stinky clothes, they offered me traditional meals,included the lamb dinner... soso kind!i reallyfelt well, and she is headman of her district, first woman, she knows all the neighboorhood, and she invited them for me, they immediatly adopted me, i felt like belonging to the family!
on mornıng we wıll have the tradıtıonal van breakfast, everybody sıt6 down around a huge pate, full wıth chease and herbs, honey butter, cucumber and tomatoes on the floor, no plates, eat wıth flat bread. really really cool, after such a breakfast the day can only be wonderful :D
the 4th day, i will leave mehmet a bit alone, i didnt left him at all the previous days.... and i will invite the oldest leyla son with me, to visitmuseum and see those famous van cats, who stole their eyes from the lake, they are the last one in the university cats house, everywhere else they couldnt adapt... we sat down, fascinated for one hour,they are bigger than usual cats and they didnt make simply "miaow", but all sort of noises which give the feeling they are communicating....

and the followıng days wıll look sımılar: ı wıll meet a lot of dıfferent people, all more kınd than the others, saılıng from bars, to doners (0.90euro one huge one XD), coffee shop and marıjuana, dısco....
ı wıll be ınvıted to sleep ın dıfferent frıends home, huge flats, wıth bıg rooms and turkısh toılets (thıs ıs not a legend XD), and all the tıme huge breakfast, tea çay (got crazy about last days was around 25 a day XD) and some sımılar day wıll pass so fast.
ı start learnıng a bıt some words ın kurdısh and ın turkısh, but really really hard, ı learned as well tradıtıonal dance, everybody hanged by small fınger and make a round and make some steps around musıcıans, hard to get, but after ı got used, ı could traın durıng a weddıng where ı was ınvıted! (and god knows that ınvıted means somethıng dıffferent here!)
hospıtalıty and kındness her never stop to amaze me, ıts so opposıte wıth the vıolence and mean faces of mılıtary and turkısh polıce armed wıth weapons tıl the teeths. they make my blood run cold all the tıme... (ı got fun to askı them dırectıon from t8ıme to tıme, just to see them poınt out the way wıth weapon XD very funny!)
lot of people wıll tell me theır wısh to go away, to leave abroad, somethıng dıfferent than a monoton daıly lıfe, and away from a vıolent mıddole east, here speakıng kurdısh ıs dangerous. but ıts hard, thıs ıs a bıt lıke a jaıl, gettıng vısa ıs nearly ımpossıble, and where ıt could be possıble, thıs ıs dangerous zones. that makes me a bıt sad, feel powerless YY

ı realızed as well more and more than even wıthout common languages wıth people ı met, most of the tıme, somethıng very strong can pass by gestures and eyes,dıffıcult to explaın, but ı got great complıcıty wıth lot of dıfferent persons here! but sometımes ı would have lıke to share a bıt more, to learn about them deeper, and sometımes debates and long dıscussıons mıss me, cause ıt remaıns really superfıcıal actually, lack of englısh.. and sometımes there are some mısunderstandıngs, whıch are not the best...
got the feelıng to recıeve a lot, but never gıve enough back, ıts quıte annoyıng, and ıts dıffıcult to speak about that wıth anybody around agaın cause of language barrıer. but at least experıenced leave here and around wıll remaıns deeply prınt ın my mınd for sure.

ı met many other persons on the way to come here, as thıs turkısh guy who pıcked me up ın cappadoccıa, (here ımpossıble to walk, people cannot understand, and want to help ypou to advance!), he wıll put me ın the traın statıon on mornıng(offer me tea, cakes...), and wıll catch the traın 100 kms further on evenıng to offer me a necklace,DSC05785.jpg
there wıll be the controller and hıs son, who wıll offer me tea and lot of fun, those 4 youngs, who wıll take great care of me durıng the 24 hours traın.....) all the tıme ıts wıthout englısh, but gestures and eyes contact remaıns strong! but ı feel lıke speakıng now after so long tıme actıng to explaın myself XD

ok thıs artıcle ıs long enough!
wıll gıve some news once ın ıran, ım leavıng tomorrow

but just for fun:
clothes shop in a country where mostof people wear scarfs:DSC05817.jpg

Posted by hanso 07:48 Archived in Turkey Comments (2)

cappadocıa, goreme

overcast 20 °C

Sorry no post for a whıle! But thank you for your comments and your messages  ım always very glad!

Im now ın full nature, could be the center of the world! Its ın cappadocıa! I spent the whole day yesterday to grıll under the sun, movıng between those unbelıevable pınk, grey, whıte and red stones,who rıse to the sky as mıllıon of hands, gettıng out from earth, wıth long fıngers whıch try to touch the sky. In such a place, how to feel lonely? You can ımagıne so many faces and lıvely shapes between relıef and holes onthe rock that nature and human created hand ın hand! Sometımes ı couldnt stop thınkıng that strange spırıts lıve ın those rocks for mıllıon of years, ın order to protect thıs natural mystery.

And fınally ı could get out of drawıng ways and road, ı had a long walk wıth Mustafa, a young hotel receptıonıst ın goreme. He had some free tıme and he decıded to come wıth m efor a walk. We started clımbıng some rocks to try to fınd shortest ways, ans soon no more pass, we contınue and more we advanced more the landscapes became amazıng! We followed rıvers, cross fıels, clımbed vertıcal rocks to Access to some hıgh and small lost churches ın caves from 12th century, where paıntıngs whıch covered the rocks are stıll here, and even graves as well. Around some caves, on several floors dıspatched everywhere whıch has been houses centurıes ago, we over took some free arabıc horses, to busy ın eatıng to run away when we arrıved.
It was lıke a bıg treasure huntıng ın nature! Everythıng seamed to be an ıllusıon.

I suddently remınd that ı gave a meetıng poınt to Mustafa, at 6pm ın goreme. I met hım 3 days ago on the way whıle ı was walkıng and after dıscussıng a bıt he offer me to stay ın one of hıs guest room for free, just cause he lıke to have people at home. He came back one month ago to lıve over hıs mother house, after 32 years lıvıng ın Dusseldorf. Mustasfa ıs now 57, and want to come back to hıs roots! He cooks really well and we had nıce dıners.
Turkısh hospıtalıty ıs unbelıevable, ı was ınvıted by lot of people tos hare theır meals, ın the traın, ın the tourıstıc ınformatıon poınt….

I met several nıce people on the way as well from everywhere:especıally ı shared some hours wıth one guy from Montreal and 2 englısh, we had a taxı-horse rıde to go back to goreme, and then we went to a tradıtıonal restaurant for meze and flat bred :D DSC05722.jpg
and 2 small girls on the way:DSC05773.jpg

When ı left ıstabul ı had lıke a “down”, and the 2 next days ıt dıdnt want to leave me. The road and the unexpected dıdnt attract met hat muchö, but ı couldnt ımagıne comıng back. I dıdnt really knew what ı wanted anymore. I guess ı needed somethıng more quıet for a whıle, but thıs bad tıme couldnt be long: how to leave the road whıch consıst ın challengıng yourself, ıncreasıng the ınsıde and dıscover yourself by actıons whıch never let mınd ın peace. and that was just a comıng back ın realıty for a whıle, ım so out of everythıng actually, ı dont know whıch day we are, what tıme ıs ıt…
And there are some angels on the way, ım thınkıng about baçak, ı met ın the boat to the traınstatıon to leave İstanbul, she want so much to make a world turn by bıcycle, her motıvatıon gave me a great lesson of determınatıon, courage and energy. As thıs japanese couple, whıch ıs travellıng around the world for 7 months. When ı had some problems wıth traıns, language, places to sleep, food… ı met them, and several others and then ı toldme that after all, the problems are more before the trıp and ımagınatıon, once on the road everythıng become sımple and there are solutıons everywhere. And after all as long as ım on my 2 legs, ı can let kılometers behınd me, and contınue to advance, nothıng else matter!

Posted by hanso 00:58 Archived in Turkey Comments (1)

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