Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Kashan 30th Nov

Having lingered so long is Esfahan we lost the opportunity to go to some dunes by a salt lake south of Tehran or linger over much in Kashan. I did insist however that I got two hours in the latter to look around a Traditional House on our way up to Tehran. It was such an enriching experience I had to enclose it here by it's self to make sure there was enough space for pictures. I went for the one the guide book was most impressed by. It was extensive and easy to get lost in as it had at least five courtyards and interconnected passageways, rooms, terraces and subterranean areas between them as well as roof tops made for
walking on. I was the only tourist in until a small group of four Iranian guys turned up too. They are still in the long, long process of completely renovating the site so it is full of builders and scaffolding in many areas. This, and the fact that it was so quite meant that I could purposefully and unobtrusively go anywhere I wanted, including a lot of rooms and passageways that probably weren't strictly open to the public but weren't barred so that the builders could have access. Through trying any doors that weren't locked and walking anywhere
that looked safe I was delighted to find myself right up on the highest roof about three floors up. I walked about innocently and slowly, not meeting the eyes of the occasional surprised looking builder in case I wasn't meant to be there. It turned out I wasn't- the ticket man spotted me and raced up to guide me down all panicked. I apologised and he was very nice about it, even showing me, in person this time, one of the restricted access courtyards still very much under construction.
Other than the roof, one of the most unusual and fascinating parts of this house was an extensive bath house. The original residents even opened it to the public once a week. There was room after room after room- all fairly small, (3-6m diameter), often round with seats and plumbing and all decorated with gorgeous plaster and tile work. It was slightly claustrophobic, despite the light holes, (I think I've been more prone to this since the underground city in Turkey) so I don't think I would have fancied it being full of steam and lots of people but it was fantastic to see. I left the house to tie up again with ALex fully refreshed in mind and soul.

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