Thursday, 8 April 2010
It is our last full day in Iran. Tomorrow in the early morning, I cannot wait to get on the Turkish Airlines plane, take off my headscarf and coat, let my hair out and go back to freedom.
We are in Qom right now. It is one of the most religious cities in Iran and our last stop here. On our way from Isfahan to Qom, in the scorching desert heat we stopped by Abyaneh and Keshan.
Abyaneh is promoted as a historical Iranian village, which used to be Zoroastra (now Muslim). It consists of red mud and brick village houses, clean streets and a fire temple.
It doesn't really have much particularity or beauty. The only difference is that the village women, different than in other parts of Iran (all women wear trousers) wear skirts only a little longer than their knees and cover their head with the same red and flowery scarf. But the biggest difference is that it is possible to see the women's legs.
Our later stop, Keshan was firstly disappointing because the new parts of the city have suffered from ugly and uncontrolled concrete urbanism, which is not very different than any town inEastern Anatolia. It is of course very dry and hot. Our first stop here was the Phin Gardens built by the Safavids.
In these green gardens, the Safavids and the Kachars built kiosk houses.
Then we went to the old Keshan area. Old Keshan has more character.
Houses and buildings are again made of mud and bricks. It has a strong Central Asia feel to it. The architecture and tiles of the Agha Bogorz Mosque are very interesting and nice.
I imagine that the mosques in Uzbekistan are like this. Then we visited the (old) house called Tovbe Tovbe belonging to a rich Keshan family. The house is no different than a palace (especially the Safavid palaces we have seen earlier).
Qom is a city just like any other. Besides the fact that it is very religious and that the tombs of certain imams who are important for Shiites are here, it has no character. It is a concrete jungle and a crowded city. But the features of the people and the eyes look more like Turkmens and Central Asians.
Let's see where our next destination is and whether I will live to write about it...