YAZD, the City of Badgirs

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mohim came to meet me at Aref's place. We went to ARGENTINE bus station, bought  a ticket to YAZD for 22:00hrs on a bus classified as VIP, 32 seater, US$12 one way to Yazd.

Six hours on the bus, a beautiful moon hangs on the desert sky full of stars and landscape of low shrubs. Road is packed with cargo trucks, containers, tankers, lorries, buses. This road is a major artery of commerce in Iran. All the goods entering Bandar Abbas passes through here to various Iranian cities. Most of my fellow travelers are men.

05:30 hrs arrived at Yazd, took a cab to the city center and asked to be dropped at Masjid Jamek, the central congregational mosque. Met a kind mullah, the only soul wandering at this ungodly hour, coming out from prayers. Asked him where is the Silk Road Hotel in my rudimentary Farsi, but he does not know or do not understand my terrible Persian. Instead of looking for my hotel, the mellow light took me away from my goal, forgot my tiredness and started exploring the magical surrounding. The dawn is breaking, the faint blue tint in the sky, almost a hint really, imparts an irresistible poetry that is begging to be imbibed. How can I resist? My vagabond feet lost itself in the twisting alleys. I walked and gawked at the splendid mosque, took hundreds of photos. I thought I was in wonderland. It felt like a fairty tale with its subdued lighting and the stillness of the morning calm is pure bliss. Majid Jamek is divine in this morning light.

I smell a fresh bread being baked, allowed my nose to guide me and followed the aroma. There were four customers queueing, I joined the line. It was an old bakery, still using the tandoor oven and still using wood, they make the traditional thin crust round bread. When it was my turn, with my elementary Persian and best smile I could muster, I raised my forefinger and said "YEK!" One! The friendly baker gave me one, adamantly refused payment.  He made me understood that it was a gift. I started the day in a jolly mood. His kindness put a spring on my steps and I find myself smiling and softly humming an old melody.

I walked around eating the warm bread. What a joy! walking by the empty bazaar, all still closed, and I was taking countless pictures, totally enamored, day light came unnoticed. Walked everywhere, taking more photos - badgirs (wind catchers) and the beautiful buildings all over Yazd.

I passed by a confectionery, a gentle smiling face was staring at me - the proprietor in green turban, (green indicates that he is a follower of the prophet Ali), invited me in to try the sweets. I took his photo which you see among the photos included here. Walked and walked some more until I ended up at my hotel by accident, SILK ROAD HOTEL,

Got a room for 30 dollars - nice, clean, comfortable, with heater, clean bathroom with abundant hot water, breakfast included. It was here where I had my first memorable camel dish. Stewed camel. I also read elsewhere in Ardakan, they serve camel burgers, sorry, I missed that. Hopefully, next time.
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