It was oh so quiet and still. Mud-brick walls rose high above me on either side to meet as arches high above. It was like the walls were enveloping me and I wondered if these adobe walls were absorbing all sound. In the distance the occasional shaft of pale light would cut through the shadows. I was within the tangled maze of alleys that is the old heart of the mud-brick city of Yazd.
One of my all-time favourite things to do when travelling is to get lost, to wander, to explore and these evocative and enchanting alleys were exactly my kind of place!
As I followed the twists and turns of the mud-walls I could see interesting structures rise high above the walls. The structures, known as badgirs, are an ingenious cooling system that are designed to catch the wind and direct it down into the rooms below.
I was fascinated by these striking and unique structures and discovered the best way to see the badgirs was from the rooftops of the old city.
From the rooftops there were also beautiful views of the dome topping the tomb of Bogheh-ye Sayyed Roknaddin and of the Jameh Mosque with it’s gorgeously detailed facade flanked by twin slender minarets.
Jameh Mosque was also a wonderful place to visit. A quiet, peaceful space with a wonderful alcove completed covered in bright turquoise tiles. My tile obsession from Uzbekistan continued!
As I explored the mud-brick city of Yazd I discovered there was even more interesting buildings to be found like the Amir Chakhmaq Complex and traditional houses, like Khan-e Lari.
The traditional houses are hidden behind the bare mud-brick walls and are built around courtyards filled with fountains and gardens. To be inside the courtyard felt like an oasis in a sea of mud.
In Yazd I also caught up with friends I’d first met on the road in Uzbekistan, Rach and Marty of the Very Hungry Nomads. Awesome girls who hatched a plan to head out into the desert surrounding Yazd.
We set out for Farjah, a little village full of more mud-brick buildings that are clearly typical for the region, and the next day we were on our way into the actual desert proper.
Joining us was a kiwi traveller, so all up we were four girls on a desert adventure! We headed out into the sand dunes and then climbed a barren rocky outcrop. All around the desert stretched into the distance.
Hot and sweaty from our climb it was refreshing to be back in the four-wheel drive with the windows down heading across the sands. But unfortunately our adventure was cut short as our four-wheel drive had continuous problems which were a little worrying. We all decided it best to cut our trip short and head back to Yazd.
It turned out that exploring an ancient city full of mud brick buildings, a tangled maze of alleys, a unique and beautiful skyline, desert adventures and travel friendships was the perfect way to really kick off my adventures in Iran!
My first night in Yazd I stayed in the dorm of the Silk Road Hotel. The bed was pretty uncomfortable so for the rest of my time in Yazd I stayed at the Oasis hotel with a pleasant garden courtyard, simple rooms and rooftop views!
To get to Yazd I took the overnight train from the holy city of Mashhad. It was meant to take 13 hours but instead it took 16! But it was a comfortable way to travel (NB: as a woman you will be allocated to a women only compartment).