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Sanandaj 16-17.01.2007

poniedziałek, 26 lutego 2007 20:27

We left Tabriz early in the morning and took a bus to Sanandaj, the capital of Iranian Kurdistan. It took the bus eight hours to get through the mountains but the views were breathtaking!



First contact with the traditional Kurdish dress: the wide trousers called shalvar and a scarf wrapped around the head. This grandpa looks absolutely cool J





We arrived in Sanandaj in the evening and quickly learnt than the region’s most hospitable town is not really that welcoming. Owners of the cheapest hotels were closing the doors at our sight… in the third one we tried, the keeper doubled the price especially for us (and probably in hope that we would let go) but since it was still only 9 dollars for a double we decided to stay and spoil his good reputation (some hotel keepers are reluctant to take foreigners and especially women as western couples don’t seem to have a good opinion in Iran and are often considered immoral). Anyway, the room turned out to be great value and had a wonderful view on the street chaos below.



In the morning we went to book our tickets for Esfahan and then had a traditional breakfast at the bust station. Here Gil with the flat bread, fresh clotted cream, honey and chai (delicious).



Later on, we headed to the Sanandaj lively bazaar where Gil bought himself a pair of shalvar and we saw the sugar lump cutters for the first time:


Sanandaj, a little chaotic town with nasty hotel keepers, still extremely chaming:

The most popular street snack: a hot beetroot. You can choose between the sweet, white one and the regular red. Both are giant and eaten as a dessert. Here ‘the beetroot boys’ (very shy):

This is the Sanandaj Mosque, a little taste for what we’re going to see later in Esfahan.




In the afternoon, we climbed the mountain over Sanandaj for a view on the city. It took as an hour to get to the top but it was worth it.

for more, visit Gil's newly reopened website on


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wtorek, 13 lutego 2007 12:25

15.01.2007 Kandovan


Famous as Iran's Cappadocia, Kandovan is a little village we visited on a side trip from Tabriz. We took a bus from Tabriz to Osku and then a taxi to Kandovan and back (for 3 dollars including an hour waiting time). Kandovan is a charming place, with fairy chimneys troglodyte houses carved out in the soft, curiously eroded rock.




The brave men of Kandovan suggested they pose for a picture:


Gil and his 'Intercultural Communication' in practice. This boy decided to be our guide whether we wanted it or not. As Gil managed to escape him in the village's little alleys, I gave up and became his friend, which included giving him a postcard from Cracow and him holding me by my hand at all times.


With my stubborn guide:

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