With the long Eid al-Mab’ath (anniversary of the Prophet’s ascension) weekend coming up Amir Sina (Customer Service), Taraneh (Accounting) and Heidi (Content) decided to travel to Yazd to both have a few days of fun in the city of wind towers and do some website quality control. As the newest members of team toiran, Ahang and I (Farnoush) decided to jump on this opportunity to both bond with our team members and also pick up some experience regarding the work process along the way.
Heidi had a list of restaurants and hotels that we were supposed to visit for spontaneous quality control.
The VIP Bus experience
We decided to take a VIP night bus to Yazd. While Amir Sina and I had traveled on a VIP bus before, this was the first time for Ahang, Taraneh and Heidi. They were surprised at how comfortable these buses were with reclining seats, lots of legroom and snack boxes for the road.
Good morning Yazd
We arrived in Yazd at 6 am and drove through the city, which had yet to come to life to reach our hotel near the 12th century Jame Mosque of Yazd. We were welcomed to Orient Hotel, a traditional hostel featured on our website, by a good-natured, helpful employee who told us we would have to wait until 10 am to check-in but gave us the Wi-Fi password so we could spend some time on the Internet while waiting in the iwan- a room vaulted on one side and open on three sides overlooking the courtyard.
Rooftop photos and tourist galore
We waited until 7:30am when the multinational travelers staying in the rooms surrounding the courtyard started emerging from their rooms for a rooftop breakfast at the hotel’s Marco Polo restaurant. Spectacular view, good company and a healthy breakfast of lentil soup, watermelon, fresh bread and jam… Yazd was a city after our hearts! Amir Sina and Ahang, who are both photographers, used the opportunity to take a few panoramic snaps of Yazd city under the morning sun.
Sightseeing and Sabats
Our rooms were not fancy but they were clean, air-conditioned and had comfortable beds. We decided to visit some of the historical sites in Yazd starting from the nearby Jame Mosque. Our first challenge was to take a photo of the Jame Mosque that would capture its twin 53-meter minarets. According to Heidi these minarets are the tallest in Iran. A group of Italian tourists had beaten us to the mosque and were snapping photos of the exquisite tilework while listening to their guide tell them about the 300 years it had taken to complete the tilework of the Jame Mosque. One of the Iranian tourists, who wanted to demonstrate the echo effect of the dome for his son, suddenly broke out into song and everyone gathered to listen.
With a smile on our faces, we left the mosque and walked towards the Yazd Bazaar stopping in Sabats-vaulted passageways that combine light and shade to create warmth and coolness in the old texture of Yazd- along the way to snap photos.
We walked all the way to Amir Chakhmaq Complex but stopped for some fresh juice and bought two boxes of the famous Haj Khalifeh Rahbar walnut-filled Qotab pastry and Pashmak (Persian cotton candy).
Taraneh spotted a Termeh shop. Termeh is a handwoven silk and wool fabric that has been created by Yazd weavers since the Achaemenid era. Taraneh said seeing the yards and yards of Termeh took her back to her childhood days when her grandmother would set her Nowruz (Persian New Year) Haft Seen Spread on a Termeh tablecloth and even had a Termeh prayer mat she kept scented with seasonal flowers. She decided to buy some Termeh in memory of her grandmother. We had a chat with the friendly shopkeeper and we told him about toiran.com. In his melodic Yazdi accent he asked us to write about his shop on our website so that people visiting Yazd could come to his shop and take home the ‘best Termeh in Yazd’ for their loved ones!
The perfect first lunch
It was already lunch time and we decided eat at Silk Road Restaurant to both test the quality of food and try its famous camel stew. The restaurant was already packed with a large group of French tourists. When the manager saw our disappointment at not being able to dine there, he told us to wait a few moments so he could have a table set out for us in the corner of the yard. We sampled as many things on the menu as we could! Spaghetti, chicken curry, Fesenjan (walnut and pomegranate stew), camel stew and Greek salad with fresh watermelon juice… the perfect first lunch in Yazd.
When in Yazd do as the Yazdis do!
During the spring and summer, the temperature in Yazd is hottest between 2pm and 6pm and almost everyone retreats to their homes until the weather cools down in the afternoon. So we retired to our rooms for a nap!
We regrouped at the Marco Polo rooftop restaurant at our hotel to have tea and some of the pastries we had purchased earlier and to decide where to go next. It was unanimously decided that we would go to the UNESCO protected Dowlatabad Garden to see its famous wind tower. We soon realized that this garden is a popular hangout spot in Yazd. Large crowds of Iranian and foreign tourists as well as locals had gathered in the garden. It was a wonderful sight! A family was having a birthday party in one corner. A group of students on a road trip were sitting in the small teahouse of the garden resting while others waited for their turn to take pictures in front of the wind tower.
After leaving the garden we walked around the city and stopped to admire the decorative tiles on display in a handicraft shops before ticking off a few more of the hotels on our check list. Our last stop was Moshir-ol Mamalek restaurant an all-you-can-eat buffet in a lush garden filled with pomegranate trees.
to be continued….