A lyrical visit of the fairy-chimney village of Kandovan

 ‘Go to Osku’ one of the many friendly people we met in Iran told us.

‘Osku… Osku… where is Osku, Marcel?’

…and then we realised it had long been on our travel map. The road from Urmia to Osku took us from warm to cold and patches of snow on the side of the road.

Kandovan... near Osku, Iran

There it was… one of the 3 (at that time) rocky hotels in the world, near the 800-year-old troglodyte village of Kandovan. It was getting dark… but the dim lights of the sloped pathways around our sleeping space were fascinating.

Laleh Kandovan Hotel, Kandovan, Iran

After dinner, we went to the village and walked around, looking at the local artisans’ works and trying to climb higher and get a glimpse of the old fairy chimneys on the opposite side. It was cold and I started feeling raindrops on my already-frozen hands.

‘Tomorrow will do’ we reassured one another as we went to sleep with the taste of noghls on our lips.

…but the following day was even worse. It was raining so heavily that we barely made it near the rock-hewn houses. And we were already soaked. The thoughts of walking peacefully past them and striking a conversation with a local were dripping away.

Kandovan in the rain, Iran

Yet the memory is still strong and I know that someday Marcel and I will head there again and watch Kandovan soak in the sunshine.   

Kandovan in the rain, Iran

What made my heart skip a bit that day [I love bridges]? Getting to walk on the old Aji Chay stone bridge, northwest of Tabriz, whose latest major reconstruction dated back to the nineteenth century.

Aji Chay Bridge, Tabriz, Iran

It was still raining and getting even colder as we started stumbling upon views after views that made us smile, wow, and make some more memories, on our way to Ardabil.   

On our way to Ardabil, Iran

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