Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Village of Abyaneh and Matinabad Eco-Resort – April 20

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This was a driving day.  We stopped for gasoline in the morning on the way out of Isfahan.  Our bus is the white one.

I just wanted to document that we did see mountains as we were driving. Taking photos from the bus does not give great results.

We passed a couple very old Caravanserai.  Nadereh said we were near Hagen.

We stopped at the Mosque complex of Sheikh Abd al-Samad.  Abd al-Samad, a shaykh of the Suharwardi Sufi order, died in Natanz in 1299. During the decade that followed, the site of his grave was developed by the vizier Zayn al-Din Mastari into what has survived to be one of the best preserved  of the Il-Khanid shrine complexes.

What a wonderful door.

We wandered through the complex taking photos as Nadereh spoke to us.

I think these carpets were either their as prayer rugs or for people to use for sleeping.

It was fun taking a photo of this couple as he was taking a photo of his friend.

There were many alcoves on multiple floor levels to explore.

The stone steps were very deep.  Karen is slowly getting down this one.

As we walked through one corridor, we saw this interesting poster.

I liked the doorways and archways.

This soon became one of my “Happy Place Days” because we visited the village of Abyaneh and wandered through the streets.  When the Arabs invaded Persia in the 17th century, some followers of the Zoroastrian religion fled to the surrounding mountains and deserts to escape forced conversion to Islam.  Abyaneh is believed to be one of the last surviving villages that were formed in the long and narrow valley of the Karkas Mountains.

The ancient village is a muddle of narrow and sloped streets and mud-brick houses that have lattice windows and fragile wooden balconies.  The houses were built with mud bricks from the terrain around Abyaneh which contains iron-oxide.  That is why they have a reddish color.

The people in Abyaneh are very highly educated.  The young adults go to the cities to work and only come back to the town to visit.   Abyaneh’s permanent population has dwindled to less than 250 people, consisting of mostly older people.  Because of its remote location and isolation, their culture and traditions have been preserved.  Many of the elderly people can speak an earlier incarnation of Farsi that largely disappeared some centuries ago.

It was such a joy to wander through the village taking photos. The women’s wear traditional clothing which includes a long white scarf with colorful floral designs that completely covers their hair and shoulders.  They also wear colorful dresses along with a special pair of pants.

There were many booths where the people were selling creative decorations, dried fruits, jewelry, hats, scarfs, and many other things.  Nadereh was showing something we call fruit leather but I can’t remember what she called it.

This was a shop where somebody works to create jewelry.

The men wear long baggy black pants.

I am not sure I understood this but Nadereh said that the hole in this wall actually is the way they opened the doors.  They stick their hand into the hole and pull on something inside.

I, of course, again took many photos of arches, balconies, and doorways to help preserve my memory of this lovely village.

I even took a photo of a cat.

I think this man wa using prayer beads but I am not sure.

Of course there were other visitors in the village with us. It was touching seeing this woman gently feeding an older woman.

I asked this girls parents permission to take her photo.  She was so cute.

I had a marvelous time in the village and I am sure that others in our group also did.

I think these photos are from another local restaurant where we had lunch.

We continued on to Matinabad where we were staying at an eco-camp with an organic farm.  The bus could not be driven into the area so we boarded a smaller vehicle.  We could see the place in the distance.

There were green houses.

At first we weren’t sure if we were going to be staying in tents, but we all had comfortable rooms.

After we settled in for a bit, we were taken to a local restaurant run by the local Matin Abad locals.  First we were served welcoming tea.

Then we walked around the area to see some of sheep.

We were taught how to make their local bread.

After the dough is rolled out, it is actually thrown into the oven …

… where it bakes against the wall.

We watched the daughter feed the cows.

Soon our delicious meal was ready to eat.  Every ingredient was prepared from natural and organic products.

This is the family who prepared and served our meal.

When we arrived back at the eco-resort, there was a party with music.  There were many Iranian people also vacationing at the eco-resort and  were dancing.  This is Phil getting into the spirit of the party.

I had a blast dancing with everybody.

Later in the evening a couple of us we went up to the rooftop coffee shop to relax for a bit.  We didn’t see many stars because there was  a beautiful full moon.

This was certainly quite a fabulous day.  Any traveling day when we have the opportunity to wander and have brief interactions with local people makes me very, very happy.


Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

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