Saturday, 7 November 2009

Kerman and the Klauts

Friday 6 November: Arrived at the expensive, but good value, Akhavan Hotel in the desert city of Kerman. Comfortable, stylish room plus very good restaurant serving a set multi-course 'buffet' dinner with 'beer' for 90,000 rials (£6). Visa extended fairly painlessly.
Sunday 8: Day trip by local shared taxi to Mahan and the Aramgah-e Shah Ne'matollah Vali, a climbable dervish tomb, with views from the rooftop and twin minarets. Also, a three mile walk north is Bagh-e Shahzde, qanat irrigated walled water-gardens on the edge of the desert.
Monday 9: Local bus day trip to Arge-Rayen a great mud-brick citadel, now uninhabited, above the town of Rayen.

Tuesday 10: Finally relaxed in Kerman bazaar, the Masjed-e Ganjali-khan mosque and restored Hamam-e Ganjali-khan opposite now bathouse museum with fine tilework and amusing frescoes. In the afternoon I was kindly given a tour of the Sanati Museum of Contemporary Art by attractive artist Efat Takalloo. Her gallery of paintings of historical tiles, a real the highlight, unfortunately all sold, as a collection, to a dealer in Singapore.

Wednesday 11: Expensive 'dar baste' (closed door) private taxi 100 miles into the Dasht-e Lut Desert to see the Klauts - a spectacular landscape of wind eroded 'sand castles' stretching 150 miles across the arid plains.
Photos of Kerman and around.

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