We took advantage of traveling as a foursome and hired a car to get us from Kashan to Isfahan. Along the way we visited Abyaneh and Natanz.
Abyaneh is decked out in ocher coloured clay houses. It sits in the foothills on a mountain range, trying desperately to hide from the sun and sandstorms which mark the Iranian desert. We wandered around for a couple of hours enjoying the quiet ambiance and ridiculously blue skies. Old women dried masses of apples on the roofs of their aging homes.
Natanz is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it’s the site of an underground uranium enrichment plant. Second, it’s got a killer Mosque. We only visited the latter, because we weren’t that keen on being arrested. The Mosque had massive arches and intricate tiling. It is especially impressive when you consider that it has the same scale as many of the great European cathedrals, but was built centuries before.
In between we did our best to entertain Fatima the daughter of our driver. Fatima wanted to spend her day clambering over her mum, grabbing at the gear stick and generally lurching about the car. Fair enough, I probably would have wanted the same when I was two and a bit. But, for obvious reasons, we weren’t wild about her mischief making, so we’d scoop her up into the back seat to try and keep her amused. Glasses were a big attraction. And, despite small ineffectual hands, she managed to get to grips with fruit ninja remarkably quickly, and with much squealing. We weren’t expecting to babysit on our journey, but on balance we thought it was nice to be able to support a young mum who has presumably few opportunities for employment. And Fatima was helluva cute.