Everyone at Abayaneh.

We wake up today in the mountain town of Abyaneh. I look out our hotel window to see a village built in to the hillside of bright red rock–like a a Persian town dropped down on Mars. After breakfast we walk down to the village, tightly packed collection of houses sharing walls and roofs built into the hills sort of like something you would see on Greek islands with a color pallete of reddish brown instead of mediteranean white. My AMerican mind can only reference adventure movies like Indiana Jones when I look at these structures with their rough iron features and elaborate wood carvings. It all looks like a movie set. Our guide tells us the area has been inhabited for over two thousand years. The current residents get by on sheep herding and tourism.

There are many Iranian tourists this morning. To them we are just as interesting in as the village. We stop and talk and they ask us if they can take our picture. A group of middle-aged ladies is especially interested in Zach. Look at that long sandy hair! It is so pretty! They run their hands through it. Zach, always cool as a cucumber handles the attention quite nicely, posing for pictures and saying “Salaam” to the black scarved women.

We hit the road south for Esfahan next. For the next few hours we are treated to the widest variety of rock formations I have ever seen in one area. Truly a geologists dream.


Notice the swastika in the center. This has been a design motif in Persian decoration for over a thousand years.


Some Persian tourists at Abayaneh.