Yazd – Another oasis in the desert

Sunday 2 November

We flew into Yazd early and were warmly greeted by our guide Rasoul.  Suddenly the air was dry and warm, we had experienced colder weather as autumn descended on our travels.  Yazd, we were told, is always warmer, it is an oasis located where the Dasht-e Kavir desert and the Dasht-e Lut desert meet.

Yazd, like Tehran, is a centre of Zoroastrian culture, so our first tourist stops were to see the temple and also the bizarre burial grounds that have only recently been banned for use.

Rasoul was anxious for us to experience as much of the “sightseeing” as possible in the day as a special feast would close all sites over the next two days of our time in Yazd.

We walked through the ancient streets that make up this desert town and visited beautiful gardens.  We learnt about the Badgirs, the chimneys that ventilate the houses and saw more underground water canals, called Qanats, the same technique of drawing water from the desert we had seen in Turpan, China called Kanez.

The highlight was the beautiful Dowlatabad Gardens, built by Mohammad Taqi Khan known as the Great Khan, with it’s amazing 34m high wind tower.

And so the sightseeing of Yazd was complete, but the rest of the visit was consumed by an amazing festival of “Azadari”, remembering the Martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

As we reflect on our travels, Iran and particularly Yazd has to stand out as one of the highlights.  I found a delightful page describing Yazd as the Bride of the Desert.