Day 252 13th October 2017
Different travel spots ignite more or less interest in each of us. Along with tiny countries, towns built into the hillside seem to have a special appeal for me. They have an ancient feel that draws you in and connects you to them. Abyaneh is one of those towns.
Built into the hillside Abyaneh is filled with warm red mud houses lining narrow laneways. Not the rounded curves and mud brown buildings of Yazd, Abyaneh buildings wandered up and around the hills, with straighter lines and the tinged reddish ochre changing with the light throughout the day.
As we arrived in the early afternoon the town was filled with visitors both local and international. The hotel was boisterous and filled with people enjoying the local food.
Colour everywhere. Reminiscent of the young girls in Japan delighting in dressing in Kimonos for a day’s outing – here it was a colourful sight as many visitors particularly groups of young women dressed in the brightly coloured traditional dress. Floral scarves, multi-coloured layers of dress. While the local older men are often dressed in their traditional wide legged black pants.
Wandering through the narrow lanes spanning out from the central square and winding through the village the atmosphere was of a friendly party. In addition to the groups of women dressed up, there were families on day outings, groups having picnics and BBQs and small groups of older residents gathered outside houses in animated conversations. This combined with the ever generous and friendly spirit of the Iranian people had you smiling and feeling part of something magical.
A sudden exodus of visitors late afternoon as buses filled, and day visitors departed, left us in a quiet local village. As ‘almost locals’ we had a different walk through the laneways where we now found people going about their life-ly chores – sorting apples, tending small gardens, repairing houses and navigating the laneways with work vehicles laden with tools and building materials. An older couple sorting a trailer full of apples paused to give us a handful of tiny sweet crisp apples each as we wandered by.
Our Hotel Abynaeh as we arrived at lunch time was a chattering Babel of languages as tour groups lunched and left, the evening saw a much quieter place with only one other group in the restaurant.
The hotel lobby was the meeting and sitting place. A warm welcoming mass of local cultural items bric a brac, and a huge samovar serving endless and delicious tea. Full of colour, warmth and activity a welcome place to sit sip tea and watch the comings and goings with one eye on the Iranian TV where even the ads are compelling viewing.
The warm hearted owners and staff of the Abanyeh Hotel watch over the hotel and guests reinforcing that language is not barrier to communication when people are willing. Instructions were given, jokes were made, questions were asked, All humorously communicated with the usual combination of mime, tentative words in the other language, and patience.
As always a woman ensured the smooth running! In this hotel a woman I was eye to eye with – tiny, sparkling and animated. Everywhere at once, keeping a watchful eye on everything and everyone.
Our room was a bright, light, simple room overlooking the red hills. Quiet except for the sounds of the village and farms. A lovely night’s stay in a delightful village.