A short ride on the freeway brought me to Kashan from Qom. I unwittingly took the nice new toll road, virtually deserted, while parallel to me the old highway was decidedly busier. For once I got a break. I didn't need to pay the toll and was waved on. Kashan is a town that speaks to you the moment you arrive. Some towns are just not that appealing when you ride in, but this one jumped out at me.
I arrived early, wanting to get going before the heat became unbearable. Leaving Hamadan, the temperature had increased steadily. Qom was 1,000 meters lower than Hamadan and the results were inescapable. Sadly, Kashan is even lower and aside from Aqaba in Jordan, this is the hottest it's been on the trip so far, topping 42C on the last day I was here.
I wanted to hug one of these when I arrived in Kashan.
I ended up in a small hostel right outside of the bazaar. The bazaar here is one long crooked corridor. It can take a few hours to wander through. All bazaars are a bit different and so it is always interesting to explore.
You can actually get to the roof of this bazaar and be up close and personal with the igloo-style construction of its roof.
One of the big features in Kashan are 4 traditional houses. Houses is a bit of misnomer here, as these places were nothing short of palatial. I visited the two nicest ones.
Khan-e Tabatabei is certainly my favorite. All the rooms look into the courtyard. I quite fancy the idea of having a building that is so self-contained it need not look outward. I've always imagined the ideal place to have a view over the water or mountains, but having spent a good week or more at Anadolu Evleri (see Turkey) and seeing these places, I am really attracted to the building style.
The detail on the walls is amazing. Stuccowork and nicely carved designs everywhere you look.
The second place I looked at, Khan-e Ameriha, was decidedly less spectacular. It was also under heavy restoration, which limited the pictures I could take.
Kashan was definitely worth the time. It was frightfully hot, unfortunately. Mid-summer is probably not the best time to be here. The next stop is Esfahan, a tad cooler than here.