Hayden’s Blog

Hi! I’m Hayden — I am a backpacker, solo traveller and amateur photographer. In a previous career I was an engineer working in Perth, Western Australia.  Now I am trying to make my way in the world as a travel writer and blogger.

I began backpacking around the world in early 2014. Over the course of the last few years I have travelled to over 40 countries and 160 cities or towns. The number of hostels that I have stayed in would be approaching 150! You can see a complete map of all my travels in this travel map.

My Previous Posts

Alternative Gdańsk – Torpedownia

Torpedownia is the Polish name given to the German torpedo research centers that were built on Polish territory during World War II. There are several of these, but the most well-known is found near the Polish town of Babie Doły just outside Gdynia. Hexengrund was the German name for the town of Babie Doły so the abandoned Torpedownia is often called Hexengrund.

Guide to Budapest’s Thermal Baths

A visit to one of Budapest’s thermal baths is one of the must do activities in Budapest. They are world famous and absolutely worth visiting. The history of Budapest has forever been linked with it’s thermal baths. One of the reasons the Romans first colonised the area is so that they could use the thermal springs for their baths.

Budapest Photography and Gellért Bath

Another reason that I returned to Kashan was to make a day trip to the Maranjab Desert and a nearby salt lake. The salt lake is a remnant of the Paratethys sea along with the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The temperatures in Iran can reach up to 50°C during the summer months and there is very little rain and snow.

Kashan – Maranjab Desert

Another reason that I returned to Kashan was to make a day trip to the Maranjab Desert and a nearby salt lake. The salt lake is a remnant of the Paratethys sea along with the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The temperatures in Iran can reach up to 50°C during the summer months and there is very little rain and snow.

Kashan – Trip to Abyaneh

Abyaneh is a village in Barzrud Rural District, in the Central District of Natanz County. It is located about 80km south of Kashan by car. Abyaneh is characterised by a peculiar reddish hue that comes from the mud bricks quarried from the mountains nearby. Like many of the traditional villages in Iran, these mud bricks are used almost exclusively to build the houses in the town.

Yazd – Towers of Silence

What the hell are the Towers of Silence? Essentially they are a Zoroastrian structure used for excarnation or the ‘defleshing’ of a dead body. This excarnation takes place inside the pits located on top of a Tower of Silence! As the bodies break down, carrion birds, Vultures typically, would perform the excarnation.

Yazd – Ancient City of Meybod

Yazd is a destination in Iran that is packed with day-trip opportunities. One of those is Meybod, an ancient city that goes back to the pre-Islamic era of Iran and located 55km away. The centrepiece of Meybod, and the reason that it’s included in day trips, is the Narin Qal’eh castle. Narin Qal’eh is a mud brick fort built around 2000 years ago.

Yazd – Trip to Chak Chak

As part of my day trip out of Yazd, I visited a Zoroastrianism mountain shrine known as Chak Chak. Chak Chak is not just a small village in the mountains, but a Zoroastrian fire temple and the most sacred of the mountain shrines of Zoroastrianism.

Yazd – Trip to Kharanaq

My next stop in Iran was the city of Yazd to see among other things, the town of Kharanaq a 4,000 year old abandoned town 70 km from Yazd. Kharanaq is a city built entirely out of mud brick houses. While the town has been inhabited for 4,000 years, the mud brick buildings you see in these images date back around 1,000 years.

Shiraz – Shah Cheragh Shrine

Today’s post is all about the Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine in Shiraz. I didn’t know much about it at all before arriving in Shiraz however it really blew me away. I have seen my fair share of religious buildings in Iran but this one is right up there. Don’t miss it.

Shiraz – The Pink Mosque

Known colloquially as the Pink Mosque and absolutely one of the most beautiful mosques I have ever seen. Famous for its stained glass windows and oriented such that the sun’s rays illuminate the room in a way that puts Joseph’s Dreamcoat to shame.

Beautiful Isfahan

I have read many times that Isfahan is ‘one of the most beautiful cities in the world’. If you search that phrase on google you will find Isfahan mentioned many times in various lists and blogs. It is immediately obvious to see why Isfahan is considered such a beautiful city. The first place I and most […]

Iran Visa on Arrival

The Iran Visa on Arrival information contained here is based on my experience in February 2017. I applied for a visa on arrival at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport. Once you disembark from your plane, you should immediately look for signs pointing you towards the visa area […]

Couchsurfing in Iran

While researching this trip to Iran I read several travel blogs. Almost every blog includes a glowing report about Iranian hospitality. One young man I had met in Sri Lanka told me that to find accommodation, you simply need to get off the bus in each new city and wait. Almost immediately people will come up to […]

Kashan – The Fin Gardens

The story goes that Kashan, a city in Iran, was the home of the three wise men who followed the star that guided them to Bethlehem to witness the nativity of Jesus. I haven’t verified this story, but I suspect there are a dozen other cities in the middle east with a similar claim. What I […]

Tehran to Kashan

I decided to leave Tehran after a few days. I will be back in Tehran before I fly out at the end of my trip and plan to write about it in more detail then. I only have 19 days and I wanted to make sure I have enough time to see the other cities in […]

Jumping from the Stari Most

If you have travelled through the Balkans at all, there is a good chance you visited Mostar. If you visited Mostar, there is no way you didn’t see the Stari Most and saw either some nutbag traveller or some entrepreneurial local jumping from it […]

Should you travel to Istanbul?

Istanbul is one of the most popular travel destinations on the planet. The city that straddles the Bosphorus consistently ranks at the top of travel popularity rankings. The reasons for this are obvious. Its documented history dates back to the founding of the Greek city of Byzantium in 657 BC. In 330 AD the Roman […]

How to Pack a Travel Backpack

I am about to head off to Sri Lanka and a few other countries in Southeast Asia. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what I put in both my backpack and my daypack. Sri Lanka is a tropical climate so I can afford to pack fairly light. I won’t be needing […]

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