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 detail before I leave. So I jumped on a bus bound for Kashan.
All of the buses to the south of Iran depart from the South Terminal bus interchange. It is conveniently located on one of the metro lines. I have a Tehran metro card that I can use on all buses and subways. Very easy to get around and a far better transport system than my home city of Perth.
Kashan is small city that sits on an oasis on the edge of a desert and with a population of around 450,000. More on Kashan in the next post.
The quality of buses for intercity travel within Iran is very high. The journey to Kashan is about 4€ on one of these large, luxurious ‘VIP’ buses and takes 3 hours. The buses are very warm and the chairs huge and reclining. I am actually looking forward to taking one on a night time journey later in the trip. I don’t normally sleep well on buses, but on these guys I will sleep like a baby.
I wanted to try to capture some of the landscape during the journey south. So I set my camera on a quick shutter speed to minimise motion blur and settled in.
Things got off to a very promising start. I really didn’t know what scenery to expect, other than it was likely to get quite desertous and less mountainous than the areas to the north of Tehran. I was very right on the deserts, but pleasantly surprised to be very wrong on the mountains. The mountains around Tehran followed me the entire journey south. I really should look at a terrain map of Iran because it’s clear I have no clue.
I captured this mosque about an hour out of Tehran. Extremely pleased with how it turned out given that I was travelling at about 80km/hr and looking through a bus window.
I guess if you want to set up a store selling stuffed toys on the side of the road that gets a lot of traffic, the main road south from Tehran is a fairly decent place. It’s impossible not to notice this guy as you drive past. Great for exposure to potential customers, but the lack of foot traffic must make it tough to sell.
It is very common to see this kind of thing in Iran. I have managed to learn the Persian numbers from 0-9 and so I can tell this a probably a phone number, but can only presume it’s purpose. I kinda hope the last bit translates to ‘call this number for a good time’ and is some kind of a prank. But I think it is more likely a ‘for sale’ sign.
If I squint a bit this looks like I could be back in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and this truck could be hauling a few hundred tonnes of iron ore. This kind of lumpy landscape appears frequently out of the left side window of the journey, but largely it is flat desert plains.
There is however the occasional small town like those in the last few shots. These towns are all quite a bit smaller than Kashan, the city I was heading to, but quite similar in terms of their location sandwiched between the deserts to the east and mountains to the west.
Speaking of mountains, I snuck over to the right side of the bus to take this photo. These mountains followed me all the way south from Tehran. As someone who comes from a very flat region of the world, I find these kind of views mesmerising. I think it must amuse the locals to see me running back and forth from one side of the bus to the other to take photos of the mountains and deserts that they have grown up with. I was travelling with a girl from the Netherlands for this bus trip and unsurprisingly she was as equally taken with the landscape.
Kashan itself looks extremely promising and will be the topic of my next post. The photos I saw of Kashan while planning the trip looked amazing and is what convinced me to make the stop when a lot of other travellers continue straight on for Isfahan or Yazd.
The full Flickr album for this trip from Tehran to Kashan can be found here.