We visited a 'typical Kandovan House' This was a 'tourist attraction' a small fee was paid - I'm not sure how much as Majid paid as part of my tour.
The ground floor was used to keep the animals- there weren't any animals there at the time, but there was evidence that they'd been there- the aroma from the straw strewn floor was quite pungent! climbing a few steps, we arrived at the doorway to the living quarters, carved from the rock
We entered the living quarters, a main room, with two small alcoves, one covered by a curtain, which contained a cooker. A water tap was at the edge of the main room.
The room was quite cool. Apparently in winter the room is quite warm. The houses tend to face south, so receive warmth from the sun, but are protected from rain and snow.
Carpets covered the floor, and some were rolled up, against the walls. There were some framed pictures on the walls.
There was no sign of the people who lived here, so we were free to look around by ourselves.
Climbing the paths and steps up through the village, offers views of village life. Donkey trains transport locals and goods through the winding alleys. Chickens scratch in the dust, sheep can be heard bleating from the nearby pastures. Women emerge from their rock hewn homes to hang out washing or to sweep clean their 'yards' Men sit 'putting the world to rights' spitting out seeds or supping chay. Children play near the river, or run between the houses. Burning charcoal scents the air.
As well as views of the village, climbing upwards gives views of the surrounding area.
Kandovan is believed to have been inhabited for over 700 years. Mongol invasion forced people to escape to this area. The distinctive 'fairy chimneys' were formed probably 3,000 years ago, as a result of volcanic activity. Erosion by wind, and water have shaped the cones. The rock was found to be soft enough to carve out shelter for the new inhabitants and their animals.
Across the river from the cave houses and shops of Kandovan are a few restaurants and tea houses.
This restaurant ( I'm afraid that I don't know its name) had the traditional raised platforms (takhts) covered with carpets, that you sit on to eat your meal. This is something that I found quite uncomfortable at times during my trip around Iran. I often found my knees or back were aching.
Majid went to place our order, and returned with frozen bottles of pomegranite flavoured beer- which is the way that it is usually served in the hot summer months.
Our meal was chicken kebabs with thin bread -Lavash, grilled tomatoes and yogurt. (pic 2) As usual, this was cooked well, but I was ready for a change from kebabs!
While waiting for our meal a friendly group of middle aged women approached to ask me where I was from, how old I was, my job, was I married, did I have children, what did I think of Iran? etc.
The 'leader' spoke excellent English. She explained that once a week they left their husbands at home and visited different places. It was quite interesting chatting to them, they were quite fun, and I would have liked to have spent more time with them. After they left, 3 male students approached and wanted to chat. Throughout the time I was at this restaurant (apart from when I was eating) I was approached by people wanting to chat/take photos etc. Although I'm not used to being the focus of such attention, it was all quite pleasant and I enjoyed meeting these people.
Favorite Dish: Frozen Pomegranite beer (non-alcoholic of course!) - very welcome
Chicken kebabs, bread and yogurt - all very tasty!
A pleasant location, with the opportunity to chat to Iranian people.