I have a soft spot for staying in village homes in Iran. I appreciate the simple architecture using rustic material, the thick walls, the thatch ceilings, everything weather-beaten. Furniture, if there is any, is usually the bare necessities. The decoration minimalist and fascinating, as in pictures of dead relatives on prominent display in antique frames…
Tag: Traditional Accommodations
Twenty-five years ago Mostafa Pour-Aliabadi, 44, was a manual laborer. Last year, he and his wife, Sakineh, hosted 900 tourists at Kalout Ecolodge, six rooms he built around his garden, in the village of Shafiabad, near Kerman. The village is the very last populated area before the road veers into the world-renown Kaluts area of..
The morning after our rat-or-snake-infested stay in the village of Naiband, Saeideh wanted to just drive away and not pay for the room. I said we owe ourselves the experience of complaining and seeing where it takes us.
We arrived at the home of the village chief Gholamreza Hassankhani and his wife Zahra in the new Naiband, a modern village down the mountain from the ancient Naiband village we stayed the night before.
The Hassankhanis had rented to us a room in a vacant home in the 1,000-year-old village. The rustling in the wooden ceiling kept Saeideh up all night who suspected rats or snakes.
Her anger rose again when we pulled up in front of the Hassankhani home.
The tourist wants authenticity, but not the discomforts of authenticity. So the tourist gets angry when she experiences the reality of village life in Iran. This is the lesson we learned in the village of Naiband (also spelled Nayband, Nay Band), after we fell in love with its architecture and the children who guided us..
The unprepared visitor who glances up at the cliff dwellings of Naiband is prone to spit out a bunch of superlatives. “Ali, it’s so beautiful. It’s just like those Moroccan towns in the movies,” Saeideh exclaimed as we pulled up from the highway to Kerman, tired and thirsty after hours of driving along the edge..
Iranians mostly stink at running hotels. The maddening inefficiencies and amateurish missteps found even in 5-star outfits are tragic (and often comical) examples of an ancient culture struggling with something essentially foreign. But receiving guests at home and connecting with strangers eye-to-eye, well, that’s as Iranian as it gets. Persian hospitality at home is a..