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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.

Pictured here is a home in the Village of Abr, on the southern end of the famed Abr Forest, north of Shahrud, Semnan Province, in northeast Iran.

I know many Europeans share my love of the village homes in Iran. Today many rural homes that receive guests have organized as an “eco-lodge” or “ecolodge”, which are supposed to be licensed and inspected and offer amazing amenities, like this one near Yazd.

There is a risk of discomfort and unwelcome surprises when renting directly from the locals and not from a licensed ecolodge. Pests and bugs can be present. I wrote about rats in the ceiling in Naiband, Kerman Province.  The toilets and bathing facilities are spartan at best. Cooling and heating appliances absent or ancient.

But for some, travelling spartan is the point – existing for a time sans WiFi access and the blare of the television. I’m forced to sit there and watch chickens and goats run around instead of YouTube. That’s therapeutic.

We didn’t stay in the home pictured here because these days I travel with a wife who is pickier that I. She didn’t like the toilet. She chose correctly. For a day or so afterward, she complained something was gnawing on her skin and she swore the visitor hitched a ride at this home.

My soft spot for Iran’s rural homes remains. I have hundreds of similar images I hope to eventually posts.

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