Ancient Star gazing

17-18-19 June

Radkan Tower

Mashad to Gorgan to Ramsar to Rasht Iran

Driving across the bumpy highways through desert plains flanked by high mountains to Gorgan, we detoured to an isolated brick circular tower – UNESCO Heritage site of the Radkan tower, with a conical roof at Golestan. The 35mt tower stood out like a beacon is the plains of golden wheat fields. It was an amazingly decorative tower of 13 different brick patterns, being started in 1016 – 1020. It had Kufic inscriptions on it and was used by the Silk traders and astronomers for guidance and to study and observe the passage of the solstice and equinox.

Now it is home to darting swallows.

Unfortunately on our way Pat and David’s car Ginger was involved in a car accident and had to be towed and couldn’t continue on our Silk Road trip. Both of them are fine but Ginger needs to be freighted back to Melbourne. We were very sad to have our happy band of travellers  broken up like this.

The days are slipping by here in Iran as we skirt the Caspian Sea. The buildings and houses which lined the sides of the highway as we drove onto Ramsar are now shadows and faded beauties from the Shah’s era nearly 40 years ago. The roads are in need of repair as do the buildings. Later in the day we drove up a forest in the mountains for a walk. Hard to believe that the desert had been replaced by green fields, mountains and forests.

After reaching Rasht, we managed to take a mini bus trip up to what is described as the most beautiful mountain village in Iran – Masouleh. Tiny mud brick and wooden houses are perched on the face of a mountain. The village looks as though it could be somewhere in Tuscany. We needed to walk up high along twisting stone pathways before we could reach the Mosque and shops selling tourist goods, nougat, knitted goods and sesame and nut sweets, which were delicious!

Colourful costumes in Masouleh.

Desert plains

On Monday we meet up with a wonderful group of Iranian MG enthusiasts who had driven 500 kms from Tehran to meet us so we went for a drive to the beach for a photo shoot. How fantastic!! They were terrific and we felt humbled by their efforts and presence.

MGs on the beach
Iranian MGs and us on Rasht beach by Caspian

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