Iran

Travel Gilan: Trekking to Roudkhan Castle

Matin Lashkari * – Located just 25 km southwest of Foman city in Gilan province, North of Iran, lies an abandoned medieval castle known as Roudkhan. The castle was built as a military complex and it’s construction goes back to the Sassanid empire, during the assault of the Arabs.

 It sits on two mountain peaks, separated in two sections, one for the governor and his family and two for the soldiers and servants. The whole establishment is so well preserved that all the towers are still standing tall.

The river in Rudkhan Photo By Matin Lashkari

The river in Rudkhan / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

I had heard people raving about this place quite a lot, but never did I think it would be such a scenic experience nor did I imagine I would be climbing 1024 stairs for more than 3 hours to reach it!! To be honest it actually took us around 4 hours to get all the way to the top, but we took breaks occasionally. We started off around 10-11 in the morning and ended up having our lunch around 5 in the afternoon, which you would probably want to avoid as our stomachs were growling all the way down. While there were peddlers along the way selling drinks and snacks, there were no restaurants to be found at the top and therefore you’d have to make your way down to the bottom to treat your belly properly.

Another view of the River / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

Another view of the River / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

Forests nearby / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

Forests nearby / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

The path goes through some alluring landscapes with relentless scenes of a lush green forest and cascades that originate from the castle height. Every once in a while we would get a glimpse of the castle towers, fooling us to believe we were only steps behind.

Another view of the Rudkhan Castle / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

Another view of the Rudkhan Castle / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

Once we got to the top and passed through the massive entrance gate we were all in awe of the majestic scenery which was worth all the sweating. It was such a nice respite of the daily city life we continuously experience.

Castle wall / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

Castle wall / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

The uphill trek would normally take up to 3 hours depending on your speed and the number of stops you take. While going down will take an hour less, things don’t get any easier since the cobblestones are washed out due constant rain in the region and there’s a high chance that the stairs are wet and slippery.

Walls Rudkhan castle / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

Walls Rudkhan castle / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

Inside Rudkhan Castle / Photo Credit:  Matin Lashkari

Inside Rudkhan Castle / Photo Credit: Matin Lashkari

Fact file:

– The best time for hiking here would be around spring time, as summers are hot and humid and winters are cold and rainy.

– Temperatures shift dramatically once you get to the heights, therefore it’s best to have something to cover up incase you’re cold.

– If you found your way to this place, be sure to check out the gorgeous village of Masouleh which sits only a few kilometers away and is a major tourist destination of the region.

 * Matin Lashkari is an Iranian Graphic Designer and Travel blogger who writes about her world travel experience one destination at a time. Read her travel stories: www.travestyle.com

Chasing the Dream: Two Women Traveling in Iran

Madi Jahangir* –  “Iranians and Italians are so much alike. In the good and in the bad!” Angela’s emphasis on the good and the bad made me laugh aloud every time and laughter was what made our trip even more fun.

Our two weeks traveling in Iran officially ended few days ago when my friend and fellow travel writer Angela of Chasing the Unexpected flew back to Rome, Italy and I took the night bus to northern Iran. So far as being two women coming from two of the world’s first civilizations, we were not really surprised to realize that the two nations share a lot in the matter of culture and lifestyle. Perhaps one of the major traits that Iranians share with Italians is to keep that crazy sense of humor, to cheer oneself up at the time of frustrating long distances.  Continue reading

A Trip to Iran’s Shahdad: The Hottest Place on Earth

Mahdi Kalhor * – A trip to the uncharted desert and the fantastic “city” of Kalout is a special treat, cherished even by native Iranians. You will experience the walk among the fantasy-land structures, carved out of sand hills through ecos of the blowing desert winds. You will let yourself roll down the soft sand hills, see the Nebka’s (the flower pots of the desert), the in-congruent citrus gardens in the heart of the desert and old fortresses. Continue reading

In pictures: an Amazing Snow Day at Lahijan Lake

Madi Jahangir* – As soon as I arrived at the lake, I found myself in a snowball battlefield in which I only managed to save my camera. I wished so much that I could join the group and shoot them back with snowballs but I rather shoot them with photographs. As I heard the various accents of Gilaki language, I realised there were residents of Lahijan and tourists among them too, who had come from cities nearby. Young and old were out and playing with the first snow of this winter in my hometown, Lahijan. Continue reading

Soobatan in Talesh: The heaven of Iran

Diako Mardanbegi * – Soobatan is a village in the north of Iran 36 km far fram the city Talesh and in the at the height of 1950m.I took the cover photo above on our way to Soobatan where is known as the heaven of Iran. I like the colours and the clouds in the image and the horizon line between the caspian sea, the beach, and the sky.
We rented a SUV vehicle in Talesh and it took us about 2 hours to reach the village. Continue reading

In the Land of Stars: A French Traveler in Kerman

Oh My Road * –  I stayed in Kerman only for two nights, but the enthusiasm and dedication of my host allowed to see quite a lot in those two days. Hamams, the shrine of an inspired poet in Mahan, some ice-houses and other places of interest.

Big pots at the Ganjali-khan square

Big pots at the Ganjali-khan square

He even arranged for me to attend a choir repetition, which has been a really nice experience. It was interesting to see that they did have some musical/cultural activity going on – and that choir was of very good quality! – even on a small scale. And those people welcomed me warmly, of course (it was Iran after all!)  It has been an intense and true time in Kerman. Continue reading

Tehran’s Grand Bazaar: Picturing History and Magnificence

Madi Jahangir * – People would go and come nonstop, pupping up into the frame of my camera and careless about me struggling to photograph the structure with none of them included. My last visit to Tehran’s Grand bazaar was almost end of summer holidays and students (and parents obviously!) were getting prepared for schools. For that matter, Tehran’s Grand bazaar was much more crowded and noisy at the time, by shoppers, sellers and bargainers of both sides. Although the market is no quiet place any other time too. Throughout the year, It is common scene to see many people including Tehranis, Iranians from other cities, street  hawkers, wholesale merchants and tourists to hang out in the place. Continue reading

Taste of Iran: A Complete Guide to the Iranian Kebab

Dream Of Iran – Iran is the land of kebabs but Iranian cuisine is much more diverse, complicated and difficult to be made than that. Located in the Middle East, Iranian cuisine has both influenced and been influenced by its Western and Eastern neighbors. Perhaps, the modern Iranian style of cooking includes a wide variety of foods, a combination of Mesopotamian, Anatolian, Central Asian, Russian, Armenian and the ancient Iranian recipes, finely blended together as one of the most delicious cuisines in the world. Continue reading

Celebrating Iran’s Longest Night of the Year: Yalda

Madi Jahangir * – The typical tradition is to seek forgiveness for Hafez, the prominent Iranian poet, reciting  few verses of Quran in his memory and opening his poetry book. Meanwhile, watermelon, nuts and pomegranates are served for the guests to celebrate the arrival of Capricorn. The ceremony manifests the concept of lightness prevailing over darkness in the last night of Fall which is the longest night of the year, Yalda. Continue reading

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