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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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