After our long cycling days, today we only use the bicycle to get around Yazd. Even though the center of Yazd is easily explored on foot, it was still convenient to have the bikes with us.
After a night in a city park we were up early, and that was a clear advantage because the narrow streets of old town Yazd were not crowded with countless tourists yet. The old town of Yazd consists of clay buildings, mosques, and bagdirs (wind catchers) and from a roof-top café we could get a very nice morning view of the city and the surrounding mountains.
Yazd can get very hot in summer, even now in spring temperatures were getting close to 30°C. At times when there was no air conditioning, the citizens of Yazd built the bagdirs, also known as wind catchers. The concept is simple: The openings in the towers let the wind enter directly into the houses, where usually a cold water pool was situated and the air was cooled down. The remaining hot air then gets exhausted on the lee side of the tower. The bagdirs are present almost everywhere in old town Yazd.
Yazd is by far the most touristic place I have visited in Iran so far. After 5 days of camping or living with locals, it was quite a change. Apart from the mosques, every building had an entry fee to pay, and what I also observed in other places in Iran: They pack as many shops as possible in the historic places. In a watermill (that cost $5 entrance fee and is seen within 10 minutes) for example, there was a tea store. And in a former prison, every room had things to sell. This is very annoying, and I prefer our “model” where the exhibition is as it is, and on the exit there is ONE souvenir shop.
Relaxing in the park
To recover from the previous rides and prepare for the ride to Isfahan that starts tomorrow, we decided to go to a park, have some picnic and do some bike maintenance, e.g. fixing the bike stand that was no longer holding the weight of my bike, or readjusting the mudguard which was touching the wheel. We were invited there by locals to tea twice and once for lunch, so in the end we spent the whole afternoon in the park before going for dinner in a tasty Persian restaurant.
Tomorrow we will be on route again towards Isfahan.