The following morning we left Jaffar and Nasrins beautiful apartment and Bahram kindly drove us to the bus station. On the way we stopped at a money-changers and changed some of our US Dollars into Iranian Rials. When we got to the bus station Bahram helped us find the right bus. It turned out that he knew the bus driver because he used to work together with his father Haj Hassan Parvisi. So he explained to the driver exactly where we wanted to go and to look after us and to help us get there. We were heading to the village of Masooleh. The Lonely Planet guidebook gave it a good write-up and Iranian people we met had said it was a special place. The bus we were getting didn't actually go to the village. It was going to Tehran, the capital, but it would stop-off en-route at a town where we would be able to get a lift to the village. Bahrams friend, the driver, would speak to some people when we got there to arrange a lift for us.

We said goodbye to Bahram and agreed to visit him in Hamadan the following week.

The bus drove from the plains of the Arax river down to the Caspian coast. The road descended from the vast flat plain into a forested mountain valley which opened up to the coast. It was overcast all the way. As we went down to lower altitude it got much more hot and sticky.
The view from the road along the Caspian coast, the Alborz mountains rising in the background.

The Caspian region is very lush. There are paddy fields and banana trees.

Eventually we got to the town where we had to leave the bus; Fuman. The driver found us a car and we were taken to the village which was about an hour further up the road.

We werent sure where to stay but there were quite a few guest houses listed in our guidebook. The taxi stopped at the end of the road in the village. We got out and asked someone for directions to one of the hotels. They directed us onto a rooftop. It seemed a bit strange but we followed it and it led to another rooftop and there was a sort of path leading along the roof to the front of some buildings. It was all built on a very steep hill.

The roof of each building was the street-level to the next building up the hill. There were no motor vehicles in the village. All the access was by narrow alleys between the ochre yellow mud and timber buildings. Steep alleys with crooked steps led up and down between the levels. It was such a 3-dimensional place. Whatever level you were on one side you could see all the activity on the level below while on the other the rest of the village loomed over you.

We found a self catering place to stay at an OK price. It was a nice big room with matresses on the floor. There was a balcony, a seperate room for Hannah and a bathroom and kitchen.

We got some food. In the Gilan region the food has alot of garlic. The local speciality is this soup called Ash which contains LOADS of garlic. It tastes like raw garlic. Its delicious but it repeats on you.
The view out of the window.

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