Friday, 2 June 2017

My 19 day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takht-e Soleiman - Day 3 - Qazvin area - The Alamut fortress - The 11th of May 2017

We set off from Teheran in the direction of the Alborz mountain range, so as to visit the mystical Alamut fortress, having stopped a few times on the way to admire the landscape with its immense brownish green specked and snow capped mountains, salty mines and stretches of pasture land. The cold breeze  kept on pushing us toward the cliffs as we admired the deep gorges of some of those and amidst a fearful feeling there was also a sense of discovery ... as if we were entering the realms of an unknown vast territory ... stretching for miles on end.

Perched on a rather narrow rock base the Alamut fortress, whose origins can be traced back to the Justanid ruler Vahsudan looked a lot more accessible than it turned out to be, the moment we started making our way up.
Its name which can be translated by "Eagle's teaching" is intimately connected to what led to its construction, once it is said that Vahusan realized the tactical advantages of having a fortress built on such a location upon having sighted a soaring eagle during a hunting expedition.
Some of us made it to the first stage - the main gate of the lower Castle, by slowly and firmly walking up on what was at times a rather steep climb, whilst others just reached it on donkey's back.

As the conférencier spoke I was gently approached by a boy, whom I handed a bubble blowing flask to and whom I spent some time sharing smiles with, our sole way of communicating.

We continued our climb towards the Ashi Khane Watch House, which at one time was a connecting passage as well. The views from there were breathtaking and they kept on being as such till we reached the main gate of the upper castle, which is currently undergoing restoration.
Before making our way back we climbed down into one cave where a café house was installed and had a recomforting tea.

By the time we reached the Qazvin hotel we would be staying at I was tired and my legs were aching but I was nevertheless feeling happy ... it had been a conquering-like day, one that had taken me along narrow mountainous paths as I measured every step I took ...

I had "understood" the eagle's lesson, despite not having soared. 

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