axisofevil Caravanserei on the road to Yazd, Iran - Axis of Evil World Tour
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Caravanserei on the road to Yazd

Caravanserei on the road to Yazd

Book Excerpt

... nearing the end of the drive we came to one spot in the desert, apparently a day’s camel ride from Yazd, where the road passed by, or actually through, the remains of an old caravanserai. We pulled the car to the side of the road and ran back for a look, dodging a couple of speeding trucks and a busload of quizzical passengers along the way.

The caravanserai, broadly dated at having been built sometime between the 10th and 14th centuries, was, if a little decrepit, at least still standing. Unfortunately, as the only vertical surface for miles, it was also covered with advertising for places in Yazd.

Entering through the main gate we first passed where the stables would have been, then entered the old central courtyard. History, plus the smell of piss, literally emanated from the surroundings. It was impossible not to picture camel caravans and old Silk Road traders working deals upon this same ground. The black soot of fires still stained ceilings in the kitchen and guest rooms. Look-out towers above watched the passing traffic. The inside was free of the graffiti and advertising found outside – you could do a film on Marco Polo there right now without spending a dime on set design.

The important desert oasis location of the caravanserai, on a crossroads between the Persian Gulf and Asia’s interior, meant we were again walking in the footsteps of Marco Polo, perhaps even looking into the room where he stayed. This beat-up old caravanserai, parts now literally bisected by the new highway, was one of the most fascinating places I explored the whole trip. Sometimes the best sites really are free. ...

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