Today we only have a short drive of 145 km to Urmieh and because breakfast at the hotel doesn’t start until 7:30 we get a takeaway pack and leave at 7:30. We meet down in the car park and it’s not quite light yet. Tashi finds a cat to play with while we all get ready to leave, but we don’t think Henk is even awake yet!
We finally get on the road & drive to a village called Osku that has more than the usual number of Hillman hunters parked in the streets.
The shops are starting to open and the bakery is in full production of flat bread. We watch the production process from weighing the dough, making it into a smooth round ball, pressing the dough flat in a machine, putting the pattern into the bread that is then placed on a floured bench and finally placed into a revolving gas fired oven. We buy a hot piece of bread which smells wonderful.
In the middle of the road there is a 1000 year old tree with a statue of a cobbler at the base of it.
We drive down the road and have our breakfast in a lovely shady park under the mulberry trees. The fresh bread is wonderful!
As we leave after breakfast Goldie won’t start as she has a flat battery because someone left the car fridge on overnight, so the mechanics are onto it & get Goldie started with a battery pack.
After breakfast we visit a silk printing factory that makes beautiful large colourful scarves. The production process is shown to us and they use tar to print the pattern onto the silk. Between each dying process the pattern is blocked out using wax. The scarves are washed in petrol to remove the tar and boiled to remove the wax. The end result is a lovely Batik print scarf that is large enough to use as a sarong. And of course Kay can’t resist buying one.
Back on the road we drive through desert to our next stop is at the Urmieh lake which is a salt lake with a narrow causeway across the middle and a bridge joining the 2 causeways. In certain places along the edges of the lake the salt looks pink which is very pretty.
Tony even uses his Mao teapot. We draw a crowd again and while they all take photos, Hesam takes Dutchess for a drive and Mohammed takes Shamrock for a drive. They only drive on the dirt track where we are stopped, they don’t venture onto the main road. They both come back with grins from ear to ear.
The drive to the hotel ?
After having a rest out of the heat in our luxurious hotel we catch a taxi into the bazaar to have a look around and to buy some fruit. The fruit and veggies look lovely as does the really fresh fish. From the entrance to the bazaar we see a lovely mosque with a very shiny silver dome.
Our return taxi trip isn’t as successful as the earlier one as there are 2 hotels in town with the same name a dour driver takes us to the other one and won’t take us to ours without us paying more money, despite negotiating the fare and showing him the map before we got in. So we cut our losses (about $2), paid him and hailed another taxi to take us back to our hotel.