Kandovan was my last stop in Iran before hopping on a bus to Armenia aka home, back to speedy internet connection, deadlines, technical translations, and coffee (if you like your caffeine, you better think of self-catering before you step on Iranian soil. Consider yourself warned).
I planned to go there from Tabriz, thinking of it as of one more day trip. As it turned out the cave village was the only reason why I actually stayed in Tabriz overnight.
Long story short, that city and I weren't meant to be friends. We are not even talking to each other now and that's okay. I mean, travel disappointments are integral part of being on the road. I could write a long post on how I hated Tabriz, yet I see no reason to do so.
I will post sweet images of Kandovan instead to leave a better taste in everyone's mouth. No, wait, posting photographs on Kandovan doesn't need any justification. It's so pretty it makes your eyes hurt.
So, what exactly is Kandovan? What is all the buzz about? Well, it is a cave village in Northern Iran. Spoiler alert: it’s still inhabited. Sounds like a troglodyte fairy tale carved in volcanic rocks.
It does. And it looks so, too. Yeah, but…
There is always a “yeah, but”.
I said it when I shared my impressions from Persepolis and I will repeat myself, because I like to be honest. Kandovan might become a little touristy hell in the next few years.
It is already starting. And because the place is really tiny, you might feel it hard if you are late on that Iranian holiday. Even now you notice it, too many shops and cafes are waiting for tourists and their crispy green dollars. Nothing extraordinary, I would say. This is what tourism brings and I’m not in a position to criticize it.
I feel blessed, because I somehow managed to see a crowd-free version of Kandovan. It is still enough to avoid the main street to be left alone. I walked up narrow, empty alleys trying to imagine the place centuries ago, before tourism was born. I sat down, soaked in the views and smiled. It was a good place to end my Iranian adventure after all.
OK. Time to leave you alone with Kandovan. Give it a go.