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Arge e Rayen- Iran

Arge e Rayen- Iran

I wanted to visit Arg-é Bam on my trip along the Silk Route in Iran, but went to Rayen castle instead. When i saw a picture of Arg-e Bam I knew I would go there no matter what. To my regret the horrible earthquake of 2003 ruined it completely and many people told me that there is nothing left to see besides piles of rubble and few ruined walls (below the Bam castle before and after the earthquake).

The medieval mud brick city of Rayen is similar to the Agr-e Bam but smaller in size. It is extremely well preserved, despite numerous natural disasters that have destroyed similar structures nearby, and it is one of the most interesting sites in Iran. Arg-e Rayen was inhabited until 150 years ago and, although believed to be at least 1,000 years old, may in fact have foundations from the pre-Islamic Sassanid era.

The outer walls of the castle enclose the main governor’s citadel, houses and other structures around the latter. Most of the houses are dilapidated and just few still stand but you can easily imagine how the city looked in the past. Especially with some of the continuing restoration that was/is going on.

Remaining walls and buildings were freshly covered with hay-mud mix in the course of reconstruction and you can see in one of the frames i took where this has been done, even the hay is still on the ground ready for mixing!

The castle is quite small and you will need much time to walk around. The most interesting part is the governor’s citadel. It has a square shape and many buildings on its territory, which include a governor’s bedroom, his office, rooms for official ceremonies and guests The whole area of the citadel is covered with a roof, with several staircases leading to up. The citadel includes several yards similar to traditional Iranian houses which have square form and no roof above them for access of light to rooms facing these yards.

You can climb up to the roof and the walls and walked around the citadel. From up there you can see all around the castle and will have a better view of the houses surrounding the citadel. The yards, rooms and other structures in the citadel are freshly renovated. You can see that some more lights will be installed soon here and there. A big hall looks like a kitchen and there may be a restaurant in the near future. Besides that all the spaces are completely empty.

Posted by TheJohnsons 00:34 Archived in Iran Tagged architecture desert tower culture history traditional travel fort mountain province city building world heritage mud castle rock stone old big medieval wall east asia middle ancient tourism historic brick fortress iran kerman bam persia construction landmark e persian protection era iranian citadel sandstone arg sassanid stronghold rayen arge pre-islamic mudbrick Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-Da Lat Crazy House

One of my favourite places in Vietnam was the hilll station town of Da Lat. Cool and friendly I enjoyed the atmosphere of the town and this utterly crazy and weird guesthouse. Yes you can stay in it and you can just look around if you want to. Very Hansel and Gretal!

Posted by TheJohnsons 22:37 Archived in Vietnam Tagged art sky architecture home view landscape culture travel vacation hotel strange urban city vietnam blue building house holiday life window villa hang asian asia lat tourism style construction landmark guesthouse design color orange dalat fairy decoration modern environment weird crazy ornament da viet exterior background nga fantasy dang Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-Vinh Long Food Market

In 2013 I was on my last leg of my year out in Central and South East Asia. Vietnam was my penultimate country on this epic journey. Today's slideshow brings you a taste of Vinh Long in the southern Mekong Delta. It actually sits on the Cổ Chiên River,a branch of the Mekong. It is widely visited and quite famous for it's Cai Be Floating Market , but it also has an amazing food market on Land, so here it is...

Posted by TheJohnsons 22:29 Archived in Vietnam Tagged people sky sea food architecture water boat ocean coast nature landscape beach culture traditional travel ship village river province vietnam blue island fruit sand summer floating life south beautiful bay tropical tour long trip destination asian asia lifestyle mekong tourism vietnamese brick outdoor construction indochina delta background vinh Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-Kellies Castle

In 2013, I visited Malaysia for two months, here in Perak one of my favourite provinces, on being so close to Ipoh , I visited kellies Castle. An amazing concept that never quite got finished, a shame as I suspect it would have been stunning even today! Overlooking the picturesque view of Batu Gajah, Perak, is the unfinished castle of William Kellie Smith, better known as Kellie’s Castle. The brainchild of the Scottish rubber plantation owner to celebrate his child’s birth, the castle and surrounding ruins bear signs of Smith’s grand vision for his family home. Originally, the castle would have boasted a 6-storey tower, an indoor tennis court, an entertainment area on the rooftop, a wine cellar, plus what would have been Malaya’s (later Malaysia) first elevator. It was designed in a Moorish and Indo-Saracenic Revival style with top quality craftsmanship in mind. To realise his dream home, Smith brought in 70 workers and imported bricks and marbles from India as well as exquisite tiles from Italy. Besides its beautiful exterior, Smith had also instructed the construction of secret exit tunnels speculated to be utilised in case of emergencies. There is also a small secluded room near the wine cellar which people have dubbed as a secret room though it was reportedly planned to be a photography room. Construction was halted however when Smith suddenly passed away at the age of 56 from pneumonia while he was on his way to Lisbon to pick up his elevator. His grief stricken wife, Agnes, sold the castle to Harrisons and Crosfield and the castle was left abandoned before being made into a tourist attraction years later

Posted by TheJohnsons 21:07 Archived in Malaysia Tagged sky architecture home view nature park history travel ruins palace green grass malaysia room building heritage window castle rock stone old historical arch tourist balcony british attraction wall asia ancient tourism historic vintage brick construction landmark design structure sunlight batu mansion rustic abandoned moorish background aged hallway perak ipoh kellie Comments (0)

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