Wednesday, 19 September 2007


Mark reached the city of Yazd this afternoon and with imagery as good as this, you really get the feeling of being there with him!

So today, having already found out a fair bit about the physical geography of Iran, Yazd presents us with a good opportunity to find out something of the human geography of the country. ... except, as we will see see, the human geography is often dictated by physical factors

The aerial photo above shows a tiny corner of this city of over 433,000 people. That makes it more or less the same size as Edinburgh! Even this tiny part of the city shows buildings constructed to create maximum shade in inner courtyards. As the temperature figures for Yazd reveal - 40 degrees is not uncommon in summer - shade will be at a premium. Traditional architecture responds to this climate as this article from Wikipedia explains. Many of the buildings in Yazd benefit from a type of natural air conditioning called windcatchers and are supplied by water from underground sources via qanats. Yazd is also one of the largest cities built almost entirely out of adobe mud bricks. Adobe has particularly good insulation properties and keeps buildings cool in summer but prevents too much heat from being lost in the cold winter months.

To get a really good impression of the architecture and history of the city, you might like to watch this video..

The narrator has a slightly tedious voice but the video is definitely worth watching! if the embedded version fails to play, click here.

Perhaps even better, however, are these galleries of stunning photographs by photographer Brian McMorrow. If you link to the webpage and click on any of the thumbnails, they open dozens of really high quality photos of Yazd.


Heather said...

Dear 'Mrs V'!

I wasn't sure how best to contact you but thought this was as good as any! My name is Heather and I'm Mark's big sister. I just wanted to say how absolutely fantastic your geo-blog is. It has added a whole new dimension to Mark's incredible adventure for me. Reading about the area is bringing it alive and giving a sense of understanding to what Mark is experiencing. I am aspiring to start my primary teacher training next year and am inspired at how engaging and fun you are able to make learning geography. Furthermore, I am totally addicted!
I know Mark is delighted that you and HSD have become a part of his journey. I'm sure it is comforting to know he has so much support when he's pedaling up an endless dessert hill in a head wind!
Thanks again for a fantastic blog.
Best wishes
p.s. Do you have any idea what the donut-shaped formations are either side of the road at 1100 today (20/09)?

Mrs V said...

I am delighted to know you are enjoying the geographical journey and thanks for taking the time to tell me. As for the features you spotted, I noticed them as well and wondered what they might be. Another puzzle - like the spots in Turkey! Perhaps we will need to ask Mark to get off his bike and have a look....
Mrs V