Marco was in Hormuz. A suitable place for transaction. Since it was a port, it made it easier for merchants to get there, especially Indian merchants. Large ships came there with cargos full of spices, pearls, cloths and many other goods. Besides, Hormuz and Minab rivers were remarkable because of their beauty. However, the monsoon winds were unbearable and even sometimes it killed people.

Marco Polo started his journey in Iran and headed to the deserts. He continued his journey to get to the north. He went through the deserts and across mountains to get to a town. On his way he saw lots of palm trees with dates. The first city he reached was Kerman. It took him eight days to get to Kerman, with only three places to stay on the way. A city located in the southeast and in the center of attention because of the political reasons and also for its borders with eastern territories. Also because it was exposed to attacks. Like many other cities of Iran at the time, Kerman was also ruled by Tatars. Marco defines Kerman as the city of precious stones such as Turquoise and also industrial mines like Iron.

On the way to Kerman, he got to a poor and dry district. In this area shortage of water forced people to make subterranean canals (Qanat). It was the first time that he saw such thing. Marco Polo lived in Venice, a city on the water. Seeing such a dry place was unimaginable for him. This dry place was Dasht-e Kavir. After passing this famous desert he reached to Kuhbanan in Kerman. One of the most ancient cities in Iran. This city was the residence of Zoroastrians. It was a small city but it was full of Iron mines and steel workshops.

His next destination was Khorasan, in the eastern part of Iran. Khorasan was under the full domination of Mongols. However it was a great place for trading. In the bazaars of Khorasan you could see transaction of silk cloth. Another thing that was noticeable in this city was the abundance of cereals, lands and fruits. Marco describes the people of that area cruel because of the fear they had for Tatars.

While he was going from east to west, he visited Yazd. A large, beautiful and fascinating city. Marco mentions Yazd in his book “as big as seven days walk”. One of the most favorite items to the merchants in Yazd was its wonderful silk cloths that everyone called them “Yazdi Cloth” or “termeh”. The way to Yazd was not hard for them. The road was full of birds, appropriate for haunting like partridge and quail. Marco then moved toward the western part of Iran. In that region, Kurdistan had an independent government. This was interesting for Marco, since the Mongols were governing most parts of Iran.


 

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