Itinerary #1 Our trip to Alamut – The Valley of Assassins

Itinerary #1 Our trip to Alamut – The Valley of Assassins

with 3 Comments

You must be a little out of mind to travel to Alamut in the winter because the weather is unpredictable and you don’t know what will happen to you. But we are adventurous and risk takers, so we decided to take this trip with our friends from Vietnam, Indonesia, and France. Our travel started at 9 a.m. and after eating a delicious Haleem for breakfast together and buying chicken for barbecue, we headed to the beautiful Alamut also known as the Valley of Assassin.

As soon as we reached the mountain road, we confronted with a heavy foggy weather and we could barely see anything. Driving in this kind of situation is difficult and also dangerous, so we started thinking about coming back or continuing the trip and maybe stay the night if the weather is not getting any better. Finally, we decided to continue our way and we didn’t regret in the end because after an hour the fog disappeared and the weather became as clear as a crystal.

Foggy weather on our way to Alamut
Foggy weather on our way to Alamut

 

Because of the foggy the weather at the beginning, we had to drive like a snail, so after passing Rajaee Dasht and Moaallem Kelayeh, we directly headed to Andej Valley and didn’t stop to visit the beautiful Ovan Lake. The photo below was taken from the sky at noon, but it looks like the evening.

The beautiful sky at noon
The beautiful sky at noon

 

When we arrived at Andej, it was about 1:30 p.m. and we started to prepare the lunch which took a bit longer than usual because making fire took us a lot of time. After all, the fire was ready and we barbecued the chicken whose taste was so good and delicious, as cooked slowly by the heat of hot coals. After eating the lunch, we played frisbee for half an hour. Then. we packed up our stuff and headed to visit Hasan al-Sabbah Castle on the top of the mountain. We usually go hiking in the Golden Canyon near Andej Valley, but we were behind the schedule so we missed it.

Beautiful mountainous are near Andej
Beautiful mountainous area near Andej
Small shelter inside the rocks
Small shelter inside the rocks

 

It was about 3:30 p.m when we arrived the bottom of the mountain which on the top of it the Castle can be seen. You are also confronted with lots of stairs and the steep path to the top of the mountain. You must be in shape if you’d like to go to the top and visit the main castle, otherwise, you should be patient because you have to take some rest during hiking toward the Castle. Four of us started going to the top. One of us stopped after a while and three of us continued our way. After reaching the first resort in the middle of the way, my Vietnamese friend and I stopped there to take rest. but the French guy who told me that he had been practicing for Marathon went up the stairs like a rabbit and reached the Castle. I wanted to visit the castle but I had to rest and because the weather was going to be dark, so I preferred to stay, enjoy the view, and wait for our French friend.

The path to the top of the mountain on which the castle is located
The path to the top of the mountain on which the castle is located
The Castle is on the top
The Castle is on the top

 

He came back after 20 minutes and descended the mountain together. After that, we headed back to Qazvin and hopefully the road wasn’t foggy, so we came back our lovely city safe and sound. Our Indonesian friend wanted to come back her country, so we gave her a ride to the bus terminal and she went to Tehran to take her flight the next day. Our French friend went to a hostel to stay the night and continue his journey in Iran.

This trip was one of the most interesting because we had such a good time, played together, hiked and experienced traveling in a foggy weather. If you’d like to travel with us, you are welcomed. I’d like to finish this itinerary with a scenic view of the sunset.

The sunset
The sunset
Follow Alireza:

An enthusiastic tour guide and translator :)

3 Responses

  1. Noel
    | Reply

    Hi there! With your blog name, I’m guessing you’re from Iran. This post reminded me of my previous hike where I almost never reach the summit.

    If I may ask, why is Alamut called the valley of assassins? Does it use to have actual assassins living in the caves?

    • Alireza
      | Reply

      Hi Noel
      Yes, I live in Iran, Qazvin. I hope next time when you are here you can reach the summit.
      Alamut is called the valley of assassins because of a sect lived there. The word “Assassin” is originated from the word “Hashashin”. Hashashin originally means people who sell drugs. On the other hand, Hassan-i Sabbah, the ruler of Alamut in that time, had an army who assassinated his enemies by his order and the group was called Fedayeen meaning that they were willing to sacrifice themselves for him. To give you a better view, you can consider the League of Shadows in Batman Begins as Hassan-i Sabbah army and Ra’s al Ghul as Hassan-i Sabbah himself. So, because this group of assassins lived there in the valley of Alamut, Alamut is called the valley of assassins. But, nowadays it is just a ruin of the castle on the top of the mountain and now there are no assassins living in the caves. The history of this sect dates back to almost 1000 years ago, so there are many different stories about their culture and lifestyle.
      I hope you got your answer. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. You can also take a look at The Lord of Alamut by Paul Amir or Alamut by Vladimir Bartol

      • Noel
        | Reply

        Very interesting. Especially the origin of the word. But it’s good to know that it’s all over and that the place is suitable for travelers now.

Leave a Reply