Blogs from Iran, Middle East - page 6

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Middle East » Iran » East » Mashhad August 24th 2010

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran August 24th 2010

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan August 23rd 2010

Middle East » Iran » South » Persepolis August 21st 2010

Persepolis lies about 40 km outside the city of Shiraz (origin of the wine grape). It’s an amazing archaeological site dating back to 512 BC. It takes some imagination to get a full appreciation for what the place used to look like because it was burned to the ground by Alexander of Macedonia and hasn’t had much reconstruction done since it was rediscovered in the 1930s. It was really neat to see, but we’d recommend visiting at a different time of year when it’s not so hot during the day.It was a bit tough with the group travel thing since it was mid-morning when we arrived at the site and it was already getting pretty hot. The lighting wasn’t very good for photos but our guide was really knowledgeable so we learned a lot about the ... read more
Persepolis 4
Persepolis 10
Persepolis 2

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan August 18th 2010

The city of Esfahan has been the highlight of our short time in Iran so far. Emam square is the second largest in the world after Tiananmen square in China. The architecture is incredible, it's too bad they didn't light it up very well at night. Our favorite part of Esfahan was walking along the river by the old bridges that were built back to the 1600's. The pathways and parks were full of families setting up their picnics for breaking the fast at sunset. So many strangers approached us simply to find out where we were from and what we thought of Iran. All of them greeted us with smiles and good wishes. An older lady even offered to take us to her home for dinner. It's really too bad we had to leave the ... read more
Masjed-e Emam
Khaju Bridge
Empty Bazaar

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Middle East » Iran » West August 15th 2010

First impression of Iran - the people, they have been absolutely wonderful and very welcoming. We crossed the border on Friday, August 13th and headed towards Kandovan where we did a homestay thing. Driving into the city/villiage was amazing, most people seemed to wave, or smile as the big Dragoman truck drove by. The following day we stopped briefly in Zanjan to visit the bazaar and have a look around. We split off from the group and just wondered around. Sadly we only brought out our small camera to take a few photos. We found that so many people seemed excited for us to take their photo (quite different than many other countries we've travelled to). For example, we walked by a bakery and the guy making bread motioned for us to come in and take ... read more
Zanjan Bazaar
Flat bread oven
Pickled garlic and local honey

Middle East » Iran » North » Zanjan August 7th 2010

Hamadan Hamadan, was known in classical times as Ecbatana - the ancient capital of the Medes - and was once one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. Nope, I'd not heard of it either! More often than not, travelling in Iran makes you shamefully aware of your own ignorance about things removed from that speck land at the end of the Eurasian land mass known as Europe. To a self-described history buff such as myself it is equally embarrassing and irritating to come across something such as Ecbatana for the first time and know absolutely nothing about it. Zilch. Heavy sighs for a classical education.... According to my LP guide book the ancient city of Ecbatana once had seven layers of walls - as long as classical Athens and two of which were coated ... read more
3 Zanjan - 7-8 July 2010
4 Soltaniyeh - 6 July 2010
4 Zanjan - 7-8 July 2010

Middle East » Iran » West » Khorramabad August 6th 2010

After leaving Hamid and his brother in Dezful I got in a taxi which then took me to a shuttle taxi stop. Not really a stop but where 5 cars were parked underneath a tree on a siding beside the road. My intention was to get to Khorramabad which had a famous fort above the city. Fortunately Hamid had relayed my destination and instructions to the taxi driver who then relayed them to a shuttle driver. Amusing the local drivers somebody dumped my bad into the boot of a care and told me to sit in the back. I got the poor seat option again and was put in second next to young guy with a bandage around his head. A third man got in front and then the fourth got in next to me. We ... read more
1 - Khorramabad - July 4 2010
15 - Khorramabad - July 4 2010
24 - Khorramabad - July 4 2010

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan August 1st 2010

Day 21 Zanjan to Tehran (Sat 24th July) We left the hotel today at 0800 and our first stop was the Sultanamet dome, which is apparently the second largest of its type n the world. Its nearly 50m high and about 25m diameter, built in the 8th century. And of course, it was under restoration - which means scaffolding. Fortunately the scaffolding was only on the inside so it still looked very impressive. We were able to climb up to the top to get some lovely views of the surrounding area. It was a fairly short travel day today, and we arrived in the capital of Iran at 1400. For those not too sure of their geography - that’s Tehran! It is HUGE!! The population is somewhere over 12 million people. As we are staying in ... read more
Tehran
Traditional House
On the 32 Arch Bridge

Middle East » Iran » West » Shushtar July 30th 2010

In the care of the kings of hospitality It is safe to say that my time in Bushehr had refreshed me; the warm hospitality; a clean environment; the unexpected social gatherings; time away from paid hotels, the dirt and concrete pillows and the unknown content/cleanliness of bedding. It was also a holiday away from my own ‘holiday’ the not-really-doing-anything in particular; the lack of any need to do ‘tourist’ stuff. It was great. But my visa was for a month only and I was already beyond the half way point, so regardless of the genuine (or not) invitations to stay longer I had to continue my journey north bound to the ‘deeply historic’ (Lonely Planet) city of Shushtar. But before I left, 'Fatima's' sister ‘Farahnaz’ surprised me by a farewell gift of an embroid... read more
18 - Shushtar- July 3 2010
17 - Shushtar- July 3 2010
1 - Shushtar- July 3 2010




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