Overland 1972 - Day 37

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March 19th 1972
Published: March 22nd 2013
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Day 37 - Sunday 19th March

John was feeling very poorly and wanted to find a doctor - according to the hotel desk, a doctor's appointment would cost 200 rials (£1). It was snowing quite heavily but I decided to walk to the Post Office to collect my mail. John had returned from the doctors with his 180 rials worth of medicine including syrup and penicillin. In the afternoon, Michael, Heather and myself headed towards the bazaar. We passed the Golestan Palace which was sadly closed for New Year but you could still admire its decorative beauty by peering through the railings. By this time, the heavy snow had turned to rain and many of the roads were flooded - the bedlam added to by the mad city drivers - my feet were frozen. The bazaar was a huge disappointment and was more like woolworth with lots of the shops selling household items and cheap trinkets. Later we found the carpets and jewellery. Unlike Istanbul, there was less hassle from the shopkeepers whilst at the same time it was considerably less inviting and inspiring. There was a lot of joustling and there was much pandemonium when two saucers were knocked from a tray - physical fighting was averted though ! For the first time we became very conscious that some women were wearing headscarves which completely covered their faces leaving only their eyes visible.

We found a reasonable restaurant after an initial alarm looking through one cafe window - the soup seemed to comprise of a mixture of animal intestines (and probably was) ! Fortunately Teheran had a significant number of excellent cake shops to raise the spirits albeit the cakes were very sweet. I bought some more halva as well so enjoyed a totally unbalanced diet. We returned to Hotel Amir Kabir and spent some time in the warm but smoky lounge. Most of us were feeling unwell with various degrees of colds no doubt influenced by weeks of damp weather and the poorly ventilated rooms. It was a dismal day and New Year would mean that most of the tourist sites would be closed.


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