Sand, stone and dust


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Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz
November 8th 2000
Published: September 27th 2005
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Today's assignment is an excursion to Perespolis, the old winter capital. The journey goes on dusty roads through sandy plains with scattered rugged mountains and cliffs along the sides. Most of the traffic consists of trucks and buses. There are plenty of interesting vintage types to observe, like the N40, Mercedes O302, O309 and L808. Any fellow nerds will know what I am talking about, you others are welcome to simply read on...

Arriving at Peresepolis we are arriving in front of the remains of the main city gates. Although excited at first I am a bit let down by the general state of things. What remains of the city are battered pillars rising to the sky, flights of stairs and occasional big blocks of stone scattered around and imposing figures of stone looking down on you. The rugged mountainside nearby is home to a gigantic sealed tomb. There is still elegant ornaments to be seen, mainly in the form of Medeans carrying gifts to the King, but not having any historical foreknowledge I find it hard to fully appreciate it all. My companions are absorbed by the numerous accounts of historic events that took place, I mainly walk around looking for interesting things to photograph. More spectacular then are the nearby tombs of the Kings Darius the First, Second and Xerxes. Their final resting places are also much more photogenic.

We have our lunch at a small roadside restaurant with hungry cats sneaking around the tables before returning to Shiraz. We have some time left in the late afternoon and I take Farzaneh to her first visit to an Internet café. I had hoped to find a message from my Tehrani penpal who I have not yet heard from since I arrived. No luck so far, and I leave a message and hope for the best. There's still a week left until I return to Tehran. We continue to go shopping for vegetables and foods for tomorrow's picnic lunch. I am happy that I don't have to cross the busy roads completely on my own.

The uncertainty of who really won the American presidential elections continue and I find it utterly amusing to watch the story running on Iranian TV and in the English speaking daily newspaper.


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From Medina with love


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