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May 21st 2006
Published: May 23rd 2006
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We left Yazd at 7am. Hassan has been telling me a bit about his life , he was born in India to Iranian parents and lived there until he came to Iran for his sisters wedding in 1979, he then got caught up in the revolution and was not allowed to return to India. A call up to the army followed and action in the Iran-Iraq war and a run in with a landmine. He then returned to the airforce after convalesence and finally was free to return to India in 1988. He married here and his wife wont go to India so he visits every year or two.

I saw a dead wolf on the side of the road, its the first one I have seen outside of the zoo, Iran also has Asiatic Cheetahs.

The desert is getting a little tiresome so it was a relief to travel through the mountains, some of which were snowcapped. Abarqu was the first place we stopped at, it has a number of historical mansions which I wandered around and on the rooves of. It also boasts a 4 or 5000 year old Cypress tree which is 25m high and 5
Naqsh - e RostamNaqsh - e RostamNaqsh - e Rostam

Truly incredible rock cut tombs
metres around the trunk.

People keep asking Why would you go to Iran? Persepolis has much to do with this choice, I have had the opportunity and privilege to visit many of the worlds ancient sites and Ancient Persia was next on the list.

The first stop into the ancient past was at Pasargardae the city built by the Cyrus the Great. Not much still stands but 550BC wasnt yesterday. I have seen more impressive ruins its true, but I had this place to myself. Cyrus tomb as you can see is impressive, it used to be much higher, its a shame about the scaffolding though.

About 60 kiometres down the road is the amazing Naqshe - e Rostam and Naqshe - e Rajab, by now I was salivating, I am a nutter when it comes to this kind of thing. Rostam has four sensational rock cut tombs belonging to Darias the Great, Darius 2, Xerxes, and Xerxes 2. Underneath the tombs at the base of the cliff are some amazing bas reliefs carved into the cliff. Rajab also has some impressive bas reliefs.

After the entree the main course was no disapointment, I was pleasantly

Palatial Ruins
suprised at how cheap it was to get in, just 80 cents. There were no hawkers and no tourists, anyone who has gone to Eupheusis, Ankor or Egypt will find this unbelievable I was stoked. I spent hours wandering one of the truly great cities of the ancient world blessfully alone.

As for Persepolis you must judge for yourself, but in my humble opinion it is was worth all the effort and every dollar it took to get here.

Hassan has a day to kill before heading to Esphahan to pick up some American tourists. He has told me about some other ancient sites around Shiraz, so for $50 an over night trip sounds a bargain so we passed through Shiraz and headed to Kazerun. The drive through the mountains was awesome and terrorfying, the drivers are totally insane.

We found a good place to stay and shared a room, the shower was the best ever. Come morning we were off early to a place called Bishapur these ruins were I fould, disappointing I did however enjoy the look on the curators face when I didnt want to buy his post cards.

There were more carvings along the road which I inspected later in the day but it was important to get to the mountain early, it took a couple of hours to hike up and was an exhausting experience I was soaked to the skin from the effort.

Tang - e Chogun (Shapurs Cave) was more satisfying because of the effort it took to get there, the bloody huge 7 metre statue of Shapur just added the icing to the cake, perhaps thats why he built it so high up the bloody mountain.

Two hair raising hours later we checked into the hotel in Shiraz, nice room too, I accompanied Hassan to a Shia shrine in the city but they wouldnt let me enter being a non-muslim so I went off to the Bazaar and watched this stupid old Foreigner pay an absurd price (85 Euro) for a few cheap things and then left, there would be no bargains there for me.

I went to a travel agent and bought a plane ticket to Kuwait its destroyed whats left of my itinerary, but its cheaper to fly than take the ferry, I will have to change a couple of flights later, but
Eagle MountEagle MountEagle Mount

Between Yadz and Shiraz
the air ticket was far cheaper than the pencil boxes, stupid old tourists LOL.

Anyway Hassan has offered me a lift to Esphahan tomorrow, I am a naturally suspicious person when I travel and never see the good in people as I think everyone is out to cheat me, Iran is teaching me to lighten up. The people here are extremely helpfully and a part from a couple of incidents friendly.

Geoff mate not a drop unless you count non-alcoholic pineapple beer, which by the way tastes ok

Keep forgetting I havent seen you for a while Pete, I lost 17kg before I left, I actually think I am starting to stack it back on

Ai Kiong thank your husband for his comments much appeciated

Additional photos below
Photos: 41, Displayed: 25


Mansions of AbarquMansions of Abarqu
Mansions of Abarqu

From the roof
One old treeOne old tree
One old tree

5000 years to be exact
Naqsh - e RostamNaqsh - e Rostam
Naqsh - e Rostam

Fantastic rock carvings

Gate of all Nations

Gate of all Nations

Hall of 100 collumns

Hall of 100 collumns

Tomb of Artexerxes 2

23rd May 2006

Fantastic pics mate, probably some of the best for the trip so far. It's a shame about that revolution in 1979 as Iran was on the way to becoming a modern country until that happened. Still there's a lot of history there with the Persians and didn't the Babylonians have some cities there or maybe that was Iraq (Hanging Gardens etc). Oh well, keep the entries coming, I'm forwarding your updates on to all my family and friends.
24th May 2006

Cyrus the Great
A decendant of Billie Ray Cyrus?

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