Blogs from Shiraz, South, Iran, Middle East


Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz January 4th 2019

Just like the irony of there being no beef madras in Madras, there is no shiraz to be found in Shiraz. A place that once produced some of the finest wine in the world, Iran's 300 pre-revolution wineries have now been reduced to zero. We are in the Islamic Republic after all and as such, there is not a drop of alcohol to be (legally) found in the country, outside of the small Iranian Christian communities that live here. Not that this should put anyone off visiting Shiraz, of course - my next destination has many a sight worth seeing. Oh, does it just. Now when I think about every place I have been in on New Year's Day over the years, the list is a microcosm of all my travels; London, Dubai, Berlin (twice), url=../../Africa/Egypt/Lower ... read more
Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh, Shiraz
Pink Mosque, Shiraz

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz March 4th 2017

This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you. - Hafez Within moments of entering the Islamic Republic of Iran, the secret police were on our trail. A man stopped our guide, whom we had only just met, before we had gone more than ten paces from passport control, and asked him in Farsi for his credentials and for details about our trip. It was a routine inquiry; American, Canadian and British tourists must be accompanied by a guide at all times while in the country, and even taking oneself to one’s hotel from the airport unaccompanied is illegal. I was so pleased to be waived into the country after weeks of nail-biting about potential visa retaliation against US citizens, given Trump’s executive order banning Iranian visitors to the US, that ... read more
Karim Khan Citadel
Karim Khan Citadel
Karim Khan Citadel

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz November 20th 2016

We had Sadj drop us in an area of Shiraz where the guidebook showed there were a bunch of hotels to choose from. Being our last destination before returning to Tehran we wanted a reasonably decent room so we’d determined to take our time in assessing our options. Marie got left with the bags while Emma did the rounds. As one of the leading tourist destinations in Iran, costs were relatively high and budget places weren’t even clean. There wasn’t much in the mid-range so Emma negotiated with the one with the nicest room relative to cost. What should have been a US$80 room was offered for US$57 but internet was separate and costs were quite high. We managed to get it for US$53 with internet included. After settling in we headed out to explore. This ... read more
Shrine of Shah-e-Cheragh
Dinner stop

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz November 18th 2016

Our driver was 10 mins late but given he lives in a different town we accepted it with good grace. We found this out when after our breakfast stop at a very nice café in Shahr-E Kurd 90 minutes after we’d been collected and Sadj (our driver) took us to his house 200m down the road so we could use his bathroom. Turns out he’d taken us to his local for breakfast. Our wheels were an old school Nissan Patrol. Complete with snorkel, expedition rack, ladder and really decent off road wheels including on the spare. Built in compartments in the back held tools and a tent and sleeping bag. We figured he knew what he was doing. Sadj asked us if we liked Iranian music. Of course we said. So up it was turned and ... read more
campfire spot
lunch stop

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz February 29th 2016

Day 36 Tuesday 23rd February 2016 Well our time in Yazd has been great (except for me being half dead) but we now need to move on. The hotel we are staying in has been fabulous but what is weird that there has been hardly anyone else staying here, and on this last morning we were the only ones in the hotel and they made up a special breakfast just for us. The hotel (being an historical home) actually has lots of tours walking through and on this last morning it was no exception. After brekkie we packed our bags, checked out and got a taxi to the bus station. We had to redeem our voucher from yesterday for real tickets and at the bus company counter we encountered perhaps the most apathetic and ... read more
Masjid-e Nasir-al-Molk
Naqsh-e Rostam

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz February 10th 2016

Finally, here it's Iran time! Made it easy, I arrived in Shiraz at 3.30am, ready to apply for my visa on arrival at the airport. I read a lot about it. Don't forget, first rule, if you have been to Israel, you will not be allowed into Iran. Well, you know my blogs, I just had to make sure that if they "google" me, nothing too embarrassing would go out of it...and that they would not put me on the next flight! I was greeted in the middle of the night by big smiles, and only welcome words. No questions asked, just smiles....and a 45 minutes wait to get the visa processed after I paid the 50 euros for the visa fee. It was close to 5am, I was ready to take my taxi to ... read more
Amazing bas-reliefs at Persepolis
Shiraz, gorgeous mosques...not easy with the sun!

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz September 25th 2015

Shiraz feels more liberal when compared with Yazd or especially Mashad. The people have kept at least some of the spirit and attitude that in pre-revolution days made the city the entertainment capital of Persia. The women dress more colourfully and push at the limits of acceptability with scarves worn far back on their heads. Many people enjoy socialising and eating out. Shirazi wine is still illicitly produced and drunk. That said this is still Iran and everybody, at least in public, is respectful of their religion. Our first day started with a visit to the beautiful Nasir al Molk Mosque where the morning sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows creates a kaleidoscope of colour. As another demonstration of the schizophrenia sometimes found here it has an official Instagram account even though Facebook is banned ... read more
Nasir al Molk Mosque
Nasir al Molk Mosque
Nasir al Molk Mosque

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz July 24th 2015

Geo: 29.602, 52.5313Yep the title say's it all. Left Esfahan and found a fantastic shopping centre..even better that Kaufland. We were early so had to wait 1 hour until open, however it was worth the wait to get a good supply of food and other stuff that had been difficult to get elsewhere.Drove south towards Shiraz. Stopped on the way to check out a traditional village. This one had been continually occupied for 2500 years. Crazy really. One continual theme for Iran is how honest, generous and friendly the people are. It seems it is a traditional Muslim thing. A far cry from what we see and hear back home. Lisa particular has had to have her photo taken with a lot of women.Got back on the road after a spot of lunch, a three lane ... read more
Truck Crash
Truck Crash

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz June 18th 2015

Sunnuntai 14.6. Shiraz Aikainen aamuherätys ja pikainen aamupala, jonka jälkeen pakulle. Paku oli täysi romu ja vauvan turvaistuin oli tyyliä muovilaatikko henkseleillä. Turvavyöt eivät olleet olan yli eli L:n turvaistuin oli ihan turha. Jotenkin sen kuitenkin siihen virittelin, mutta aika epämukavaa oli. Ja kun lähdettiin matkalle, niin S:n takapuoli kastui penkistä. Vaihtoi ikkunapaikalle, jossa kävi minuutin päästä sama homma. Kuski ja apukuski eivät ymmärtäneet, mikä on ongelma. Apukuski tarjosi kasvopapereita, mutta kun avuksi otettu A:n peppupyyhekin oli jo ihan märkä, niin tuskin ne olis paljoa auttaneet... Lopulta apukuski kaivoi aurinkosuojat, mutta tulihan niistäkin vesi läpi. Pyysin S:ää ajattelemaan positiivisesti kun oli pitkä reissu edessä, mutta sitten myös mun penkki alkoi kostuttaa hanuria. Vaikeaa olla positiivinen, kovin vaikeaa... Tässä... read more
Kivaa olla matkalla
Mies ja salkku

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz October 8th 2014

Geo: 29.602, 52.5313Shiraz is a large and sprawling city and the things of interest to the traveller are somewhat scattered. But it figures on the UNESCO World Heritage List thanks to its gardens. But Iran is desperately short of water, too little has fallen and too much is being used so the water features in most gardens have been turned off and they are dry and dusty.Iranians also have a saying that all homes must have two things - a copy of the Quran and a copy of the poetry of Hafez, their most famous poet. Though others would support the claim of the poet Sa'di who wrote of his love of roses and gardens. Both were from Shiraz, both have their burial places here, both are in gardens.Yes there are mosques and shrines (one to ... read more
Prayer time, train stops, off to prayer room
Desert caravanserai seen from train
The tomb of Hafez

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