Blogs from Shiraz, South, Iran, Middle East - page 2


Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz October 7th 2014

Geo: 29.602, 52.5313This is a bit of a cheat because I didn't see these places in this order - but it makes sense to group them together this way.In the 7th century BC the king of one of the Persian Tribes, Achaemenes, created a unified state in Southern Iran, thereby giving his name to what became the First Persian Empire. By the time his great-grandson ascended the throne in 559BC it was already a potent force, Cyrus the Great, as he became known, rapidly built up a huge military force and killed his grandfather, the king Astyages of the Median empire, at Pasargadae north of Shiraz. Within 11 years Cyrus had conquered much of modern Turkey, modern Pakistan, and the Babylonians. He built his palace at Pasargadae. He was finally defeated, though, by Tomyris - queen ... read more
Curious bull/man/fish creature
The tomb of Cyrus the Great

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz October 3rd 2014

Hosein the driver/guide from PARS Travel Service arrives at 0730, 1/2 an hour ahead of schedule. What to do? Offer him some breakfast and tea. There's no way I want to forgo my last breakfast at Golshan, have I mentioned how much I enjoy these Persian breakfasts? Before leaving Australia I organised a driver for 2 days so as to fit a few different things into 2 days and have a village homestay that would have been too difficult using the bus system. We set off just after 8 in his car for Persepolis. It is about 70 km north east of Shiraz. Persepolis was listed as a UNESCO Heritage site in 1979 (admission 150 000 IRR) and dates back to the Archaemenid Empire of 520 BC under Darius The Great. It is every bit as ... read more
Gate of All Nations, Persepolis
Gate of All Nations, Persepolis
Gate of All Nations, Persepolis

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz October 2nd 2014

Wake up at 0530, couple of hours until breakfast! Enjoy a communal breakfast with Javier, a Turkish guy and a Persian couple who live in France. Nice way to begin, and this breakfast has got watermelon, and the best feta to date. Head off before 0830, the Mosque-e Molk is supposed to open then. It is less than 5 mins down the road. Javier was there yesterday afternoon but is also keen to see the morning light. This has been on my list since planning the trip to Iran- I have been anticipating the light and colour for months and months. We get there, pay the 50 000 IRR ($1.80) and head in. The central entrance courtyard and algal green pool is just beautiful, there is restoration work going on at the southern end. The tiles ... read more
Entrance to Nasir al Mulk Mosque
Nasir al Mulk Mosque
Nasir al Mulk Mosque

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz October 1st 2014

Enjoyable breakfast with Terry -interesting guy- sculptor, teacher, builder of an Eco house made out of shipping containers on his rural property in NSW. He travels light, with the exception of coffee beans and a whizz bang brewing cup - smart guy (as I rip off the top of one of those three in one coffee sachets). Plan for the morning- the old US Embassy and change some money. Mehrabi at the desk draws me a sketch map and I'm off. Pass through Ferdosi Square, this is a major intersection that is full of mostly men milling around and setting up little areas on the pavement to sell things like bank notes and coins, socks, sunglasses, etc. The shops along Ferdosi are mostly higher end leather, shoe and bag shops and foreign currency places. Arrive at ... read more
12 petal flower
Typical taxi morning
Old Embassy Slogans and Murals

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz May 2nd 2014

We started the morning with a super early flight to Shiraz. Iran airlines was great, smooth check in, great food, and comfy seats. I sat next an old Iranian couple and exchanged life stories in a mixture of English, Farsi, head nodding, hand waving and lots of smile-and-pretend-you-understand-what-they-are-sayings. Foreigners are rare, and mixed marriages are even rarer, so mixed marriage foreigners with little kids simply reason for frantic jaw-dropping. We were met at the airport by our guide and driver. Due to visa requirements, we were forced to book a tour guide, and since there were four of us, a van, which meant a guide and a driver ie. we were going to have to be grandma travelers. I wasn't looking forward to days of being escorted, spoken for, pampered, directed and left without the opportunity ... read more
Masjed-e Nasir-al-Molk (Nasi-al-Molk mosque)
Shine of Hafez
Leaning tower of Iran (Karim Khan fortress)

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz January 29th 2014

Nasir ol-Molk Mosque is a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran. The Winter Prayer Hall is extremely photogenic in the morning when sunlight streams throughthe stained-glass windows.... read more
Picture 822
Picture 898
Picture 916

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz December 16th 2013

Salam dear readers, Salam. And a merry Christmas to you all. I am sure you are all busy with various preparations, I hope you have a nice day. This will be quite a long old entry with many pictures, think of it as my Christmas present to you, a special bumper addition! This is one of those blog posts I find myself writing and rewriting to attempt to achieve a degree of balance, and to present this Country in its true light after only three weeks and limited knowledge. However here goes….Iran. When I find myself describing Iran in my head I keep returning to one word. Civilized. I can hear you all cry in unison “of course it is civilized John, it’s the birth place of civilization, you crazy fool!”. Well, yes it is, but ... read more

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz October 3rd 2013

Tehran to Hamadan and Kermanshah, and onto Shiraz Well your now reading the ramblings of one pissed off little vegemite. For the Rome and Phoenix connections: when we were kids there was an advert on TV for Vegemite (similar to Marmite – Americans – google it). The theme of the advert was kids running around to a jingle – we’re happy little vegemites. Anyway why am I pissed – tell you later. I have to catch up on two days, so here goes. Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September: We left Tehran heading for Hamadan about the same as driving from Canberra to Sydney. Again, as Saturday was an odd day, we had to taxi to Emir’s car. Once there we picked our way through the Tehran traffic and headed sort of ... read more
Ali Sadr Caves
Mausoleum of Avicenna (Bu Ali Sina)
The Tomb of Esther and Mordecai

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz December 5th 2012

TOUCHDOWN No doubt about it, Iran suffers from a chronic image problem. Having a top dog like Mahmoud Ahmadinajad doesn't help. He does for Iran's international profile what Donald Trump does for the hair replacement industry. The rest of the population is guilty by association. Tell someone you're going to Iran and the only sound you're likely to hear is their jaws hitting the floor. Couple that with a blank stare and there is no need to read between the lines to decipher what they think of the idea? We accounted this to a western populace misguided by a prejudiced media but like our visit to Yemen 5 years earlier, we began questioning ourselves when other people from this region debated our sanity. One congenial young flight attendant from Turkish Airlines commented; "Please. At least don't ... read more
Hammam in Kashan

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz March 2nd 2011

NB: This post was originally written on Sunday, October 31st, 2010. 'Well, it’s the end of my second full day in Shiraz, embarking on my second visit to Iran. Yesterday, after having slept for a much-needed 12 hours on Friday night (I spent a total of 48 hours in-transit to get from Melbourne-Shiraz, with only max 5 hours’ sleep in between), I was befriended by a quirky 28 y.o. man by the name of Mostafa, who is one of the approx. 12 workers in the hotel at which I am now employed as well. He showed me around Shiraz on foot, saying that he would’ve liked to have taken me around on a motorbike (and indeed, I love riding on the back of motorbikes!), but he wanted me to get to know my surroundings properly first, ... read more
Cinema poster in Shiraz
The new 100 000 Iranian rial note (just under USD $10)
View of the old city of Shiraz from the hotel where I worked for a short while

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