Blogs from Shiraz, South, Iran, Middle East - page 5


Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz August 16th 2007

At the Shirazi bazaar, I saw a man carrying bundles of dyed red wool whose teeth were tinged in a shade of ginger red. From the Ronas plant or a mere cherry-flavor popsicle? I prayed it was the prior. Regarding natural dyes - did you know that the red colour of the finest carpets come from a plant called 'Madder'? If consumed, the plant slowly turns one's bones red. This was where I witnessed the teeth of a madder grower. His grin was red. Daily brushing, he claimed, never let it fade away. I've watched the Disney movie, Aladdin, several times. My favorite character will always be the flying carpet. But as a child, I always felt pity for the carpet who never had a proper name other than 'carpet'. But until recently, I actually ... read more
At Hossein
At Hossein's carpet store
Camel carpet

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz May 8th 2007

Have you ever been to the UN building's Hall of Nations in New York? I've fortunately had the opportunity to visit it for free since i'm a penniless college kid in Manhattan improving ramen recipes. But anyway, if you have gone there you may have noticed the plaque marked with the following lovely passage: بنى آدم اعضاء يك پیکرند، که در آفرينش ز يك گوهرند چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار، دگر عضوها را نماند قرار تو که از محنت دیگران بیغمی، نشاید که نامت نهند ادمی "Of one Essence is the human race, Thusly has Creation put the Base; One Limb impacted is sufficient, For all Others to feel the Mace." This is the work of the famous Persian poet, Sa'adi. Iran's produced a number of fantastic writers who're popular amongst both Iranians and ... read more
Statue of Ferdousi
Ferdousi's tomb
Tomb of Sa'adi

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz May 7th 2007

In 333 BCE, Alexander the Great (not Colin Farrell) and his Macedonian troops threw a classical-equivalent of a frat party in the Persian ceremonial city of Persepolis. After all, they had to celebrate their second victory over the mighty Persians! After one too many jolly drinks, an Attic gal by the name of Thais thought it a fantabulous idea to set fire to the city (revenge for the prior burning of Greek temples by the Persians). And so they did. But after the liquor snapped out of Alexander, he regretted it wholeheartedly. It was, after all such a splendid place. Setting off from Shiraz, we visited the ruins of Persepolis. It covers a large block of land, and there are even two royal tombs built into the cliff face looking over the site - smokers, ... read more

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz May 5th 2007

Could you tell me what colours pop into your mind when you hear about Iranian mosques? Quick! Well, I noticed too that most of my earlier photos are full of blues (dark, turquoise, many other tones). I assumed that there was some kind of colour rule in existence since the introduction of Islam in the Persian Empire. After all, I to my relief I didn't see any domes that shared an intricate colour pattern with my mother's Picasso print sweater from back in the 80s. Ouch. The Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque, or rather the 'Rose Mosque' as it is nicknamed in Shiraz is an unusual architectural masterpiece due to the generous use of coloured tiles, especially...PINK. Out of all blooming colours, they chose a cute shade of pink to dominate its appearance, with patterns of roses (one ... read more
Rose mosque
Rose mosque
Rose mosque

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz May 4th 2007

You have probably heard of the terms 'Shiraz' or 'Syrah' before - they're the same type of grape, which is extremely popular. Growing up in Australia, it was difficult to escape from the seductive bottles of Shiraz found in almost every liquor store or restaurant I went into. Hence, I personally prefer it to any other type of grape recently...ah, the notes of berries and pepper (occasionally one comes across 'chocolate', which is pleasant). Otherwise i'm no sommelier so please don't press me for details! Whoops! But if you do have an opportunity, I recommend any well-known Shiraz from the Yarra Valley in South Australia, for their full-bodied flavour. The name came about from the city of Shiraz in Iran. It is said that this is the very place where the wine process was invented ... read more
The villa

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz July 21st 2006

In Yazd we had one day to sort out ourselves and bikes before setting off to Shiraz. Again we were getting close to the end of our visa and needed to make an extension in Shiraz. We met two Swiss cyclists in the hotel in Yazd. They had come from Kathmandu and we swapped stories and looked at each other’s maps for tips about the roads ahead. I went out to search the many crappy bike shops of Yazd for some inner tubes. You can easily find 2cm wide tubes anywhere, but because both our rear rims were only 1.5 cm we were getting tube failures because the rims were pressing on the tubes. We also bought two new tyres. We found some fake Indonesian Schwalbes for $6 each. After sleeping in a bit longer than ... read more
Eagle Rock, Taft
Ancient Tree

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz June 13th 2006

Hamid had offered to take me with him on a trip to Bushehr on the Red Sea coast but he slipped in the showerand injured his back, so instead I went and bought a new pair of pants and a couple of T-shirts, visited a traditional restaurant, the bazaar, a museum and a mosque. I moved from the apartment to a smaller cheaper hotel that evening and settled in to watch the world cup soccer matches with the guys in the hotel. Over the next few days I checked out the local restaurants found all the goodies at the bazaar I wished to buy and basically took it easy and got my ticket refunded. On the 11th it was time to pack up my bags and my new purchases and head to the airport, say farewell ... read more

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz May 30th 2006

When I was in Shiraz last time Hassan and I met an Iranian girl named Mozghan, she offered to show me around town if I returned so I sent her an email and said I would return for a couple of days and she offered to meet me at the airport. The plane was delayed at the airport in Tehran for nearly three hours so I was suprised to see her there when I arrived, she arranged the cab to the hotel where I deposited my bag and then took me to the castle in Shiraz and then the Bazaar. After walking around for an hour or so looking at souvenirs and having to repeat myself constantly as people here have difficulties with my accent we went to a traditional tea house and tried some local ... read more
The Shiraz Fortress
The Shiraz Fortress
The Shiraz Fortress

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz May 21st 2006

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. ... read more
Naqsh - e Rostam

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz November 8th 2000

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 ... read more
The city's new inhabitants
Persepolis city gate
Tomb in the mountainside

Tot: 1.469s; Tpl: 0.04s; cc: 7; qc: 80; dbt: 0.047s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 4; ; mem: 1.5mb