Blogs from Esfahan, West, Iran, Middle East

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Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan March 10th 2017

Roam abroad in the world, and take your fill of its enjoyments before the day shall come when you must quit it for good. – Sa’adi Arrived in glorious Isfahan, only a four-hour bus ride from Yazd, in the early evening. The jewel of ancient Persia and one of the finest cities in the Islamic world, according to the guidebook, and famous for its Persian-Islamic architecture. The most well-known Persian saying about Isfahan is “Esfahan nesf-e jahan,” or Isfahan is half the world. A wonderful city to explore at leisure, drinking tea and wandering the bazaars, if you can manage it. Amazing mosques, fabulous palaces and elegant bridges, and shopping which will empty both your days and your pocketbook. We stayed at the lovely and atmospheric Sunrise Traditional Hotel, a bit far from the Naqsh-e-Jahan Square ... read more
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Imam Mosque
Bazaar

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan November 16th 2016

Our ride to Yazd bus station arrived promptly. Iranians are very punctual, if not 5-10 mins early. We enjoyed the cool of the early morning once we’d found our bus. Passengers started to get grumpy when 9am came and we still hadn’t left (it was supposed to be an 8:30). A young woman who was studying in Yazd had sat opposite us and we’d been chatting to her as she spoke good English, she’d made a deliberate beeline for that seat in a relatively empty bus so we knew she was keen to engage. She told us that the driver was saying it not his fault he couldn’t go, that there was some problem with the company that they couldn’t understand something to do with accidents and the company be temporarily closed. The men on the ... read more
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Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan April 21st 2016

Our first full day in Esfahan began with a visit to the 40 Column Palace. Kurush, our new guide, gave us the tour of the place and pointed out historic references among the paintings decorating the walls. Outside, a vista of foliage could be enjoyed by visitors. We walked among the gardens for a bit. The next stop was an old mosque known as the "Shaking Minarets". While outside, Kurush bought us this blended carrot drink with ice cream. This mosque was built in the 14th century over a tomb and is famous for, several times a day, having a person climb into one of the minarets and shaking it excessively. This, in turn, will cause the others to shake. While waiting for the show, I met a man who had come from another part of ... read more
Khaju Bridge
Tasty Treat
Silhouette

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan March 2nd 2016

Day 40 Saturday 27th February 2016 Today is a bus to Esfahan which leaves at 10.30am so slept in a bit and got a taxi to the terminal. No sooner had we jumped out of the taxi and we were being asked where to and do we have a ticket, every step someone different asked us the same question and wanted to see our ticket. Finally sat down and another man asked to see our ticket and confirmed the bus in front of us was ours, then started to walk away with our ticket. Scott called out and he said “computer” sometimes you just have to go with the flow, a few minutes later he reappeared and handed us a computerised version of our ticket. Today’s bus is a standard and it is still ... read more
Pol-e Si-o-Seh Bridge
Masjed-e Shah
Vank Cathedral

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan February 10th 2016

Next stop in my little Iran tour, the jewel of Esfahan. I took the 7 hours local bus from Shiraz to Esfahan. The bus was scheduled for 6am, we left at 6.45am. The bus ride was comfortable, less than 4usd for a 7 hours ride. The restroom stop was...by a local mosque, which is a first for me. And one more time, amazing people. Not many tourists do venture independently to Iran today, even less seem to take local long-distance buses....so you end up meeting people, and even when they don't speak English, they are super friendly! Visiting any place on a National day, and you face the issues of closed places such as museums or other sites. I arrived in Esfahan just after lunch time. I knew most mosques do close here by 4pm on ... read more
Beautiful Si-o-Seh bridge
I like when they stopped to ask me what I tought of what was happening!
Beautiful Naqsh-e Jahan Iman Square

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan September 29th 2015

The Persian proverb "Esfahan is half of the world" (which if Google translate has worked is what the title of this blog says in Farsi) is hyperbole but it is a spectacular place with a huge square, many mosques, palaces, bridges, and a fantastic bazaar. Where it definitely isn't half the world is in restaurants – perhaps the biggest challenge we faced during our days there was finding something local to eat, one night we even resorted to pizza and a Subway style sandwich ffs !!! True to form the people were friendly, chatty and hospitable, inviting us for tea even when they weren't trying to sell us something or when we told them we weren't going to buy anything – despite Esfahani's being known for their selling skills and fondness for money. We did though ... read more
Imam Mosque
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Sheihk Lotfollah Mosque

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan June 14th 2015

Keskiviikko 10.6. Isfahan L pysyi hereillä koneeseen asti, vaikka lento lähti vasta klo 23. Nousussa kyllä tipahti ja nukkui koko matkan. J diilasi meille kaks penkkiriviä, joten lapset sai hyvin nukkumaan. Me ei silti nukuttu oikeastaan ollenkaan. Herätettiin huomiota koneessa ja portilla, ihmettelivät, että ollaan tulossa Iraniin. Yks iranilainen, Jenkeissä asuva tyttö antoi numeronsa ja sanoi, että voidaan soittaa, jos halutaan jotain apua. Juuri kellään ei ollut huivia portilla, ainoastaan joillakin vanhemmilla naisilla, vaan laittoivat ne koneen laskeuduttua. Passintarkastuksessa meitä, kuten kaikkia muitakin koneessa ollutta noin viittä länkkäriä, pyydettiin istumaan odottamaan ja meidän passit lähti jonnekin yläkertaan. Eri miehet niitä kävi heiluttelemassa ja pohdittiin, näkyykö mulla jotain liikaa tai mistä kiikastaa. Väsy painoi. Lopult... read more
TK:n lahjat kelpasivat
Basaaria
Raflan sisäänkäynti

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan October 13th 2014

It's a Shia Islamic holiday today called Eid-al Ghadir- "the day in which the Holy Prophet of Islam, by divine command in his last sermon, designated Imam Ali, the first Shia Imam, as his immediate successor"- couldn't have said it any better than that- thank you Wikipedia. The concert of last night and fireworks of the last few nights have been part of the celebrations. Today Esfehan is going to be very quiet- no bazaar, no banks, no shops etc. It is a day for celebrations with family at home. Perfect day for me to spend in the Armenian Quarter (Jolfa)! According to some sources, back in 1607 Shah Abbas I was responsible for driving 150 0000 Armenian Christians from Jolfa in Armenia to Esfahan to establish New Jolfa, according to others he rescued them from ... read more
Vank Cathedral
Vank Cathedral
Vank Cathedral

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan October 12th 2014

You meet some very interesting people on your travels. Travel creates a level playing field for these encounters. This morning I had breakfast with the Austrian Ambassador to Doha and her partner. We sat out in the courtyard and swapped stories; a potted history over coffee, flat bread and Persian feta in a blue courtyard. It's kind of like speed dating (well, I think it would be like speed dating); you tell a story, listen to a story and maybe spend more time with them if the inclination and opportunity arises, or if not it's still a part of the overall travel experience. They are here for a few more nights, I think we'll spend some more time together. So, the day begins with a plan to visit the Masjed-e Shah and the Masjed-e Lotfollah during ... read more
Buildings around Dibai
Buildings around Dibai
Friendly printing guy

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan October 11th 2014

Q: How can you see Esfehan in 2 Days? A: You Can't Sooooo... this morning over breakfast at the 'Divine Dibai' I made a decision. I decided to stay a total of 4 nights in Esfehan instead of 2. The original plan was to move on to Kashan and then have 3 nights in the Caspian Sea area to the north of Tehran before flying home. I had booked at a place called Khoone Geli, an Eco resort at the foot of the Alborz Mountains to do some more hiking. It sounded perfect- my last few nights in Iran hiking amongst forest, and 4000m peaks. In reality though it would mean 2 days of bus and taxi trips for 2 days of hiking, I thought to myself, "if Soufi has 2 extra nights available that will ... read more
Courtyard by Daylight
Another of the rooms
Sign Pic




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