Blogs from Esfahan, West, Iran, Middle East - page 4


Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan November 21st 2009

For more of my blogs about Iran, please visit The Real Iran and Fundamentalist Iran Believe it or not, there is a well-trod tourist trail across the vast country of Iran. Travelers generally enter by air at Tehran or, following the hippy trail from Europe to India, enter overland from Turkey and on to Pakistan. Nowadays on the road you meet loads of these adventurous overlanders, many of them tackling the route on motorcycle or bicycle. Iran is a rare country where high snowy mountains, deserts, and coastal beaches lie practically side by side, but unfortunately I was a little too early for ski season. The city of Esfahan is the pinnacle of any sightseeing tour of Iran. It is regarded by many as the most beautiful Muslim city in the world. ... read more
Imam Square, Esfahan
Khaju Bridge, Esfahan
The Dasht-e Kavir Desert

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan October 22nd 2009

We drove over 440km from Shiraz to Esfahan, passing pastures and arid mountains resembling parts of Southern California. Although Iran has one of the highest accident rates in the world, it is well developed in certain aspects. When buses or trucks travel between major cities, they have to register with the police and get a GPS card, with which the speed can be tracked. At gas stations, refueling is done with smart cards, where each personal car is allowed three liters per day to curb over usage. Esfahan nesf-e jahan; Esfahan is half the world. The ancient proverb given by western travelers still holds truth. Once known as the richest city in the world, Esfahan rivaled Rome, Paris, and Florence. Even with wars ravaging the city for over 1,000 years until the end of Iran-Iraq war, ... read more
Abandoned Caravanserai
Castle Ruins Outside of Esfahan
Four Brothers

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan August 22nd 2009

Been exactly a month since I last updated. Reason being was that I had been too caught up with school and such, and well, second year in university isn't exactly that smooth-sailing. And the term's just started! Nonetheless, I shall try to meticulously update because I really really have lots of things to share with everyone, so, here goes! Though the Iran adventure ended approximately 8 months ago, whatever happened remains vividly in my mind. I guess that's the advantage of being young? You tend to recall these experiences better than, say, a 60 year old unless you record it down somewhere, like a videocam or something. Esfahan They said that Esfahan is half of the world, and too right it was! Before I left for Iran, I read all about Esfahan and it sounded like ... read more
The Carpet Shop
Dyes that Bind
The Gem

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan June 8th 2009

On the morning we left Cappadocia we were up bright and early at 5.30 am for camp breakfast at 5.45 and we were met by the most beautiful sight. Hundreds of hot air balloons going straight overhead. Cappadocia is one of the top five places in the world to do a sunrise balloon flight. It was a real WOW moment and we just thought “How lucky are we?” We had a long drive ahead that day and Lucy was on her own as Steve had had to go on ahead to Erzurum to collect his visa for Iran. It was a very long day on the truck going through several mountain passes, from deep gorges to being up with snow line. It was the most beautiful drive. It was rewarded with a wonderful bush camp by ... read more
Setting up bush camp
Travelling on the roof
A cultural evening!!

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan May 3rd 2009

Juz prawie miesiac, a ja nie opisalam ostatnich dni w Iranie. Skonczylam wieczorem przed kolacja w armenskiej knajpie, gdzie potem spotkalismy MS, naszego lokalnego przewodnika. Spotkanie z Mehdim zaczelo sie troche sztywno, w sumie tak, jak wszystkie nasze spotkania z lokalnymi, ktorzy pozniej okazywali sie super mili. Ale po chwili, od slowa do slowa, dowiedzielismy sie, ze jego rodzina od kilku pokolen zajmuje sie produkcja perskich dywanow. I zapragnelismy od razu zobaczyc, jak takie dywany sie tka. Nastepnego dnia zabral nas do swojej manufaktury. Okazuje sie, ze prawdziwy perski dywan, tak jaki i wszystko inne - moze byc podrobiony w Chinach. A cene osiaga nawet do pol miliona dolarow i ma w sobie 9 milionow wezelkow. MS powiedzial, ze potrzebuje zgody rady nadzorczej, zebynas zabrac do manufaktury, a na zdjecia pozwolil nam tylko na dwa na ... read more
Nikt nie wiedzial, jak wejsc do naszego hotelu
A zaraz za rogiem hotel
Meczet libanski

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan May 1st 2009

Zdjec nadal nie bedzie. W kawiarni internetowej, zwanej tu coffeenet, choc kawy nie daja, maja cala garsc kabli, ale nie chca zebym sie sama podlaczyla do komputera, a jakos nie mam ochoty, zeby sobie moje zdjecia ogladali. Jestesmy w Esfahanie. Zwanym Half the World. Jest tu drugi co do wielkosci na swiecie plac - zaraz za Placenm Niebianskiego Spokoju w Pekinie. Wokol placu jest wielki bazar, dzis zamkniety, bo jest lokalna niedziela. Bazar perski, to cos wiecej niz 'bazar' u nas. Sa tu i meczety i szkoly koraniczne. Konstrukcja przykryta dachem, w alejkach zaparkowane samochody, czasami przemyka szybkim krokiem jakas zablakana dusza. Pewnie jutro, jak otworza sie wszystkie sklepy, miejsce bedzie nie do poznania. A przy samym bazarze jest nasz hotel, a raczej dom, bo hotel zrobiony jest znow w starej willi z pokojami wychodzacymi na ... read more
Swiety symbol Zaratustrian.
Swiatynia Zaratustrian.
Wspinaczka na Wieze Ciszy.

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan March 19th 2009

Each day in Iran you start your day leaving your hotel as if you are a taxi driver. Not knowing where you’ll go, where you’ll end up and which characters you’ll meet. Esfahan is no different. Many Iranian people holiday here because its one of the Islamic worlds finest cities. It definitely is the cleanest I’ve seen. I decided to walk down to the river and felt safe enough to fall asleep in the full sun that shone my first afternoon. When I awoke I needed some liquids to fix my dry mouth. There I met Lazza (changed name) a 27-year-old guy and his two friends. He asked me to sit with him and from then on I knew I was in for the long haul (3-4 hours.) He was highly religious and the conversations would ... read more
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan October 21st 2008

The overnight bus to Esfahan is made easier by the fact that I steal four seats near the back of the bus and lie across them, resulting in a great sleep for me but inconvenience for the attendendant, who has to continually jump over my legs. I arrive in Esfahan and a brawl nearly ensues amongst the waiting taxi drivers, once again proving that I am probably the most popular man in Iran. I check into the Amir Kabir and crash for a few hours. When I awaken I explore the city, and it dawns on me that I am really, REALLY over looking at mosques. This is a shame, as Esfahan has an assortment of beautiful mosques, buy, y'know, they get a bit same-ish after the fifty millionth one. Instead, I choose to explore the ... read more

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan October 7th 2008

Esfahan fully deserve it's title The Diamond of Iran. Our hotel was right across the (very congested and dangerous looking) road from the Allah Verdi Khan Bridge, which is absolutely gorgeous, especially when it's lit up at night. There are also a lot of beautiful historic landmarks we failed to find on the first night (look, I wasn't navigating okay) and a lot more that we passed, including lovely parks, a really ornate old university building and somewhere that may or maybe not have been Iman Hossein Square. ... read more

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan June 21st 2008

Or as they say in Farsi Esfahan nesf-e jahan... As am sitting here in this most beautiful and welcoming of cities we find out that Israel is sabre rattling against Iran by carrying out military excercises in Greece. Here on the ground I have never been in a city more hospitable where people talk to you on the streets and buy you icecreams, this happened today a young student (girl) bought me and Rita an icecream. She is studying English at Esfahan University. We plan to meet her and her boyfriend later for a meal. Yesterday we wandered around the Imam square which is breathtaking, twice as big as Red Square apparently, it has iwans or large entrances on each of its four sides with gardens in the centre where people ride around in horse drawn ... read more
Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque, Esfahan
Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque & Imam Square, Esfahan
Imam Mosque, Esfahan

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