Blogs from Iran, Middle East - page 4

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Middle East » Iran » North March 8th 2017

MARCH 8, 2017 ESFAHAN Well, so far the Hotel Abassi is a disappointment. The room, though large, is furnished like a monk’s cell. There is a king size bed, one chair and a thin table. And, they must have taken a bit of advice from our younger son David, and furnished only one bedside stand. The room is ,of course, hot, but opening the windows allows it to cool down. Of course the room faces the main street where trucks and autos run all time day and night. Fortunately we brought our Marsona sound machine with us (NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!) The pillows are made of concrete. Fortunately I always carry my German pillow with me but poor Dennis had to sleep on a little highly decorated throw pillow. But the best was yet to ... read more
FRONT OF ASSEMBLY HALL
MIRRORED CEILING
PAINTING IN MEETING ROOM

Middle East » Iran » North March 7th 2017

SHIRAZ, MARCH 7, 2017 Last night, after a brief rest at the hotel we went out again. We went first to the so-called “pink mosque”. This was a small mosque with beautiful wooden doors. Inside all of the tile work was in pink blue. It was very intricate with many flowers and curlicues. An interesting feature was that it also had little inset vignettes with painted European style churches. There was a fountain and pool in the center. Off to on side was the prayer room. This had intricate ceilings in the same tile work as the other part of the mosque. In addition there were stained glass windows on one side. After our visit to the pink mosque, we then went to the Nomad market. It was wild there. There were hundreds of people there. ... read more
ONE OF THE DOORS TO THE PINK MOSQUE
ONE OF THE PAINTED WUROPEAN CHURCHES ON THE TILES
STAINED GLASS WINDOWS

Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd March 7th 2017

My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there. - Rumi Passenger trains in Iran generally run overnight between major cities, a perfect travel solution when you’re on an independent journey because you save the expense of a hotel while getting to experience the best way humanity has invented to travel overland. When you’re on a tour you spend the day taking the bus, like we did – six hours to Yazd with one stop to stretch our legs. No tea for me, please. To be fair, the journey was lovely, passing through the eastern section of the Zagros mountain range where we experienced snow flurries, flocks of goats and sheep and distant snow-covered peaks on our way towards Yazd, the driest major city in Iran as well as ... read more
Bus Ride to Yazd
Bus Ride to Yazd
Tekiye Amir

Middle East » Iran » South March 6th 2017

PERSEPOLIS MARCH 6, 2017 This morning we started off a little earlier to go to Persepolis. It took about 1 Hour and 20 minutes to get to the site. This site was selected by Darius the Great around 518 B.C. Persepolis was never intended to serve as the capital of the empire but was rather a site in the heartland of their empire that they used for special celebrations. Xerxes and Artaxerxes continued building on the site and expanding it. Resting on a terrace platform,Persepolis was the acropolis of Parsa, the “city of Persians”. It extends over an area of 125,000 sq meters, and crowns a rocky promontory which projects from Mount Mithra. The platform is flanked on both sides by valleys where the houses of nobility were built. Further out from this were the mud ... read more
THE "GATE OF ALL NATIONS"
COMPOSITE ANIMALS ON THE PILLARS OF THE GATE
"ARMY STREET"

Middle East » Iran » North March 5th 2017

TEHRAN IRAN February 27.2017 Well after two days of flying, we saw the lights of Tehran. It was about 4:30 am and the sun was just rising on the horizon. As we got nearer to the airport, there was a denser layer of white smog covering the city. The tall mountains north of the city were covered with snow. As we landed a little car with flashing light on top and a “FOLLOW ME” sign in the back pulled in front of the plane. There were no ground crew holding red lights guiding the plane it. We arrive at the jetway and got off the plane. The plane was not full. Only four people in first class. Coach was only about 1/3 full. The signs leading you in to the officials were clearly marked. There were ... read more

Middle East » Iran » South March 5th 2017

SHIRAZ MARCH 5, 2017 We got into Shiraz last night. This is a beautiful hotel. Our room is very nice except the bathroom is the smallest I have ever seen. I always thought the old Marriotts had the smallest bathrooms, but this one is the size of a postage stamp. This morning we first went to the Eram Botannical Garden a World Heritage Site.The garden was started about 900 years ago and is a beautiful example of the Persian garden with the central stream that runs through the garden and then radiates off. The old building at the end of the garden was built during the Qajar dynasty. On the way in we met a large groups of girls on a school trip. They were all 13 and 14 years old. They were very cute and ... read more
STUDENTS GREETING US AT THE GARDENS
THE QAJAR ERA BUILDING IN THE GARDEN
THE TYPICAL LONG POOL IN THE CENTER OF THE GARDEN

Middle East » Iran » South » Persepolis March 5th 2017

Drink wine and look at the moon and think of all the civilizations the moon has seen passing by. - Omar Khayyam Our second day in Iran began a bit earlier, and we were picked up by our guide and his driver to make the journey outside the city to several ancient historical sights – particular highlights for Clement. We began at the Necropolis, the dynastic burial place of four Achaemenid kings, Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I and Xerxes I (from left to right). There are bas-relief renderings of their palace facades carved above the tombs, and the openings lead to funerary chambers, where bones were stored after vultures had picked them clean. All the tombs had been ransacked by the Greeks – a common practice at the time for invading powers – but the ... read more
Necropolis
Necropolis
Necropolis

Middle East » Iran » South March 4th 2017

YAZD TO SHIRAZ, MARCH 4, 2017 This morning we left Yazd after spending one night in the delightful Garden hotel. We really enjoyed our little room. After breakfast we set off. Our first stop was to view the ganats. There is not much to see above ground just little hillocks in a row coming from the mountain. However, Hadi explained how the ganats worked. They first dug a hole down until they reached the subterranean water. The then connected that by a long tunnel to the village or its destination. All of Yazd at one time receive its water that way. Now about 50% of the town gets its water through the ganat system. We next stopped to see a 4500 year old cypress tree. It was about 3 stories high and looked in very good ... read more
OPENING INTO THE GANAT CHAMBER
SNOW COVERED MOUNTAINS
DENNIS AND HADI BY 4500 YEAR-OLD CYPRESS

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 March 3rd 2017

YAZD, MARCH 3, 2017 Today we are in Yazd. This is an ancient city whose origin is uncertain. It is at the confluence of two great deserts. It is at the foot of the the Shir mountains. For centuries water has been brought down to this town by a series of “ganats”. These are series of channels dug to capture the water from the mountain and bring it down to large underground reservoirs. It is the center of Zoroasterism in Iran. This religion is extremely old and has about 10,000 followers today all over the world. It was the first religion to embrace monotheism. It is fairly simplistic and somewhat mystical. One of the unusual elements of their beliefs is that at death, we should not defile the earth with our rotting flesh. So they put ... read more
SMALL VILLAGE AT BASE OF TOWER OF SILENCE
OTHER TOWER OF SILENCE
ONE OF THE ZOROASTTRIAN HOUSES




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