Blogs from Iran, Middle East - page 5

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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 » North March 9th 2017

ESFAHAN, MARCH 9, 2017 This morning it is bright and sunny but very chilly about 50 degrees. We started out by walking to the Royal or Imam Square. Begun in 1602 to be the jewel of the Safavid Empire.There are two mosques on the square the Masjed-e Shah and the masjed-e sheikh Lotfollah. This is the second largest square in the world, second only to Tiananmin Square in Beijing. It is 512 m. long and 163m wide. The first mosque has a beautiful portal but the mosque itself is oriented towards Mecca. The main sanctuary if covered in beautiful tiles in geometric and floral motifs in blues and golds. As one proceeds to the center on the mosque there is a black stone in the middle of the floor. From this point sound has 49 echoes ... read more
HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE IN SQUARE
FLOWER BED IN SQUARE
CARRIAGE IN FRONT OF MASJED-E LOFTOLLAH

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




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