In Tehran, Justin from New Zealand joins our little group. We take an overnight train to Shiraz.
The train is one of the most comfortable we’ve been on in a long time.
Early next morning, we arrive in Shiraz.
Saeed is happy because Shiraz is his home town – he gets to see his family.
We enjoy a breakfast of local bread and ‘ash‘ (pronounced ‘osh’ as in ‘OshKosh B’gosh’.
First stop is the Nasir-ol-molk mosque.
It’s famous for its stained-glass windows, which tourists love to photograph.
The unlit side is where the serious praying gets done
The streets are alive with commerce.
The alleys provide shelter from the sun.
We go for a stroll in the the UNESCO-listed Eram Garden.
Shiraz is the home of our tour company, Pars Tourist Agency. We drop in to meet the people Maria has been in regular email contact with for two months.
We come across the Vakil Mosque.
The courtyard is burning hot.
But it’s refreshingly cool inside.
Most Iranian mosques are covered in colourful tiles. Easy to see where the carpet patterns come from. Or maybe it’s the other way around?
We visit the mausoleum of the poet Hafez, one of Shiraz’s most famous sons.
He would be disappointed by the absence of wine in modern-day Shiraz.
Sight or Insight of the Day
I’ve had a lifelong interest in visiting Persepolis. I can now cross that off my bucket list.
It’s constructed from house-trailer-sized blocks of stone.
The main gate has fascinating graffiti from the past.
Up the road at Pasargadae is the tomb of Cyrus the Great.
This pillar from his palace reminds us of the monolith in ‘2001 – A Space Odyssey‘.
Inscribed on the pillar is ‘I am Cyrus the king, an Achaemenid’ in Old Persian, Elamite, and Akkadian.