Caught flight to Shiraz … a shonky old Fokker F-100 with HEAPS of leg room and no row 13. Lunch on the plane was interesting, yoghurt and a Pepsi. The yoghurt was yuck (as per all other in Iran, unsweetened) but I wasn’t about to starve so tucked in. A few minutes later the actual food arrived … some chicken and rice (which I mixed the remaining yoghurt into). Did I mention that the plane did not have any airconditioning? Yeah. And that it was 75,000 degrees inside the plane? Turbulence coming in, due to mountains and heat … a girl screamed and oh how we all laughed.
Met guide ( Majid) and headed for hotel.
Hotel arrival process:
- Enter room
- Remove all clothing
Started by wandering around and into the Zandiyeh Complex/fortress which was lovely in the fading light. Inside were rows of sour oranges (which I believe to be Marmalade), some baths and where I saw my first white person.
On to the bazaar, via Vakil Mosque which had lovely architecture but was super dark as a result of it being night time.
Went to dinner at a nice place that played live traditional music which I’ll post a video of at some point (I’ll do a big video post at the end). I ordered a Shish Kebab (the most delicious part of the sheep it seems) and a Fanta. A coke arrived, but Majid sent it back and an old lady came back with a Miranda (they totally had Fanta…) and a very severe look on her face. I tried eating my meal with a fork and spoon (knives are not really a thing here, and it was super tender) and again the lady appeared with a knife and an equally severe look on her face. Majid informed me that I was to eat with my hands, so I did.
After breakfast (you don’t really want another story about me getting confused at meal times, do you?) we started off to the Pars museum, where I was not allowed to take any photos of anything inside.
Kept on walking to Narenjestan Palace and it’s lovely garden and wooded ceilings and mirrored areas. Got hooted at by a car full of girls and some thumbs up on the way. Not a lot original remains (besides the ceilings) due to incoming dynasties’ habit of ruining the older stuff in spite. Saw some very, very (very) old coins downstairs and bought a map showing old Persia and the invasion by Alexander ~2500 years ago.
Meandered (it was very hot) to a massive old Mosque surrounding Shahe Cheraq Shrine where I stored my camera, took off my shoes and saw lots of men walking backwards. It’s very beautiful, all mirrors, gold and silver but no photos for obvious reasons. Google will provide results.
Grabbed shoes and camera then headed to the old part of town to a traditional hotel for a drink and to get up onto it’s roof for some nice views. Slouched back to hotel … too hot … to rest and carry on in the evening when it gets cooler. Got a burger for lunch, but really it was just Iranian food arranged into burger shape. Still good though!
The evening was reserved for exploring the tombs of the great poets Sa’adi and Hafez and then the Quran gate. I especially enjoyed the latter due to the social aspect … everyone goes out for picnics and to talk and be with others. The traffic was absurd though and people will have picnics anywhere, including on traffic islands and in the parking lot.
Three people stopped to talk in the evening:
- Computer Engineering Graduate, keen to tell me that the people and the Government are not the same thing
- Father and young son (With Tshirt that read “Music Industry Greed is killing Music, not File Sharing”. I’m skeptical as to whether the words meant anything to them) so that his son could practice english
- A Young girl to practise and look at me awkwardly