These young guys own a small bakery in Tabriz. We met them on our second night in the country and they invited us in (right next to their oven; sweltering) for a chat.
We’re in Esfahan for one more night, before heading south to Shiraz, our final stop in Iran. I can tell you we are getting excited for Thailand. I’m not sure we could find a more stark contrast between two countries: from an Islamic theocracy to the sex tourism capital of the world. Ta da!
Anyway, I thought I would put up some shots from the last couple of weeks. The heat here can be overbearing, and we’ve been hitting the pavement to do a lot of sightseeing and just walking around. Generally we can’t get more than about 100m without meeting someone new who is curious about where we are from or just wants to practice their English. It’s been a unique experience, but that in itself can get very tiring. Two days ago, it took us something like four hours to get across Esfahan’s main Imam Square to get a cup of tea. We kept getting side tracked. Eventually, we just invited our most-recent acquaintances along for tea. It was the only way. And of course, they insisted on paying.
English is relatively rare in signage here, and Western brand names are even more rare..
The site at Takht-e-Soleiman. Laura put up a post about this place a while back. Their are two points of interest in the valley: the ancient Zoroastrian temple complex (foreground) and the dormant volcano in the background. The volcano was once ringed with building around its cone. Our taxi driver tried to tell me that there was a giant tower on top (ala Lord of the Rings), but I wasn't buying it.
The spring lake at the heart of the Takht-e-Soleiman site.
The view from the top of the volcano. That's our taxi down below.
The view into the caldera.
Laura in the large central chamber of the Caves of Ali Sadr. According to Lonely Planet (LP), these are the most popular tourist attraction in Western Iran, at least for Iranians. LP calls them overrated, but we thought they were great. You take a paddle boat train through the very large underground lake complex. The whole place is lit up with colooured floodlights and it is wonderfully cool compared to the beating heat outside.
Laura in the caves.
Another shot from the caves.
Tha central chamber of the caves is 40m tall.
The main square in Hamedan. Shot at 24mm.
The same shot at 135mm.
Billboards are non-existant in the Iranian countryside, houses and fences tend to be covered in messages. I can't read Farsi, but many of them look like commercial messages, with accompanying phone numbers.
A tree blows in the wind near Hamedan.
The Fertile Crescent.
The arid mountains and lush agricultural valleys near Hamedan.
A sticker on the ceiling of one of our rooms points the way to Mecca.