Iranian “Persian” Carpets from Chris Beauchamp on Vimeo. In July 2010, Chris and I visited Iran for 3 weeks. While there, we met a man named Abed. I like to describe him as an “Iranian hippie”. We spent four wonderful days with him in Esfahan, Iran. He shared his mind and style of life with us, taking us to the new, hip parts of town, as well the old historical ones. Above all, he opened our eyes to the history, the unique story and the life behind each and every Iranian “Persian” Carpet. Each carpet has meaning unique to itself. The two broad categories of carpets are City Weave and Nomadic. In this video, Abed teaches the significance of common symbols found in carpets. The video features the two Nomadic carpets Chris and I bought to commemorate our epic eight month journey and visit to Iran. Music by Niyaz. Footage…Continue Reading
Saturday, June 19, 2010 Daily Notes Breakfast: 14,000 rials (~$1.40) Taxi to bus terminal: 20,000 (~$2.00) Bus tickets from Tabriz to Zanjan: 90,000 (~$9.00), about a 4-hour ride Hotel in Zanjan: 450,000 (~$45.00) Dinner: 33,000 (~$3.30) Chris exchanged $300 US at a shop located in what appeared to be a gold souk. The exchange rate was $1 = 10,034 rials. The bus from Tabriz to Zanjan doesn’t actually pull off the highway into Zanjan. Instead, it pulls over on the side of the highway where a bunch of taxi drivers are waiting to shuttle you off the highway into town. The taxi from the highway took us to another designated taxi area where it was apparent we had to cross the street and find another taxi, a city taxi, to continue. As we crossed the street somewhat confused, due to the order of things, a lady in her late 20’s…Continue Reading
Last year I remember thinking, “Oh, my 27th birthday is on a Thursday. We’ll just have to celebrate the day after.” But, in Iran Thursday is like our Saturday. The weekend here is Thursday and Friday. So, it worked out perfectly. I got to spend a “Saturday” night on the town, in Esfahan of all places! We headed out at noon thinking that it would be a long day so we’d start later in order to see some of the nightlife in Iran. Besides being in love with the baking, Chris and I both fell in love with the fresh banana milkshakes. Chris thought that’d be the perfect way to start my special day. After our refreshment we started walking through the winding, cool streets of the covered bazaar to get to the largest mosque in Iran, the Jameh Mosque. It was prayer time when we reached the mosque, so…Continue Reading
Hey all, Well, it’s our last few hours in Iran. We’re catching a flight after dinner tonight to Bangkok via Bahrain. Iran has really grown on us, with the friendliest people we’ve met yet. We can now totally relate to celebrities, who have to greet their fans everywhere they go. No, our blog is not super famous in Iran, they just treat all foreign visitors like this. We literally can’t walk ten feet sometimes without being stopped and welcomed to Iran. That said, Iran was a little tough at first. I don’t know if we were just getting burned out on travelling in Muslim countries (Turkey, Morocco, Iran), or if it was the one to two week culture shock that we’ve noticed we get in every country we visit, but when we first entered the country we were feeling ready to move on. We were also still feeling pretty sick…Continue Reading
We both thoroughly enjoyed Esfahan so we stayed for six days. We visited the sites and met many people along the way. In fact, out of all the places in Iran, Esfahan was the most approachable. It was almost impossible for us to walk 100 feet without meeting someone. The mosques in Esfahan and in Iran in general, are absolutely beautiful pieces of architecture. Hopefully these photos captured some of that beauty for you to enjoy.
We decided to spend a day in a city called Yazd, after our thoroughly enjoyable 6 days in Esfahan. We’ll have some posts from Esfahan eventually, but right now it feels like a lot to digest. We made a good friend there, and had a few other interesting experiences. Yazd is nothing like anywhere we’ve been in Iran to date. Situated on the edge of the desert, the Old City is a maze of crumbling mudbrick alleyways. The heat hit us like a wall when got off the air-conditioned bus. It was 37 degrees Celsius at about 10:30 at night, and the warm, dry wind that rushed through the open windows of our taxi into town reminded Laura of Saudi Arabia. Our hotel is a bit expensive (at $40 per night), but the food is good, they have wifi, and the setting is charming. It’s built in an old Yazdi…Continue Reading
Some shots from Tehran. We spent six nights in Iran’s capital, enjoying the wonderful hospitality of Mr. Moussavi at the Firouzeh Hotel. This place gets high marks in the Lonely Planet, thanks to Mr. Moussavi, and we can concur. This gentleman is so nice, he not only helped us figure out our onward travel plans, he even lent us his cell phone for the day. The hotel also has wifi, a first for us here in Iran. We enjoyed Tehran a lot, but also just enjoyed staying in one place for so many days. The city is a huge, sprawling mess, but in a good way. Walking across the huge distances of the city is impossible, but the underground metro is modern and excellent. We found foreign food for the first time since I dont even know when (Italy?), and enjoyed a meal at a Greek restaurant, where the steaks…Continue Reading
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…Continue Reading