We had a bit of an adventure today…..finally out of the hotel in the last few days….thank goodness! We wanted to send some stuff home to save weight on our bike and the hotel staff told us there was a post office on second street….unfortunately there must be some Irish Iranian city planners, because the streets don’t really run in order very well. We eventually found it with help from a local shopkeeper…after walking miles in the heat….but they only send letters not parcels….so we were given further directions…further walking in the heat…and eventually found the right place. It was a mission to fill in the forms, which were in farsi, and it cost us an arm and a leg to send under 3 kg to Australia (1,680,000 IRR or around $80 Australian) but we got it done.
By the time we concluded our business at the post office it was lunch time…yes that’s how long we were walking around searching! Vince spotted a very Western type of place a few doors down so we popped in for lunch.
We then caught a taxi to take us to the National Museum of Iran….but the driver obviously had a problem, as he pulled up outside a local pharmacy, ran in then out again, all without a word. Vince and I just sat looking at the empty driver’s seat as traffic whizzed around us..and laughed. They do things differently here.
We eventually got to the museum and it was very interesting…. it has been running for more than 70 years, containing 300,000 museum objects in an area more than 20,000 square meters. It is the largest museum of History and Archaeology of Iran, and ranks as one of the most prestigious museums of the world with regards to volume, diversity and quality of its contents. It states it’s aims as preserving relics of the past, enhancing better understanding among world peoples and nations, and enhancing public knowledge.
It has lots of things from Persepolis….where we went when we were in Shiraz so we found this as an extra dimension to the exhibits for us. We really liked the statue of a mastiff, from the south east tower of the Apadana of Persepolis and we saw photographs of when it, and a three lion statue, were uncovered and then were able to see the actual items on display…..very exciting and beautiful. It made us feel a little like explorers!
One of the most unusual items we saw was Saltman 1. He was discovered in the Chehrabad salt mines, located on the southern part of the Hamzehlu village, on the west side of the city of Zanjan in Iran. By 2010 the remains of six men in total had been discovered, most of them accidentally killed by the collapse of galleries they were working in. In the winter of 1993, miners came across a body with long hair, a beard and some artefacts. These included the remains of a body, a foreleg inside a leather boot, three iron knives, a woollen half trouser, a silver needle, a sling, parts of a leather rope, a grindstone, a walnut, some pottery shards, textile fragments and a few broken bones. The body had been buried in the middle of a tunnel approximately 45 metres in length. After archeological Carbon 14 dating, of different samples of bones and textiles, the Salt Man 1 was dated to about 1,700 years ago. His hair and DNA determined he was 37 years old and his blood group was B positive. His head had an injury indicating a blow prior to death and he had a gold earring on his left ear indicating high status….it is unknown what he was doing in the saltmines. The head and left leg (in a leather boot) of Salt Man 1 are on display at the National Museum of Iran and it was bit gruesome but interesting at the same time. Vince spent his time clowning around trying to scare me….but I’m made of sterner stuff than that! (haha)
After the museum we went to catch a taxi back to our hotel and whilst waiting a mini-van/small coach crashed into a motorcyclist. We went to help but luckily the man and his pillion were fine….only minor injuries not requiring any treatment….and they just kept saying “thank you Mrs” as I stayed with the rider and Vince lifted up his bike. We’ll given the crazy way the traffic is here I am surprised it is the only accident we have seen so far….but happily no big drama this time!
We will have a quiet evening and start our packing and preparation for Pakistan….tomorrow we are expecting to drop off our passports in the morning and pick them up in the evening with our Indian Visas in them…..maybe only for one month and single entry….but we are still hoping the Embassy may grant our request for 3 months, multiple entry….we live in HOPE!