Today we met Reza, our Guide and helper, at 8.00am for a tour of Shiraz City. We needed to start early as it gets so hot here in the middle of the day.
Our first stop was at Nasirolmolk mosque, were we saw the beautiful light coming into the room though the coloured windows (the pieces are held in wood not lead and the glass has a coloured film over it). It was very beautiful and mesmerising…very peaceful. We moved to another part where there was tomb of someone that people come to pray to.
Next we went to Narenjestan-e-Ghavam Museum (UNESCO world heritage listed). This building was used by the state representative in Shiraz from the capital (Governor’s Court). It was a beautiful building with very intricate mirror, mosaic and fresco work. Iran really does have incredible artistic talent. Here we also visited the museum and watched an artist at work on miniatures….such fine detail and brushes…we looked at this work through a magnifying glass.
It was starting to get quite hot and see stopped at a small shop to get some water before entering the Sa’dieh Mausoleum (the greatest Iranian poet). The gardens were beautiful and many people were paying their respects. Part of the complex included the “fish pond”, really a sub artesian well. People were throwing coins in ….a man with his family gave a coin to both Vince and myself to do the same…..Iranian’s are so generous.
We did have plans to visit the Delgosha Gardens and the Arg-e-Karimkhani (Karimkhani Castle) but it was almost noon and very, very hot….so we did a quick drive by and got dropped back to our hotel.
Rezza came to pick us up at 4.30pm to take us to Presepolis (city of Persians)…which Vince has been wanting to visit for ages. It was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (550-33- BCE) and is about 70 km northeast of Shiraz. The earliest remains date back to 515 BCE. Unesco declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979. It took us an hour to drive there, and we spent around 2 and a half hours walking around. We both thought it was absolutely fabulous. There is so much history here….it moved Vince beyond speech….he wanted to get his sleeping bag and stay there overnight to soak up every drop of the experience. It is very well set out for tourists, with information also provided in English. We trekked up the mountain to the tomb of Artaxerxes II. The guard wanted us to leave but we were hanging out for the sunset. Reza managed to convince the guard to let us stay….not only did we get awesome sunset shots….but we were the last to leave…..on the way out the guard showed us photos on his phone of Persepolis in Winter, covered in snow…and in Spring with a rainbow. It was really special!!!!
Many people stopped and said hello to us whilst we were there, and I helped a little boy and his family out who had hurt his foot….with my “magic cream”….amazing what a placebo will do! His Mother was most grateful as he stopped crying immediately she applied it! They didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Fasi, but we managed to communicate well. Reza joined us at the end and was able to facilitate the thank you conversation. A young couple from near the Caspian Sea were visiting and asked for a photograph with us…..to which we agreed. We realise we are a bit of a novelty in Iran…and we don’t mind cooperating provided it is done politely and not trying to turn us into some kind of freak show.
We were a little sad to have to leave Persepolis but it was getting dark and we still had an hours drive home, and we hadn’t eaten. Back at our hotel we had our dinner and went to bed. Vince says it’s the highlight of his trip to Iran….and I agree!