I had a chance to visit Iran as a tourist, one of a few occasions as a full time tourist. It was in the last week of April, which is still sort of Spring time, though we had long day of sunlight as we traveled through and from the southern parts of the country. The trip included visits of three cities: Tehran, Shiraz and Esfahan. Although I had hoped to have time to search for information about this country and its historical civilization, that did not happen. Nevertheless, that would, in turn, give me the chance to visit the place with no predetermined expectation and learn about the place as I go along. We had an excellent guide, who happened to have a master degree in animal sciences and so, at times, we also discussed about food security in Iran and surrounding countries, in addition to all kinds of ‘tourist’ information about Iran. As an old civilization, Persia, we visited several ancient ruins, palaces, mosques (masjid), gardens and museums. To mention a few sites, I was amazed with the ancient sites (Perspolis, and necropolis on the way from Shiraz to Esfahan), the architectural design (Golestan palace in Tehran, Ali Qapu palace, Imam Mosque and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Esfahan); more so with the advance in the civil engineering in the constructions (Vank Cathdral in Esfahan), all of which last for centuries. The bridges across the zayanderrod river in Esfahan were not only for crossing the river, a dam to regulate water flow, but also the steps on one side which water pours becomes popular as a social gathering place. Other places visited included Eram botanical garden which is house a large collection of varieties of flowers; Fin garden (a historical Persan garden); various museums: national museum, jewelry museum, carpet museum and musical instrument museum (which is a private collection). Lastly, the last stop before heading back to airport was the Khomeini Mosque.
June 28, 2017