Colorful Shiraz

(March 2016)

Our last stop in our trip was Shiraz, we got there exhausted after the whole day in the car: we left the desert at 7 am and stopped in one village after another until we got to Shiraz at 4 pm. And now to go with the flow was not going to be easy. We asked in the first hotel we found and the look the clerk gave us when we asked if there was any room available was priceless: “No, here is the list of the hotels in Shiraz and there is a phone booth over there, good luck”. And luck was on our side, we had a room booked for one hour; if we didn’t get in time we would lose it: we got in time to Eram Hotel (the most expensive one by far in our trip).

And after a well-deserved rest we looked for our dinner following the guide instructions: Shater Abbas I. It was a bit disappointing, especially the appetizers, the soup was ok but nothing extraordinary neither were the kebabs; however, the restaurant was well-taken care and the vibe was good. It would be better the next day meal at Vakil Restaurant near the bazaars, and more of street-food was the falafel shop just in front of the hotel.

There were many things to visit in Shiraz, although there was one not to miss, but we decided to take it easy and enjoy the city without being forced to see everything, so for sure this guide of Shiraz is incomplete. A castle dominates the city: Arg-e Karim Khan you would recognize it for its leaning tower, surrounded by a garden and transformed into a Zand period museum, you would see dresses, decorated rooms…

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We wander around the bazaar, which has many different entrances all connected and each area dedicated to a different genre:Vakil, Rouhollah, Shamshirgarha, Nou… Officially, No Ruz was over by the time we got to Shiraz, so the bazaar was busted with people, sellers and buyers, and we found passages that connected different bazaars, colorful crystal corners, interior squares and all you could think of to buy of rugs and handicrafts. Go slowly, you could spend here a full day.

The complex of Aramgah-e Hafez is essentially a mausoleum, but inside there are gardens (of course), pools and room for handicrafts… Hafez was a poet born in this city and venerated by Iranians (be careful if you want to buy a translated copy of any of the books, make sure they are translated properly). The idea is to bring a book of poems to the mausoleum, open it in any page and read it: it will tell you your future.

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And at last Shiraz’s crown jewel, Masjed-e Nasir-al-Molk mosque. Our last encounter with Iranians asking for our impressions, more pictures… Don’t get scared when you find yourself walking by and see this mosque, after seeing so many if you don’t know what is hidden in it, you wouldn’t look twice. The ticket office is full of postcards sent by people from every corner in the world (lots of them from Spain). Once inside the courtyard is simple, a small mosque with no luxuries, but then you enter the room on your right…The colorful stained glass windows reflect in the floor, in the veils girls are wearing, in the faces of children playing… If you want to be by yourself, difficult, you would have to be there early. It doesn’t matter, we think that it would be worth it to stay there all day just to watch how the light reflected in those stained glass windows changes.

And now, Iran is over but more adventures will come; see you next time.

All the pictures and videos of Iran are in the Gallery and you can check other parts of the country in our Iran section

 

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