What a city! What an incredible city. What an enormously interesting place! Such history. Hard to sum it all up in one page. I stayed at Hotel Iran, an amazing gathering place. Run by three brothers, a place of kindness and friendliness. Siyamak, Sam for short, is a story teller, who lived for over twenty years in Canada. The hotel is within walking distance of the main square.
Imam Khomeini square where most of the important buildings are situated. Less than fifteen minutes walking, one gets to the biggest square I have ever seen. At the top, instead of a cathedral , there is the big mosque, Jaame Abbasi mosque, with the most amazing acoustics ever. I was very fortunate that my new friend Hamid, sang parts of the Q’ran for me. It gave me goosebumps.
There is a big palace, with frescoes, and the whole square is surrounded by the Bazar. Shopping seems to be a major past time, until I found out it was about shopping for NoRuz, the Iranian New Year! One of the first things one notices in Iran is all the white plasters on women’s, and some men’ s noses! Plastic surgery is very big here. Nose jobs being number one! Had I known that I would have booked in to remove the bags under my eyes, than travel for six months and come back totally rejuvenated. Hm! This still can be done! People watching is one of my major hobbies and there is plenty opportunities in the square. Just sitting on a bench and watching the world go by.
There are so many buildings of interest here. I saw only a small part of it. Mainly because my knee is giving me a lot of grief and I need to pace myself, not easy to do when everything is fascinating and stunningly beautiful. The night life is interesting too. I only managed to have the energy to go out twice in the evening, and watch families shop. It is a little bit like Christmas, but people buy food and new clothing rather than presents and toys, it is all very exciting, it is springtime here in Isfahan, and during the day it can be rather warm. The trees are budding and the flowers are starting to bloom. What a great time of the year to celebrate a new beginning! There is a high energy in the air and the children and adults are all full of energy and expectations.
I spend most of my days walking, from one mosque to the next. Resting where ever possible and tasting the amazing ice creams! I had spaghetti ice cream twice now. It is a required taste. It has of course nothing to do with spaghetti. In Farsi it is called Falode, and it is really a speciality of Shiraz.
One of the highlights was the Armenian quarters. Isfahan has several really old bridges, which look fabulous at night, and one of the bridges leads to the Armenian quarters. The first thing I saw was a craft market, which I love. I wanted to buy a small, hand made little bag, and the girl gave it to me! This is how it goes all the time! Be careful what you say, people give it to you immediately! Just to make sure she wouldn’t miss out, I bought one also. The friendliness of the people is overwhelming, have I already written that?