That it was a particular destination we realized it on the plane upon our arrival at Tehran airport. Suddenly, even though the season did not require it, from women handbags came out coats, shawls, scarves that transformed all ladies on board of the aircraft. At the Tehran airport this was elegantly confirmed by obvious signs saying:
“DECENCY, MODESTY AND HIJAB OF WOMAN HAVE MADE HER A DIVINE BEING”.
We were approaching a different world full of charm and contrasts. On the other hand Iran has been able to keep forever its different culture, its distinct way of life dictated by its own origin: an Aryan area compressed between the Arab and Indo Asian world.
And here we are in Tehran, the chaotic, vibrant capital of Iran. The city, surrounded by the Elburz Mountains, called “Polar Star” by the Iranians is a modern city full of restaurants, cafes, art galleries, fashion shops and museums, palaces and memories of past and recent times. To mention a few: the Golestan Palace, the Sad Abad palace with its magnificent rooms with shiny crystals and luxurious furnishings. And the Peacock Throne, the Imperial Crowns, the precious Globe, an indescribable accumulation of precious stones.
The Azari Tower built in the occasion of celebrations for the 2500 years of Persian empire.
The Imam Khomeini Mosque. Tehran is all this and much, much more.
We proceed our journey towards Shiraz, a very refined city known as the cradle of Persian culture with its madrasas with mirrors vaults, prayer halls illuminated by stained-glass windows that create an unreal, relaxing atmosphere.
We continue by car towards Persepolis, the ancient Parse of Cyrus the Great, of Darius, of Xerxes and of Artaxerxes, visited and unfortunately accidentally destroyed by Alexander the Great during a night of drunkness.
Far beyond the plains of Parsagat are the imperial tombs of their ancestors carved into the rocks.
On the route of the silk road, we find the city of Yadz with its ancient Kabir Jaan mosque, its Zoroastrian temples where the sacred fire is kept burning since thousand of years.
But if one has to identify a place that can make lasting memories on the beauty of a whole nation, well for Iran there would be no doubt! We visited a town, in our opinion, the most beautiful ever seen: Isfahan (Nesf-e-Jahan) which in Farsi language means “the half of the world”.
The huge square, of almost ten acres full of jetting fountains and gardens with flowers of every colours, at the sides of which there are two of the finest mosques ever built, with high blinding blue domes and slender minarets towering on the sides. Rich of blue tiles, mosaic, the angle of the whispers, the 12 echoes of the mosque.
Its bazaars full of endless tunnels and narrow streets, center of every business.
The palace of Ali Qapu, high soaring sumptuous and sign of political power.
And the bridges lit up at night, place of meeting for Isfahan youth.
But my last thought goes to the people, so friendly, open and curious.
This is Isfahan, masterpiece of Iran and Unesco world heritage site.
We leave Isfahan, and return towards Tehran stopping in Kashan for a quick visit. Kashan is a pleasant city with its ancient luxury traditional houses (Khan-e-Borujerdi, Khan-e-Tabatei, Khan-e-Ameriha, to mention a few) surrounded by gardens dotted with springs of crystal clear water.
We continue towards Abyaneh, a 1500 year old village perched at the foot of Karkas mountain and situated in a narrow pittoresque valley. Abyaneh is one of the most attractive villages to visit in Iran. Even today the way of life, costumes and dialect of its inhabitants has remained unchanged from past times. This village really deserves a visit!!!
We reached the end of our tour. But one trip to Iran is not enough to discover the many beauties of this nation and its people.
For this reason I have decided I will return very soon and complete my knowledge of this land, its culture, its customs and its wonderful people, so friendly, warm, hospitable and, why not, curious.
KHODA HAFEZ IRAN!!!!