Postcards from Iran. My favourite images.

Iran changed the way I formed my opinions of a country; as in to what extent I allowed media to influence my view of places that I haven’t been to and people whom I have never met. It also taught me that with certain destinations that you really want to go to, sometimes you’ll just have to go at it alone, even if nobody else is interested in joining you.

Despite having travelled extensively now for nearly twenty years, I hadn’t been to or even considered the Middle East as a travel destination. So, as my desire to visit Turkey was reaching tipping point, the enthusiasm for visiting Iran wasn’t too far behind. I had zero friends in the region and knew very little about the history, so these factors that may put people off from travelling, somehow became the reason for me going there, making new friends and learning more about one of the great civilisations in history.

After sixteen days in the country, I knew that I had only barely scratched the surface and been on what could be best described as an “introductory” route in Iran; one that would be seen by most tourists, starting in Tehran and concluding 1000km away in Shiraz. I was sitting in my hotel room on the final night in the country, thinking about my first day in the Tehran, having had my baggage go missing and feeling anxious about arriving there. Sixteen days later, I can say that all of the worrying was unnecessary and that Iran, despite what we all see in the news, is the most welcoming place that I have ever visited in my travels.

Despite feeling relieved to be leaving, a part of me felt that I still had more to explore in Iran. With so many restrictions on how people can conduct themselves in public, I felt that I didn’t get to witness much of the daily life and taste the real Persian cuisine that is served behind closed doors. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the food in the restaurants; there’s only so many kebabs that one can eat.

While I enjoyed visiting the beautiful mosques in the country, a part of me also craved seeing the various mountain ranges and star filled nights that Iran is known for; something that I didn’t get a chance to experience through lack of time, preparation and knowledge. I’ve already started planning and networking and I hope to make those two desires more of a focus for my next visit to Iran.

azadi tower tehran iran

Azadi Tower in Tehran. It marks the western entrance to the city and prior to the revolution, was called Freedom Tower [Buy Print]

Golestan palace

My friend, Sogol from Tehran at Golestan Palace, Tehran.

 

imam square isfahan

Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan. The second largrst square in the world behind Tiananmen Square, Beijing. [Buy Print]

isfahan bazaar

A spice vendor at the Isfahan Grand Bazaar [Buy Print]

grand bazaar

The morning rays spill in through the latticed windows in the Grand Bazaar in Isfahan [Buy Print]

Lotfollah mosque in isfahan

The Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque was built in 1619 by the Sheik for personal use. You can sit in the mosque all day and watch the rays of light move across the room as the sunrises and sets whilst transforming into an orange tint. [Buy Print]

mount sofeh isfahan

“We will climb to the top of that mountain” was what my new friend, Afsaneh said.

mount sofeh isfahan

Hiking up said mountain [Buy Print]

mt sofeh hiking

Somehow we managed to get to the top without falling off. The gentleman on the right sun a passionate song when we reached the top.

khaju bridge isfahan

Beneath the Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, where for hundreds of years, men have gathered at the end of each day to sing poetry.

yazd bakery

Checking out a bakery in Yazd. The bread is baked on small pebbles to give it a stretchy texture [Buy Print]

yazd

He came zooming across traffic in order to pose and have his photo taken by me. All he could say was “Hello, where are you from?”, and then he took off.

yazd streets

The deep and narrow alleyways of the desert city of Yazd. [Buy Print]

Khanrnaq

A man on his donkey outside of the abandoned town of Khanrnaq. I’ve seen this photo on quite a few images on the web so I guess he’s a bit of a celebrity.

yazd

A desert road trip outside of Yazd. [Buy Print]

Khanrnaq

A deserted village at Khanrnaq. [Buy Print]

yazd desert

A sunset in the Bafgh desert, outside of Yazd. [Buy Print]

camels in iranian desert

Becoming acquainted with my desert ride.

 

yazd desert

Ok, the camel didn’t take us far and we had to walk the rest of the year. [Buy Print]

Naqsh-e Rustam

Naqsh-e Rustam, dating back 1000B.C, where four tombs belonging to Achaemenid kings are carved out of the rock face at a considerable height above the ground. [Buy Print]

hafiz tomb

The tomb of Hafez in Shiraz. Persia’s greatest poet. [Buy Print]

hafez tomb

A full moon rising over the tomb of Hafez. [Buy Print]

iran restaurant

Iran had some good looking restaurants. [Buy Print]

iranian food

The food isn’t bad as well. The best lamb chops that I’ve had anywhere. [Buy Print]

pink mosque

A lady prays in the Pink Mosque in Shiraz. [Buy Print]

pink mosque

Located in Shiraz, the Nasīr al-Mulk Mosque also known as the Pink Mosque because of the pinks hues that are projected through the extensive glasswork in the morning. [Buy Print]

tehran iran

Back in Tehran for my final night in Iran. [Buy Print]


Comments

Postcards from Iran. My favourite images. — 9 Comments

  1. So often countries have a reputation but end up being filled with wonderful people. I have many friends from Persia and know that we would have a wonderful visit. I hope that comes sooner than later!
    Emily recently posted…A Capital WeekendMy Profile

  2. Jimmy, this is so incredible. I’ve just been sharing your story and this blog with my colleagues as we sit office-bound in perpetuity. You’re an inspiration. x M

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