Leaving Isfahan

3 July 2006

(I still haven’t made up my mind on which spelling I like better.)

 My flight back to Tehran is in a couple of hours. I just finished breakfast. Mom would be glad to know I’m able to eat again.

Yesterday afternoon my aunts, Bababozorg and I walked back to Nagshe-Jahaan Square to go to Majed-e Shah (the king’s mosque). Which was quite pretty, and if you stand in the middle of the part with the dome and talk or clap or whatever, its emphasized and echoed throughout. It was pretty neat.

Because Friday prayers are still held there, they have tarps covering the courtyard of the mosque, which takes away from a lot of its beauty.

After that I bought some chocolate covered gaz from Sekeh, because I like it and figured I could have it for my friends then.

We came back to the hotel and had dinner in the courtyard. After dinner, I bought stamps and then had treated my family to faloodeh, but I guess since Bababozorg’s the one giving me money in the first place it doesn’t really count. I was happy to have my second faloodeh ever, and glad that I had the appetite to eat it. It was delicious. I ate it with two spoons, one for Dad. No more faloodeh for at least another year probably.

Isfahan in Pictures

2 July 2006

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1. The hotel is beautiful. Just take a look at the room we ate breakfast in, and that isn’t even the prettiest part.

2. Bababozorg making decisions at the bazaar yesterday.

3. The details in old bathhouses is incredible. 4. As are the faucets.

5. This morning Bababozorg remembered his video camera. He took advantage of that to take pictures at Chehel Setoon. (40 columns, there are really only twenty, but there’s a reflection pool outside of it. The picture wouldn’t upload though.)

6. The inside of Masjed Jame (Friday Mosque.) The round columns are part of the original, which was built during the time of the Seljuks, but the square ones are much newer, replacing ones that were bombed during the Iran-Iraq war.

7. Magnificent detial on the outside of Majed Jame.

8. An Armenian Church. It’s really gorgeous on the inside, completly covered in paintings depicting stories, but you can’t take pictures in there.

I came to use the computers while everyone except Ame Fereshteh and I are taking their naps. Except today since its not a Friday there’s someone working watching the computers, so she wouldn’t give me the passes for both rooms and logged me in before I noticed that this computer doesn’t have USB ports on the front. The other computer is in use, but I would have just come and used it another time. Which I’ll probably try to do anyway, with the other room number when that one is available. I’m just worried that if she’s not here then, that I won’t be able to. I wanted to get them now so I could use them whenever I saw the computer open, but oh well.

 This morning Bababozorg, Ame Fereshteh, Ame Farideh and I went to the bazaar. I guess the big one is the one at Naqsh-e Jahaan Square, where we were yesterday. And  Granma, its nowhere near 6 miles. The taxi driver said it covers maybe 4 km.

I didn’t find everything that I was hoping to find, or at least not at a quality/size/price I wanted. I had a rough idea of what I wanted, and managed to end up spending more than I’ve spent in one day that I had since I got to Iran. But it was still less than I managed to spend in 9 hours at Heathrow.

 For lunch we went to a restaurant that Ame Farideh went to when she was here with Shokoufeh a couple years ago. It was at the top of a steep staircase, and of course we didn’t find out they  had an elevator until after Khalejoon and Mamanzari reached the top. I’m pretty sure they used it to leave though, because I don’t think they could’ve handled going down. Ame Farideh and I left first though because we walked, and managed to find a super to buy some water at finally as well. It was good that it was close, since otherwise we need two cars to go anywhere. That’s the problem with their being more than 4 people. But this morning when we went to the bazaar, we took a car because I’m not sure we realized we were going back to Naqsh-e Jahaan square and because it was hotter. Otherwise we could’ve walked, and coming back our hands were all full because we’d found Shirin Gazz, which was the gaz that Mamanzari had that she liked. I didn’t realize though that suggesting we get a box would lead to everyone being bitter because they bought more than just that and its not cheap. I personally like Sekeh, because they have a chocolate covered variety and it comes in shiny reusable tins.

I’m not sure what we’re doing this afternoon. I want another faloodeh though, because it was yummy last night. Dad told me even though its boiled when I mentioned that to him on the phone, that its still put on ice. I think I’ll ask when I get it. I’ve been pretty good about that though, I eat only cooked and/or peeled fruits and veggies, unless I was personally there when they were washed, drink bottled mountain water (though I doubt near mountains it really makes a difference than the water in the town, but I guess no risk of nasty pipes), and up until yesterday, avoid things that are out of large containers, unless you count restaurants for the most part when I have little control. I’ll try to get us to go to breakfast earlier tomorrow too so that the buffet hasn’t been sitting out as long. (I had time to use the computer this morning, so it had been sitting out an hour and a half before I got there, but I woke up 15 minutes after breakfast started, and Ame Farideh was the only one asleep.)

I’ll try for a picture post later on if I can. We’re paying for two rooms, so I don’t see why I can’t have the computer time for both.

Esfahan

30 June 2006

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This morning Mamanzari, Bababozorg, Khalejoon Belgus, Ame Farideh, Ame Fereshteh, and I all went to the airport to catch a plane to Esfahan. The thing I love about Iran Air – they still feed you on one hour flights.

I’m on the computer at the hotel. I can get a little paper with a 30 minute allowance each day. Since we have two rooms, that means 1 hour. Unfortunately, the way they’re set up, I can’t do anything with my photos (including rotate them), so only the ones I took with VGA settings and landscape can be uploaded for your viewing. That ruled out most of the pictures I took today, including most of the photos of our gorgeous hotel. Though I did take one of the Ash-e Reshteh that I could upload.

The first two photos were taken at Naghshe-Jahaan Square, where Bababozorg and my Ames and I walked to. We also went inside Aali Ghapoo Palace, and I have quite a few pictures from in there (I actually took the second photo from there), but most of them are too large to upload.

The third picture is of the delicious Ash-e Reshteh that they serve in the courtyard tea house at the hotel. I think it was my dinner, considering I ate it close to eight, and ash is generally pretty heavy.

Shomal in Pictures

20 June 2006

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Pictures are arranged in the order I took them, ranging from June 14th to June 18th.

1. During one of the World Cup games I was watching (I think it was Iran v. Portugal), they showed commercials for Damavand water during half time. Damavand water comes from a spring in Mount Damavand

2. Oranges aren't ripe for another couple of months. They have to start someway though.

3. Sun was setting after we finally for a hotel room at Narenjestan Hotel. (I had jokingly asked, is that where tangerines live? Turns out there used to be all orange and tangerine trees there at one time.)

4. Narenjestan Hotel. At the top, there is a restaraunt. The floor rotates.

5. I guess there were a lot of bugs…

6. I was in that car a lot. When you find a driver you like, you tend to stick with them. I don't mean hailing a taxi, I mean when you're calling for a car to go somewhere in specific.

7. There were a lot of spiderwebs in the garden. I walked into one and it stuck to my glasses.

8. Across the street from the garden were rice fields. I think Mamanzari said they're also theirs. Maybe I misunderstood.

9. The hotel was filled with ads on the walls. This was just one of them. There was one for french fries… I didn't really understand it.

 10. I actually stepped on sand, I saw the orange lying there next to all the seashells and I knew there was no way I could resist.

11. I was wondering around alone in the morning and had my camera, so I was looking for some interesting shots.

12. I still have a thing for daisies. Even if that means my name should be Marguerite. I guess I see how dad got confused.

13. Only 185 kilometers until we're back to Tehran.

14. The mountains are striped!

I was gone the last three days.
I went to Amol, well near Amol. Which is in Shomal. I really need to find a map.

Okay, I found one. It's North of Tehran, and a little bit east. On the autoban, it soemwhere over 220 km. I can't remember the signs I saw.
I was there to go to my grandparents garden. But the electricity had been cut. Literally. (The cords are really expensive, so a chunk was cut and stolen.)
Bababozorg wanted me to be comfortable and sent me to a hotel. I said I would be fine, but I ended up at this one that't supposedly one of the nicest in Iran, and ended up spending all three nights there.
It was right on the sea. I'm thinking it might have been the Caspian, but that seems like it would've been too far away. I can't find any body of water other than rivers on the map though.
I have pictures, and I'll post the pictures when I can with some stuff about them. Right now though I haven't yet been back to Ame Fereshteh's, and my cord is there.

Also, do not forget that there is the IRAN vs. PORTUGAL world cup game today. I think its at 16:30 here, which would be 14:00 in Germany, and 8:00 central time. And Mom said her and Dad were getting up at 6:00 to watch it, so I think I have the times around right.