Monday, November 28, 2016

Shiraz

The train journey was uneventful as we lay on our sleeper beds through the night.  What we saw of the scenery before darkness, was dry and barren.

Arriving into Shiraz railway station we were 20 km outside the city itself. Forsaking the milling taxis we headed to the public bus.  Andrew sat in the front half with the men and I sat at the back of the bus. We all got off at the bus station and a young man was exceedingly kind to spending 5 minutes to find a bus that would go past our hotel.  He then told the bus driver to look after us.  He wanted nothing, just to make us welcome in his city.  Eventually we got our stop and the driver kindly yelled down the bus to us.  Andrew waved some notes at the driver, he picked one and we walked down the street to our hotel.  Even though it was 9:00am we were able to access our room.  

After a brief freshen up, it was off to the Citadel. Here we strolled around the calm interior and looked at some of the renovations underway.  While we pay 200,000 rials (about $6) entry fees and locals pay 30,000 we have to believe the money is being used to restore and preserve.  

 


Inside Andrew talked with an Iranian man for a while.  The man told Andrew there had been a large earthquake in NZ, which we had not heard about as we had not had internet access on the overnight train.  When talking about New Zealand, not a lot of people actually knew where we were from.  We resorted to saying it was near Australia, but was not Australia.

 

We walked around the square outside the citadel and located a tourist information office.  There was however, no one there, but later as we passed again, we obtained a paper map.

In the Nasar gardens there was a pleasant garden, an octagonal summer house and some great bas-relief

    

We had a place in mind for lunch, but when we found it, it appeared to be under renovation so we went to plan B.  We subsequently found that the original restaurant was open and we returned there on our last full day in Shiraz.  Plan B involved a bit of back alley wandering before we found our destination restaurant, Seray-e mehr .  Here the food was good, but the service poor.  We had Dizi, a local stew, where you pour off the liquid, mash the solids with a metal masher, and then reintroduce the liquid.




A walk through the Bazaar showed plenty of rugs and copper ware, but a large proportion of the merchandise was mass-produced imports.

 

 

In the evening we walked a few meters from our hotel to Qavam, a restaurant that got good ratings.  However the food was only average, so a bit disappointing.

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