Esfahan the soul of Iran

Esfahan Travel Blog

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Imam Mosque One of the beautiful mosque in the world. The richness of its blue-tiled mosaics design and perfect proposrtioned form a visually stunning monument

 Arriving Esfahan train station at 8 am I waited for the meter taxi heading to town center about 10 km far. The taxi in Iran is a sucking machine. The cost from the train station to the hostel was way much more than the overnight train itself. I knew that in Iran the public transport is dirt cheap for example intercity train or bus is round 5 USD which is normal but the taxi is a hell. It cost me 657000 Riyal( 6.5 USD ) and I gave him 100000 (10 USD) and received the balance less that supposed to be. BASTARD! I hate taxi driver. They are the worst job in the world. Passenger has no say. I’m no longer taking a taxi until I got help from the locals. The whole taxi driver in the world is cheap BASTARD. The Riyals easily can fool you. I never had seen notes that have too many 0 that worth couple of quid for instant 50,000 Riyals is 5 USD so I always mistakenly confused between 50000 and 5000.

Jameh Mosque, 800 years of islamic design, from the geometry of the Selcuks to the Mongol period


One of the problem most travelers face is withdrawing cash as any outside ATM or credit card is not working in Iran. So the only way is exchanging foreign money in any money changer or bank, which is another hassle dealing with unscrupulous people. I knew international ATM isn’t working in Iran but didn’t bother to cash a lot before entering Iran and I was really short on Riyals already.Checked-in to Amer Kaber Hostel owned by Ziaee brothers who mistakenly to be twin. I have half day to wander around after had a nap.

Esfahan is Iran’s masterpiece,the jewel of ancient Persia and one of the finest cities in Islamic world.

The exquisite blue mosaic tiles of Esfahan’s Islamic building, its expansive bazaar and its gorgeous bridges worth to be wandered and get lost in between.

Chadored Iranian lady, a mysterious
It’s a city for walking, getting lost in the bazaar, dozing the beautiful garden along theb Zayandeh River. And only a handful of international tourist around. It’s one of highlight in Iran so far. I spent the whole noon walking around from Chahar Barg Abbasi street , the main street that become the city layout axis to Imam Square. Such an impressive square by the size. Imam Mosque dominating the Esfahan skyline. Afterwards I strolled down to huge maze of bazaar to Jameh Mosque. The most refine piece of Islamic Architecture.


Back in the hostel, my roommate buddies were all cool travelers who has embark a very long backpacking. Andrew an Aussi lad has been backpacking and lives in several countries before arriving Iran. Pablo a Spanish Chemist losses his job and travelling in Iran from Shiraz up to Tehran and Alejando, a young student from Spain has been backpacking from Europe-Balkan-Middle east since the last summer.

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. At the norteast side of Imam Square
We are all shared the tips and talk nonsense the whole night LOL. Andrew showed a very captivating image of Nepal and India he was before. He’s the most adventurous one. He bought a bike in the country he’s in and explores places, off the beaten track not like typical backpacker. Alejandro had been cycling from Spain-France-Italy-Balkan-Turkey the bus puclic transport to Iran. He and I were heading to Yadz the next day but he was planning to leave early morning, I decided to leave in the afternoon because I wanted to see series of bridges over Zayandeh River in the morning.

I ran out of riyals and there’s no way that international ATM/credit card works in Iran. At the border I changed only 120 Euros which equals to 1,700000(170USD) Riyal and I had around 600000Riyal( USD 60)left but there still another 5 days until I can used my ATM in UAE.
Si-O-Seh Bridge. Serves as both a bridge and a dam, and still used to hold water
I’m thinking of selling my compact digicam on the way, I have other DSLR, the one that I practically used. The digicam is a backup so, desperate time seeks for desperate measures. I didn’t want to miss the sight on the way. Persepolis in Shiraz is a must and with the money I had, I didn’t think I can make it. Andrew was willing to lend some money knowing that he’ll be in Malaysia in Jan and we planned to hangout in KL. But the favor didn’t materialized as he was busy sorting on buying a bike in local shop and I didn’t meet him later in the morning when I left.

Arriving in Esfahan Kaveh bus terminal, I was happy to know Alejandro was there waiting the same bus to Yazd. He missed the earlier bus. Esfahan to Yadz on the highway, there was thick snow on the road and the sceneries were breathtaking.
Having cay by the river. Awesome outing
I didn’t know Iran has beautiful snowy mountainous ranges in winter, the images that accustomed to Alps or Rocky or New Zealand.

We arrived in Yazd at 6.30 pm. Our financial situations were the same. Alejandro only has couple of Riyal till he could find the next host of couchsurfing, wherelse I has a bit more and when it’s finished, my digicam is sold ( I’m hoping I didn’t have to let it go). We never wanted to take any public bus or any taxi so we walked to the hostel for 4 km away. Pablo has stayed at Silk Road hostel couple of night before therefore his suggestion was really helpful. As we stepped out of the bus, touts taxi drivers already waiting to fish their victims. Politely refused then I asked them which way to the square leading to city centre? “ Oh the boulevard square is that direction” so they said.
A walk by the zayandeh River
We walked couple of meters away and asked local kid and he pointed out the other direction, totally the opposite of tout’s direction. I KNEW IT! They gave us wrong direction to walk then lost and tired then succumb into taxi. Sorry touts I’m smarter than you combined.

We stopped on the way for our dinner having samosas and chicken sandwiches. Around 2 hours later we arrived in the Hostel and I saw a couple that stayed at the same Hotel in Tehran. Backpacking was fun.
   

babyaly1 says:
Do you think it is safe for an American girl to go there ?? Perhaps if I have someoen with me who speaks farsi ?
Posted on: Jun 14, 2010
herman_munster says:
Just buy a plane ticket and GO!
Posted on: Jun 14, 2010
babyaly1 says:
I want to go sooo badly :(
Posted on: Jun 14, 2010
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Imam Mosque One of the beautiful m…
Imam Mosque One of the beautiful …
Jameh Mosque, 800 years of islamic…
Jameh Mosque, 800 years of islami…
Chadored Iranian lady, a mysterious
Chadored Iranian lady, a mysterious
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. At the no…
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. At the n…
Si-O-Seh Bridge. Serves as both a …
Si-O-Seh Bridge. Serves as both a…
Having cay by the river. Awesome o…
Having cay by the river. Awesome …
A walk by the zayandeh River
A walk by the zayandeh River
Jameh Mosque, 800 years of islamic…
Jameh Mosque, 800 years of islami…
The bird of paradise
The bird of paradise
the magnificent of the entrance po…
the magnificent of the entrance p…
Entrance portal
Entrance portal
the magnificent of the entrance po…
the magnificent of the entrance p…
An attractive ablution
An attractive ablution
Persian
Persian
Iranian kids at the school playing
Iranian kids at the school playing
a masterpiece of its own
a masterpiece of its own
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. At the no…
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. At the n…
Inside Imam Mosque
Inside Imam Mosque
Imam Mosque One of the beautiful m…
Imam Mosque One of the beautiful …
Madraseh cortyard
Madraseh cortyard
indide
indide
Mimbar
Mimbar
From the entrance portal with stel…
From the entrance portal with ste…
by the Imam Mosque entrance portal
by the Imam Mosque entrance portal
Chadored lady by the pedestrian
Chadored lady by the pedestrian
by the Imam Mosque entrance portal
by the Imam Mosque entrance portal
Imam Square ( Naqsh-E Jahan Square…
Imam Square ( Naqsh-E Jahan Squar…
the magnificent of the entrance po…
the magnificent of the entrance p…
Iranian lunch that I was tempted b…
Iranian lunch that I was tempted …
Si-O-Seh Bridge.
Si-O-Seh Bridge.
The magnificent of the entrance po…
The magnificent of the entrance p…
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. At the no…
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. At the n…
Carpet
Carpet
Jameh Mosque
Jameh Mosque
Khaju Bridge - the finest Esfahan …
Khaju Bridge - the finest Esfahan…
An attractive ablution
An attractive ablution
The Iwan, Jameh Mosque Esfahan
The Iwan, Jameh Mosque Esfahan
Jameh Mosque, 800 years of islamic…
Jameh Mosque, 800 years of islami…
Inside Jameh Mosque
Inside Jameh Mosque
Lights penetration
Lights penetration
Lights penetration
Lights penetration
detail work of the kubah
detail work of the kubah
Jameh Mosque, Esfahan Masterpiece …
Jameh Mosque, Esfahan Masterpiece…
Jameh Mosque, Esfahan Masterpiece …
Jameh Mosque, Esfahan Masterpiece…
Geometrically chalengging
Geometrically chalengging
Imam Mosque by night
Imam Mosque by night
Chahar Bagh Abbass street, the lon…
Chahar Bagh Abbass street, the lo…
Chahar Bagh Abbass street, the lon…
Chahar Bagh Abbass street, the lo…
Khaju bridge
Khaju bridge
The icon of Esfahan and Iran in ge…
The icon of Esfahan and Iran in g…
The mosque is dominating the skyli…
The mosque is dominating the skyl…
Si-O-Seh Bridge.
Si-O-Seh Bridge.
Si-O-Seh Bridge.
Si-O-Seh Bridge.
Iranian women at the Si-O-Seh Brid…
Iranian women at the Si-O-Seh Bri…
The park by the Zayandeh River
The park by the Zayandeh River
Ferdosi bridge
Ferdosi bridge
Iranian men with the carpet
Iranian men with the carpet
Ferdosi bridge
Ferdosi bridge
Khaju Bridge - the finest Esfahan …
Khaju Bridge - the finest Esfahan…
Esfahan
photo by: genetravelling