Ant-aircraft Missiles, Sweat and Esfahan

We rode 380km from Tehran to Esfahan.  It was up to 65 degrees, and desert all the way.  It was amusing to stop to allow the sweat to accumulate, and then race off so the breeze cooled the sweat down and made you shiver. 

There were no people anywhere.  Occasional mosques with tin rooves, little mud huts, other things which sort of suggested human habitation, but not one person.  What was it… mad dogs and… oh yes.

There were barbed wire compounds with soldiers pointing anti-aircraft missiles into the sky- ancient dilapidated things, but fully loaded.  We saw automatic, unmanned ones too.  It was a little perturbing. 

A police-man stopped us to check what we were up to.  We smiled innocently and tried to look as little like spies as possible.  (Try it.  It instantly makes you look really suspicious…)

I saw a real-life tumbleweed.  It pleased me nearly as much as the tortoise.

There were little dust-storm eddies blowing about on the horizon too, practising. 

Esfahan arrived, eventually.  As we pulled up, there was a big old bike out the front of our hotel, with loads of modifications and, dead give-away, German plates! 


After a quick scout round for our German pal, we wandered down to Imam Square- Esfahan’s amazing tourist-pull.  It was pretty good, alright, quite nice…

Actually it was incredible and we stood, silently awed (not a normal occurrence…) and stared at it.  There are photos, so I won’t try to explain, but it definitely equaled the Taj Mahal for splendour.  Sunset set it off quite nicely too. 


It was prayer time when we went in- all the men were gathering under the tarpaulin sheeting in the courtyard and praying on the mats. 


We were approached by a young Esfahanian and his amazing mother. 
We spoke to them for about an hour.

They were really lovely people, and great to meet for a bit of an insight. 

He was the son of a strict musician father who made his son learn traditional Iranian music and refused to allow his then 17yr old wife to attend university. 

She was made to stay at home and have children instead.  She was very proficient in English, easily as good as her son, and absolutely stunning to boot. 

She told me about her daughter, who was studying to be an architect and didn’t want to marry, despite her mother having found her a good match, because her friend had had a bad marriage. 

She had lived in Esfahan all her life, and could remember playing amongst the trees in the square.  {This was before they chopped them all down in order to build a road for the tourist horse-drawn carriages, so they could have races and pretend to try and knock down tourists (or possibly not pretend).}

They walked back with us and invited us to their house, but sadly our schedules didn’t match up so we couldn’t.   They were great though.

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