March 30

We headed for Tehran this morning, with a stop at Abyaneh. This village has been inhabited for at least 5000 years. The people who live here dress in traditional clothes for all the tourists (of which there were many).

They sold various dried fruits and green almonds (rather bitter with only a slight almond flavor and best with salt). From there we went to Karshan were we visited another mosque that is also an active religious school

and a mansion from the 1850s that had belonged to a local carpet merchant. It was beautiful and incorporated courtyard gardens, as all architecture from years ago seemed to do here.

Following that we visited the historic Fin Gardens.

Tehran was a surprise to see as it is surrounded by snow-covered mountains. The tallest peak is about 5,000 meters (almost 16,500 ft.).


Sunset as we are nearing Tehran.

Walking around Esfahan


March 29

We walked to Naqsh-e-Jahan Square, which is reputed to be the largest square in Iran. It has two mosques and a palace to visit around it. One mosque was the private mosque of the royal family when it was built 400 years ago.

It was really beautiful, and the attention to details such as having the light hit the ceiling in such a way as to look like the peacock at the center of the dome was opening its tail.


Though it is difficult to make out the bird image in the center of the dome, you can see the light creating the tail fan and the design all around is meant to resemble the peacock tail feathers.

The other mosque was in honor of Imam Khomeini and was also beautiful.

They were working on rebuilding the outer dome, and we were able to see the process underway inside.

The palace is touted to be the first multi-story building in Iran.

It has 7 floors. We were not able to go to the top floor because it was Nowruz and too crowded.

Since the bazaar here surrounds the square, we browsed through and found multitudes of shops. We bought enameled copper dishes


My enamelled copper plate. It is about 6 inches in diameter. The photo makes it look much darker than it is.

and calico. This calico is printed on cotton by hand with wooden stamps. A large piece can have thousands of stamps. It is then steamed and treated to set the ink, so all the pieces can be washed.

Then we went to the reception palace of the Shah dating back to the 17th century. The gardens surrounding it were so peaceful and beautiful, even with the crowds of people.

What has been nice is that there are gardens and green growing things everywhere.


This was a partially underground roundabout and even here there were growing things.