Out and about in Tehran

March 31

We headed out and drove past the former US Embassy. As I have found everywhere, photos are not allowed around embassies, government buildings, military sites or oil production areas. So of course, we snapped a few.

From there we headed for near the in-town airport, from which most domestic flights ensue, to see the Azadi Tower. It was designed and built by a 24 year old architecture student and used to be the icon that represented Tehran. It has been replaced by a tall, rather non-descript radio tower now. I think this one is much more representative. It is multi-level and we were able to go to the top. Inside houses a museum on several levels.

As we were exiting we were approached by a local radio station that broadcasts from the tower for an interview. Gabe agreed to be our spokesperson and again we were impressed with the warmth towards us as Americans.

Radio Tehran

After the radio interview with host, sound people (women), Ali our guide acted as interpreter.

The Carpet Museum was next. The outside entrance is designed to resemble a loom’s warps.

Inside were some truly massive carpets, many of which were really old. These are all hand-knotted, and I found it helped to illustrate what I had read about in the book The Blood of Flowers. People would work on the design from opposite sides. The pattern would be called out as the knots were tied and the two would meet in the middle. The colors are all natural dyes.

Then it was on to visit Golestan Palace. This is part of a complex that dates back to the 1500s, but the palace was rebuilt to its current form in 1865. It includes a huge, beautiful garden, and many buildings. Many Iranian crafts and Asian and European gifts from state heads during the 18th and 19th century are on display here.

Each day has been so full, and this was no exception.