Another Side of Iran

  • <span style="text-align: right;">!سلام</span>
Aside from having (arguably) the world’s most hospitable locals, Iran is home to a treasure trove of stunning architecture and artwork, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural traditions. Allow me to introduce a series of photographs that will provide you with just a glimpse of the beauty that caught my eye along a memorable journey <a href="" style="color:#e2bb3d;" >Highlights of Persia</a>
  • Among our first stops upon arrival in Tehran: Carpet Making 101 with Mr. Mazandarani! Our teacher filled us in on why Persian carpets are world-renowned for their beauty and quality, how long it takes to make different types of carpets, and  the significance behind different patterns. After class, we viewed some of the completed masterpieces such as this one in the showroom.
  • As I perused the extensive collection of Bakhtiari, Tabrizi, and Kilim carpets, I stumbled upon this little one peeking around the corner!
  • Dating back to 515 BCE, the UNESCO World Heritage site at the ruins of Persepolis are a stunning testament to Iran’s rich ancient history. 
<a href="" style="color:#e2bb3d;" >Discover our World Heritage Sites of Iran trip here.</a>
  • Not far from Persepolis is Naqsh e Rostam, where the tombs of ancient Persian kings are carved into the side of this plateau.
  • In Shiraz, we were treated to a special access visit to the Mausoleum of Emir Ali. Here our group snaps some photos of the courtyard before entering the mausoleum – wait until you see the inside!
  • We were expecting beautiful craftsmanship inside of the mausoleum; however, we weren’t prepared for the walls and ceiling to be completely covered in shimmering glasswork!
  • Lights filters through the stained glass windows of the Shabestan, or prayer hall, at the Vakil Mosque in Shiraz.
  • Tea is an integral part of Persian hospitality – we can vouch for this as were offered tea countless times along our journey.
  • Here, Absolute Travel’s president Ken Fish sports a traditional cap purchased in the Shirazi bazaar. We were a bit surprised to see Miley Cyrus smiling back at us from the selection of modern caps!
  • For those interested in the culinary arts, Iran’s cuisine and spice markets are not to be missed! A must-buy is Persian saffron.
  • Ken and Deborah stroll past the Citadel of Karim Khan in Shiraz.
  • Poetry is deep-rooted in Persian culture and to this day, many young Persians pass their time with reading and writing poetry. Here we visited the tomb of one of Iran’s most celebrated poets, Hafez. 
<a href="" style="color:#e2bb3d;" >Discover our World Heritage Sites of Iran trip here.</a>
  • These twins were eager to practice their English (and their poses) with some Americans.
  • Few people know that the world’s second largest square, after Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, is located in Esfahan, Iran. In the buildings surrounding the square lies Esfahan’s bazaar; overflowing with metalwork, miniatures, antiques, carpets, and textiles.
  • The silhouette of this woman walking along the bridge caught my eye from across the river.
  • This visit to a carpet & textile dealer exposed us to a previously unknown facet of Iranian artistry. The ladies inspected these 100+ year old moon shawls and were surprised to see that the inspiration for the design of Betty Jo’s scarf, which she purchased in America, appeared to have been rooted in these antique shawls.
  • During a visit to the shop of famed miniaturist Mr. Fallahi, the master himself showed us how he uses a cat hair brush to apply his artwork to camel bone canvases.
  • The myriad of vibrant blue patterns here is simply dazzling at the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque on the square in Esfahan.
<a href="" style="color:#e2bb3d;" >Discover our Highlights of Persia trip here.</a>
  • The Si-o se Pol, or the Bridge of 33 arches is one of many crossing the Zayandeh River in Esfahan. The Safavid-style bridge was built is over 400 years old, yet remains a popular meeting and hangout spot for the locals.
  • Iran is a land of many landscapes – forest, sea, desert and as you see here, breathtaking mountains!
<a href="" style="color:#e2bb3d;" >Discover our Persian Adventure trip here.</a>
  • Two local women share the latest gossip in the ancient village of Abyaneh.
  • While the village’s dwellings are constructed of a uniform pale red clay, its inhabitants are known for their more colorful dress.
  • This shot of two old friends in Abyaneh is on of my favorites. For me, the highlight of our trip was without a doubt, the Persian people. Curious locals were fascinated to learn of our American nationality and,  afterward, proved that Persian hospitality is unrivaled as they opened their homes and hearts to us. 
<a href="" style="color:#e2bb3d;" >Discover our Wonders of Persia trip here.</a>
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