Next on list was currency exchange at Ferdowsi Square. I went to the Enghelab metro and got a one way ticket (yek safar) for 7K (INR 15). One thing i always am eager to explore is a city’s metro, it speaks a lot about it. Life exists in it. And Tehran metro was amazing, very well connected and clean like a new cutlery. 2 stations down, i reach Ferdowsi square where the exchange shops are all around as you exit the metro. DONT exchange with the guys sitting outside these shops with a suitcase full of cash. I exchanged about 400 euros and got 17 million rials which was handed to me partly in million rial notes and then 2 wads of 50K notes. There was no way i could count the entire lot, so i satisfied myself with the million dollar notes and set off.
Following this was the Salam Hall which began with the Mirror Hall (jaw dropping!) where you are required to wear polyethene over your shoes for walking. Aptly so because the hall is decked with grand chandeliers and gifts from monarch from across the world, this hall gives a glimpse into how the royals must have lived. This led to the underground museum of gifts containing rightly so, more gifts then to the ivory hall…more gifts and more gifts, i was finally out in the compound again and loitered about clicking photos. The palace has a restaurant too, slightly overpriced and not having anything veg besides snacks. So i make my way out and have yet another falafel before hitting the metro. It was 330 by now and i thought the Imamzadeh mosque in a corner of the city would be a nice place to relax.
Took the metro to the northernmost station, Tajirish, which is a stop for people going to the mountain. the ride is over 45 mins long. You can access Tochal ski resort, Darband, etc from here via taxi. I made my way through the alleys to the Imamzadeh Saleh Mosque. It has a dome and two tall minarets with the insides completely dressed in mirrors, thousands of them.
i spent over an hour just sitting and observing people pray. This turned out to be a nice resting session and i made my way back to the city center to visit the Azadi tower, the landmark of Tehran. It was 2 or 3 stops from i where i stayed and is also a major bus stop.