Shiraz Sweet Shiraz

 The breakfast was a nice spread and the amount of orange juice I drank must have put my other love, beer, to jealousy.

First stop was the Citadel of Karim Khan (within walking distance) built in the late 18th century by Karim Khan, the founder of the Zand dynasty. Ticket as usual was IRR 200K, what’s really interesting about the citadel are the 2 slanting towers on its corners, must have been some construction defect. As soon as I entered, a lady chased me (Mehboobeh) asking where I was from – on knowing I was from india, she began in a hindi that sounded as local as any hindi speaker could get. She worked as a guide there and accompanied me throughout the place speaking in hindi about Salman Khan and what not. Was indeed surprising to have a local’s company conversing in one of your home languages.
The rooms in the citadel had glass works which were beautiful against the sunlight. I spent not more than 15 mins and we left for Vakil Mosque (summer mosque of Karim Khan) about a couple of minutes away by foot. (The ticket was IRR 150K (USD 5))
It is built with a corridor on both sides with archways leading up to the prayer area, the highlight are the pillars which are very characteristic of Mughal architecture you would find in India. Great place to try and get shots of the mosque trying various combinations of the 48 monolithic pillars. It was undergoing renovation during my visit, so not very pretty but the other half made up for it.

Mehboobeh later took me to have faluda (yes, the drink fairly common in India). It was an


overdose of sugar syrup in frozen vermicelli and crushed ice, in short diabetes for IRR 20K but worthy of a try, especially during the heat. We parted ways after that and I went inside the Vakil bazaar, the main one in Shiraz.

Headed to Seray Tea House, a famous restaurant where I had kashke bademjaan (the eggplant dish) which, despite being slightly pricey, was delicious. The food got the best of me, but not my feet, I refered to the map and saw the Tomb of Hafez at quite a distance and plotted a possible stopover at a mosque enroute.
The long walk was bloody long and crossing the river, I reached Ali Hemza Mausoleoum where I had a good nap for almost 1.5 hours till someone woke me up saying it’s prayer time. Having recovered, I resumed my journey to Hafez’s tomb, another 15 mins uphill whose entrance fee was IRR 200K (USD 6). Hafez, arguable the most famous poet from Persia (14th century) whose works continue to adorn every household in the country either in the form of poems or proverbs. The place is a fine sample of serenity, classical music, gardens, fountains, etc. After soaking in the complex, met up with Carmen (she was at the Yazd bus stop), a Spanish lady who had good knowledge of languages and well versed in arabic, french, etc. We talked over tea and had a great time conversing about the rules of languages, which of course, involved ridiculing English.
I continued chilling after she had left and was then met by the lovely Baseri family of which only the daughter, Azin spoke English. Acting as the translator, she relayed a summary about the Indian way of life to her family who had a new question ready to complement the previous. After the elaborate discussion, i departed with an invitation from them to visit their home in the town of Karaj (close to Tehran). I met them while walking out and they dropped me to the hotel, a long walk saved.
Stay: Niayesh Boutique Hotel
Price: 10 USD / night
Type: Dorm
Places Visited:
Arg of Karim Khan: IRR 200K
Vakil Mosque: IRR 150K
Tomb of Hafez: IRR 200K

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