Thursday, 29 June 2017

My 19 Day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takht-e Soleiman - Day 13 (afternoon and evening) - Tabriz - Strolling around the Baazar; Shah El-Gölü park; around the Gostaresh Hotel - The 21st of may 2017

We were soon taken into a typical restaurant in the central part of the city where we had possibly one of the best meals throughout the whole circuit which comprised a very tasty kufteh.

The weather changed drastically and by the time we initiated our visit to the bazaar it was raining fairly heavily.  Being in one of the oldest bazaars of the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world with several sub bazaars for the selling of various goods was already a privilege, despite the fact that most of us were expecting to have the opportunity of buying something, which unfortunately didn't happen, as most stalls were closed, with the exception of some carpet and food selling ones.

Part of the late afternoon was spent strolling around the Shah El-Gölü park located on top of the hill with an artificial island with a small palace in the middle of the lake, which is said to have been used as a Royal Summer Palace during the Qajar dinasty. This visit provided us with a stronger insight into the Iranian society and some of their habits. We (Joëlle, Eleonore, Didier and I) were aproached by a group of female University students, whom we exchanged a lot of interesting ideas with.

Because of having a free evening ahead of us Joëlle, Didier and I decided to attempt to go shopping, as well as to choose a small restaurant where we could have a light late meal. We ended up exploring some bakeries and organising a meal in the hotel bedroom instead. 

I didn't go to bed but fairly late as I stood in the hotel bedroom balcony thinking about what I had seen and mostly impressed me until then, to which extent my expectations were being met and what my future intentions were regarding Iran, which I was falling in love with. 


My 19 Day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takht-e Soleiman - Day 13 (late morning) - Tabriz - The statue of Khaqani ; Azerbaijan Museum - The 21st of May 2017

We stopped briefly by the statue of a prominent Persian poet, Khaqani (1121-1190 AD) whose life story is rather unique and remarkable, if one takes the time to read it, even if not extensively.

Most of the remaining hours till lunch time were spent in the Azerbaijan Museum, a major archaelogical and historical Museum, which comprises several galleries housing artefacts dating from the 5th Millennium BC to the Sassanian dinasty (212-656 AD), an Islamic archaelogy section, coins from the Achaemid period to the 19th century, seals from the Pre-historic epoch to the Sassanian age, sculptures by Ahad Hosseini, a Tabriz artist, who in the words of many has a gloomy view of the future of mankind, a garden with quite a few Islamic pieces and gravestones in display, as well as a library and bookshop.
I found it to be very well organised not only in terms of group sections but also information provided in Farsi and English and can't help saying I spent a very interesting morning admiring the richness of the Museum collection and photographing some of the pieces that caught my attention.

Form of Pre-Islamic burial