Monday, 29 September 2014

The 8 day cultural trip to Iran - "Iranian Treasures" - Day 2 (evening) - On the way to Shiraz; Shiraz hotel room and Mosque - The 17th of September 2014

We were unfortunately delayed at Tehran airport, having taken off three hours later than the estimated time of departure, which was quite a nuisance, a situation which nevertheless gave us the possibility to get an insight into the local people, we shared the airport lounge with,  and their behavioural attitudes. Nervousness and tiredness are similar everywhere though Iranians seemed a lot more "composed" and tolerant than the Westerners.

Domestic flight delays are apparently quite common in Iran, which might have been a plausible explanation as to why Iranians seemed to cope better than we did regarding the "unexpected" event.

We got to Shiraz fairly late in the evening, which meant droping our luggage at the hotel and having an 11 o'clock P.M.dinner in its restaurant (this time a delicious kab├ób). I don't recall having ever had such a late meal, but despite the hot meal aboard the Iran Air flight I still managed to taste part of the grilled meat.

Masoud suggested a quick night visit to the local Mosque, which was a pilgrimage-like site just a few metres away from the Hotel, which some of us adhered to.

As we approached the Mosque entrance cameras were taken away from us and we were forced to wear some discreetly coloured "sheet-like" chadors. The whole surrounding atmosphere, which had we had our cameras or not, was indescribable ... with huge amounts of worshipers visibly moved following a distinct pathway which we ourselves followed, though unaware of where it was leading us to ...

The interior of the Mosque was unlike anything any of us had seen before ... in the sense that it was profusely decorated in a rather "kitsch-like" style that was nevertheless imposing and impressive, apart from the fact that its interior was brightly lit, which was again a distinct feature.

The  experience was well worth it and if there is anything I regret is simply not having been able to take a single photograph.


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