We needed to go to our couchsurfing host Nima's house. Luckily both bus driver and taxi driver were good to borrow us with cell phone, we called him and lastly we arrived. Too sleepy and we slept.
The next day we woke up at 9am. The first stop we went was Shah e Cheragh. It means King of the Light in English. This is because these funerary monument and mosque are found by a man who was good at spotting light where there was light emitting from the tomb. I day we arrived was a rainy day, it was a little bit cold and wet.
Before entering all women need to dress the chador provided, the long chador made my move heavy. I needed to use both hands to take it up so that I won’t step on it. I also wanted to take photo, so my hands were so busy. Also all people needed to be searched before accessing (Of course I was searched by a woman), and we needed to take off shoes and store them in the reception of the entrance. Also, the entrance for men and women are separated. So I needed to be separated with my friend and went in alone.
Shah e Cheragh Entrance, women and men are separated
Although it was one room, area of men and women were separated by a folding screen, and obviously the area of women’s was smaller than that of men’s. Inside, the decoration was gorgeous. It is not gold and silver, but it was similar feeling. Almost all ceiling, wall were made by glass mosaic. Adding with green light, it was mysterious and holy.
Space was big and many carpets are lying on the ground. Women were chatting, reading books, eating. It seemed like it is a park. Of course there were women who prayed. The most important spot here was the mausoleum. There was green light and inside there was lots of notes. Seeing devoted women kneeling down, bowing down and kissing the tomb, I was only the one who took this as a tour. For them, this place was the second home of theirs.
Women's side, some of them were praying, some were talking, some just sit there. Glass mosaics covered the wall and the ceiling totally, beautiful
Making me dizzy yet elegant
Mausoleum with green light. Women would touch it, kiss it and talk to it.
After lunch we went to Nasir ol Molk Mosque – the one you can search online easily with stunning colors coming through the mosaic windows. Unfortunately when we arrived it was in the afternoon and it was raining, no sunlight at all. Luckily we persuaded to get buy 1 get 1 free ticket. It is advice to go there in the morning in good weather.
Outside Nasir ol Molk Mosque, aisle
Inside Nasir ol Molk Mosque. With light passing through the glass, the feeling of mystery
Nasir ol Molk Mosque
The English of our host Nima was not quite good but he is hospitality. Treat us with fruits, nun, egg, etc. He even introduced us with Persian singers in youtube. We also introduced him with Hong Kong singers. He drew Persian calligraphy on my diary. And we taught him some basic for Cantonese so that he could host more Hong Kong people later.
Some people might think that Iran in middle east would be hot all year. In fact, most of the places in Iran have winter, even snow. So we decided to ski with this weather! The second day we went to the ski resort (Originally we wanted to do it in Isfahan. However, Amin said he had some friends who had already departed on that morning. So we could not join.) In here, we asked travel agency for price. They said it costed US$55 for only transportation. We thought it was too expensive and we decided to go by ourselves by asking for the ski resort’s address.
Travel agency gave the address of Pooladkaf Ski Resort in Persian to us
The location was Pooladkaf Ski Resort, Sepidan. We woke up at 6:30am. First we needed to get a mini bus from Ghasrodasht Square to Sepidan and took a taxi to Pooladkaf. If you remember the mini bus in Iran will be departed only when it is full. So we waited for an hour for the mini bus to be fully loaded. The travelling time was 1 hour and a half. After arriving at Sepidan, all the roads were covered with snow. We saw people were busying clearing the area the snow near their shops. Then we took a taxi to Polladkaf Ski Resort, along the way it was barren.
Upon arrival there was nobody, don’t know if this was because that day was weekday or what. We saw a hotel and asked the reception there. He said there may be possibility we could not ski? We then went to other place to ask, we went to the rental place. They said we could ski after around half an hour. We just waited at there while we were drinking tea. After a while there were another two visitors, one was a local and another one was from Switzerland.
The Gondola was not opened
We played from 11am to 4pm. As the other two men got a car, we got into their car and shared the cost. We also stopped in somewhere and went to a restaurant to have dizi. I remembered when we arrived the resort it was blue sky. While we needed to return, the whole sky was white in color.
The transportation fee going to Poolakdkaf Ski Resort:
Take a minibus from Shiraz to Sepidan ~IRR$28,000 per person
Taxi from Sepidan to Pooladkaf ~IR$100,000 one way
We lastly went to the main tourist spot in Shiraz at the third day. It was Persepolis, a ruin which kept as good condition. The weather was quite good. As we were in a group tour, firstly we went to see Naqsh-e Rustam. There were 3 tombs there which were around 3metre up from the ground. As the guide’s English is not very good, I could not understand some of the things she said.
The entrance of Persepolis was multiple of poles with animals on them. It was grand and elegant. I could only remember these points the guide said: lion means a new year, there were many people coming to hand the gifts here, from Egypt, India, etc. Persians would dress in skirt, thus the stairs was made short.
Persepolis, from far
Zooming to Persepolis;s poles
As I did not know much about history, what I was focusing to see was the carving technique. It was meticulous. From the head to the foot, every part of humans was carved delicately.
After that, we went back to the city to visit Qavam House (IRR$75,000). This house was beautiful. It has much more things to see than I thought. A long fountain was in front of the house, with the plants and the trees along the way before reaching the stunning house. Compared to the traditional house in Kashan, the glass mosaic here was more beautiful. Indoor the color coming through the window was also good, though the color is not as rich as in Nasir ol Molk Mosque.
Qavam House pastel color decoration
With the sun
Glass mosaic's ceiling
The last stop we went to was Quran Gateway (IRR$5,000). This was the gateway located in the northern east of Shiraz. Hand written Quaran was put in the chamber at the centre of the gateway, protecting the traveler travelling through. We could only climb up to the mountain beside the gateway and saw the sunset view of Shiraz. This was also the last night we were in Shiraz.
Shiraz night view
That night we took a bus back to Bandar Abbas - the first stop of my trip to Iran, symbolizing it was almost the end of my travel.
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Dubai (1 day)-> Sharjah (Where the ferry was) -> 1. Bandar Abbas (1 day) -> 2. Kerman (1 day) -> 3. Bam (0.5 day) -> Kerman (1 day) -> 4. Yazd (2.5 days)-> 5. Kashan (Abyaneh , Maranjab) (3 days) -> 6. Tehran (2 days) -> 7. Sanandaj (Palangan) (2 days)-> 8. Kermanshah (2 days) -> 9. Isfahan (3 days) -> 10. Shiraz (3 days) -> 11. Bandar Abbas (2 days) -> Sharjah (Where we took the ferry)-> Dubai (0.5 day)