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Skiing - Shiraz - 9th Stop of Iran

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– 2014 Getting away to Middle East Dubai Iran 1 Month Trip

I could not imagine Shiraz can be so systematic. When we arrived at the Shiraz bus station at 1am, there was a reception specially to help people find taxi. You just need to tell him your destination, then he will help to calculate the fare. You pay at there and he will give you the taxi car number and their photo. Well then you don't need to worry about how driver will charge you after driving to the destination. The cons will be we can't negotiate with the price made. So both pros and cons exist.

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.

We rented the ski and poles, jackets and pants could not be rented at there. (Rental IRR$200,000, lift IRR$250,000). The gondola was not opened, I think it was because weather was not that good, only pomalift was opened. It is like tbar but the stick is placed between the skier's legs with the disc under the butt. It was easy for me to trip after putting my butt on the disc as it was hard to balance myself and I was adapted to it. If you stumbled, you need to start again from the start point and remember there might be somebody behind you. After arriving to the top, I was regret. It was too high. I could only ski down with care. Although I have skied before, it was ages ago. After that time, I just got up to half of the hill and skied down.


The Gondola was not opened


Nearby


Equipment rental

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.


Naqsh-e Rustam

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


Persepolis, nearer


Zooming to Persepolis;s poles


Persepolis

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.


Quarn Gateway


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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My Itinerary:
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)

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