Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Monday 19 October: From Tehran station a walk to the french designed Tehran Metro (29th mode of transport) at Mowlavi station for red no 1 line, three stops north, to Imam Khomeni Square and then a short stroll to Firouzeh Hotel run by Mr Mousavi, the most hospitable hotelier you're ever likely to meet.
Not a pretty capital, more of a working city, but with some hidden gems. The National Jewelry Museum with armed guards, body scans and searches to protect the vault (no cameras). Wonderful national treasures including a 30 inch, 1869 vintage, world globe with seas of green emeralds, lands of red rubies and, Britain, France and Iran shown in sparkling diamonds. Dinner with Suzie, a Swiss tourist travelling alone.
Next day, Golestan Palace, an oasis of peace and quiet in traffic congested city streets, and the National Museum of Iran with the amusing bronze statue of a shrunken-headed prince among the artifacts. Joules, a recent Christchurch College Oxford graduate travelling through the Middle East to Palestine, and I saw Suzie off to the station and dinned on dizi (soup and stew), yogurt, tea and dates at Azari Traditional Teahouse near the station.
Wednesday 31: Metro to the wealthy, less polluted, north and Sa'dabad Museum complex - it's military museum (not seen a kalashnikov close-up before), the Green (not open) and Mellat or White Palace, former royal residence of the Shah, looks like an office block from the outside and a second-hand furniture emporium from the inside. You must question the man's taste. The giant pair of boots at the entrance are all that remains of the huge bronze statue of Reza Shah, cut down to size after the revolution. Dinner with Joules, and my first 'beer' in Iran, in Khayyam Traditional Teahouse
Thursday: We took the10:45, 6-berth sleeper express train (30th mode) for the seven hour trip to Esfahan.
Photos of Tehran.

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