Shiraz, oh yes the grapes, forget the wine! Persepolis, chasing camels and getting my visa extended (no relation).
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Hmm, yes the grapes…well let me update that section once I left the country…
While trying to find a water kettle to prepare my addictive Turkish coffee, I found Moji. Moji works in an upmarket shop, selling high-end electrical appliances from Europe and Japan –and speaks fluent German. He just came back from Germany a few weeks ago after an extended (over-) stay of seven years. First he helped me hunting down one of those tiny kettles I was after, then he invited me to join him on Friday for a ride to the countryside and a fantastic lunch prepared by his family. We had a blast riding to tiny villages in the area where his mother grew up in. It was here where we almost collided with a bunch of fluffy white camels running all over the place. After a bit more off-road action it was big feasting time at Moji’s home.
His family laid out the best meal I had in Iran so far, and much more than any hungry eater could ever get down into his stomach.
Next day I made my first unsuccessful attempt to extend my Visa – three days before it was about to expire. The friendly officials told me to come back on the very last day my visa expires. So I went to see Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire dating back to 515BC. One heck of a place to build just for a few ceremonies every year! Finally Alexander the Great turned up and burnt it all down. Note, people here don’t refer to him as Alexander the Great but as Alexander the First...might be connected to all the burning down business.
In Shiraz I certainly noticed that I crossed the shouting-“Hello, where you from”-line somewhere between Isfahan and Shiraz. This line is an imaginary and gradually increasing level of complete strangers shouting “Hello where you from” at you -without ever expecting an answer. It generally runs in a south-easterly direction, reaches insane levels in India and then subsides gradually again to normal levels once you reach Taiwan.
On the day my visa expired arrived, I was on my way again to the Police department dealing with foreigners. After a small number of glitches in the issuing process (my file got lost in the system, official who was supposed to sign the extension disappeared for a looong time), I got what I came for, although not the four weeks extension I was hoping for. The friendly officials even apologized for the little hiccups in the issuing process.
As soon as I had the stamp in my passport, I was on my way to Yazd, the second oldest city in the world.
And as always, check the bigger, better, uncut pictures in THE GALLERY!