Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Selection of details from last trip.
(Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 3, 2014



A recap of some dome interiors from the last trip.
(click to enlarge)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

more mesmerising mirror mayhem

Our last day in Iran and we were down to our last mosque!

This one was called Sayyed Alaeddin Hossein Mosque (or The Jelly Mosque as I preferred to call it).

Paul had ducked into it a couple of days ago while I was back at the hotel. He insisted I come with him today to see it.

It was spectacular.

(Make sure you click on the photos - they deserve to be seen full sized!)

While I was wandering around the mosque I found a door open towards the back of the building and stepped inside.

I found myself in the 'school' part of the mosque where religious students spend 30 hours a week studying the Koran. This was another stunning display of mirrored mosaics.

As my last post for this trip I have to say Iran was a wonderful place to visit. Not only did I feel safer there than just about anywhere else in the world, the people were the friendliest I have ever met in all of the 85 countries I have visited.

Do yourself a favour - go there!

Friday, October 17, 2014

persa police

Today was Paul's birthday.

Ever since he was 12 he has wanted to visit Persepolis in Iran.

He finally got his wish.

We hired a car and driver for the 70km drive to make the day easier. Our first stop was Naqsh-e Rustam about 12 kms away from Persepolis.

This is the site of the rock cut tombs of Darius I (c. 522–486 BC), Xerxes I (c. 486–465 BC), Artaxerxes I (c. 465–424 BC), and Darius II (c. 423–404 BC).

Nearby is Naqsh-e Rajab - a series of rock carvings of Sassanid era rulers from around the 2nd Century AD:

Then we hit the main site of Persepolis - the earliest part dates from 515 BC.

It is a huge and majestic site and there are enough ruins to give an idea of its scale and grandeur. We wandered at leisure for around three hours before heading back to Shiraz.

Paul was chuffed!

(*'persa police' - how the locals pronounced our name for the place. They call it Takht-e Jamshid.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

liberace's bathroom

Crossed the (dry) river this morning to visit the Hamez Shrine.

Inside was a cacophony of dazzling light and reflections - very difficult to capture on camera, millions of tiny mirror fragments carefully arranged on every surface. Despite the irreverent reference to Liberace in the headline, it was simply beautiful inside.

From here we headed back across the river, through the bazaar to visit probably the most important place in Shiraz - the Shah Cheragh parts of which date back to the early 12th Century. Fundamentally a set of shrines and funerary monuments, the place is still actively used as places of worship.

If I thought the Hamez shrine was a knockout with mirrors, it pales in comparison to the Shah Cheragh.

Utterly breathtaking just about sums it up.

No one is permitted to bring cameras or bags inside this complex, but we had read that phone cameras were allowed. We were also told that permission for foreigners is often denied. But as both Paul and I opted not to bring our phones with us on this trip I carried my old Nokia on the off chance I would get a chance to use it.

Not only did we get in and snap some phone pix but Paul revisited and managed to snap a couple of extra photos on the small camera.

(Again, the photos do not do it justice.)

abandoned small mosque within the complex: