We’re on the road again, this time by bus from Shiraz to Esfahan. Another intruiging city to discover. We check in at Jolfa Hotel, which is located in the Armenian part of the city. Without doubt, we both find as if we’re walking in the Beirut part called Ashrafieh. Nice shops, nice people, even a bit posh and chique.
We go for a walk into the city. We pass many dusty roads and construction sites where the seem to be building metro stations. On our way to the centre we also pass a very curious bridge, the Si-o-se Pol. It crosses a dry river. Due to bad water management and climate change, the Zayandeh RIver had been permanently dry since 2010. Once in the centre, we enjoy the astonishing views of one of the biggest squares in the world: the Meidam Emam. Built just before 1600, this was used to play polo at. The square hosts a palace, mosques and the bazaar. We have visited a palace ad a mosque. While visiting the mosque, we meet with Rusbeh, A local couchsurfer wanting to show us around.
We drink tea with him and then say good bye, We need to eat and he has some things he needs to do, but not without planning to have dinner tonight, together with friends of his. On our way to the hotel we enter the Armenian Caqthedral of Esfahan. From the outside it looks a bit sober, but we get a big surprise as soon as we enter: it seems that the eintire bible has been painted on the walls! We eat in a quite fancy restaurant around the corner and later that we meet again with Ruzbeh but now also with some of his friends. They’re all super progressive guys and we laugh a lot. They take us to a park where we see a lot of people hanging out, and probably drinking all kinds of drinks. Esfahan seems a very liberal city for Iranian standards.
Next day we meet with an other new friend H. Together with him, we see the rest of Esfahan: there are so many things to see! We see some palaces, mosques and parks and at night we go to the big square for pictures in the dark. With H. we go to the place of a friend of his, where we eat delivery kebab and even drink some schnapps!
Our visit to Esfahan is memorable, but also over. Quite early in the morning we have to take the bus. A tax itakes us to the huge bus station, and the next bus stop will be: Kashan!