|At the mosque|
|stunning stained glass winter prayer hall|
at Nasir-al-Molk mosque
The first thing I notice from the coach as we drive through
Shiraz is how clean the
streets are - swept and hosed regularly. Many days later in Tehran I see many men in high viz vests who
tour the streets on bicycles and motor bikes with besom brooms and continually
sweep where needed. Sadly the main roads between the towns are a very different
story, strewn sometimes with quite disgraceful litter. But who are we to talk
in the UK?
Litter seems to be a global scourge, and one which I find deeply depressing.
|winter prayer hall Nasir-al-Molk mosque|
|mihrab at Nasir-al-Molk mosque|
We pass the citadel which we will visit later in the day. It is hot, but a dry heat so not so uncomfortable. In fact I am very happy with it. Roundabouts look very pretty and well tended, often decorated with neat rows of ornamental cabbages, which are propagated at the
Shiraz municipal nurseries in the gardens at
the Law Faculty of the University.
We walk through the Vakil bazaar. Vakil means "regent", the bazaar built as it was by Karim Khan, regent to the last Safavids (1501-1736), their rule reflected in the magnificence and wealth of the stunning architecture we later enjoy in
Soon we arrive at the
|the cow well|
Masjed-e Nasir-al-Molk, a very charming nineteenth century mosque, said to be one of the most elegant and photographed mosques in
The deep blue tiling is wonderful, the stone cable-spiral columns most
imposing, the colourful stained glass in the winter prayer hall playing
beautiful patterns down on to the floor. We also see there, just off the
opposite prayer hall, the cow well, where cows walked downhill to raise the
|the winter prayer hall Masjed |
So back along the streets, back through the bazaar to lunch, at the Sharzeh Traditional Restaurant in
Vakil Street; as with so many Iranian
restaurants it seems, this is downstairs, and is very popular with locals.
There is a renowned salad bar with amazing spread, which would have satisfied
me for lunch - but they make me a huge plate of stir fried vegetables - very
tasty but just too much and a little boring after a while. Nevertheless a good
place to eat.
|plates in the bazaar|