DAY SEVEN… Sightseeing in Isfahan
We met up with Maryam, who had been our guide in Isfahan last year, today and because we had two guides Tim and I were able to explore parts of Esfahan that we hadn’t seen before.
One of these was the Armenian Cathedral. We took a crazy taxi ride with a young woman driver who obviously had ambitions to be a racing driver. Ali had hailed her on Snapp, the Iranian home-grown Uber. Ali had to remind her that she wasn’t Sterling Moss. She was really quite unbelievable in what she tried to do on the road, squeezing into the tiniest of gaps between vehicles. Anyhow, we got there in one piece.
The church was really spectacular. This comes from someone who was forced to look at endless churches as a child and now detests the idea of looking at churches, and museums likewise. Weirdly there was a museum attached to the church, and true to form, Ali was keen to look round. In fact, it was great to see Armenian life represented in beautiful paintings, tiles and other artefacts. There was a big section devoted to the Armenian genocide which I knew nothing about. It was chilling to read some of the telegrams that had been preserved,
‘Women and children should be included (i.e. killed) only infants who won’t remember must be spared. Do not concern yourself with conscience’
We had Ash soup back near the Naqsh-e Jahan Square for lunch. And later, we had Ash soup for supper too, in the surroundings of the amazing up-market Abbasi Hotel Tea House, set in wonderful gardens and the saffron ice cream was something else. I will remember that ice cream experience for ever.
Later in the afternoon, after hours walking through the Grand Bazaar of Isfahan, we linked up with the rest of the group for a display of block printing technique and miniature painting. The painter used a single cat’s hair to paint with. He has three cats, all still alive!