DAY ELEVEN… Sightseeing in Shiraz
Visit to the pink mosque, famed for its stained glass windows. Many Iranians come here to pose for photos in the colourful light as the sun pours through the windows. We did the same.
The orangery, quite close by, was a beautiful garden lined with Naranja (bitter orange) trees. A place to wander, take more pictures and marvel at the baroque style of flamboyant designs, mirrors galore, delicate mosaics and intricate stone carvings. A very expensive carpet shop there to tempt us too.
The two tombs of brothers of the Iman Reza were next. Tablecloth chadors were in order, as at Qom, and we received an extremely enthusiastic guide who enjoyed questioning us and telling us our answers were wrong! The visit lasted hours and hours, including rather awkward exam type questions about our understanding of Shia Islam & Manchester United, our guide was a dedicated fan of both. At the end we were presented with a prayer stone each. Touching the stone with our foreheads, he tells us, we are brought back to our true nature, which is transient and eventually dust.
Our last visit was to the tomb of the famous 7th C Persian poet, Hafez. We arrived at sunset, a most magical time to be there. Lots of people being photographed, some tourists doing the classic thing, opening a book of Hafez’s poems and reading it at the page it opens at. The tradition is that the Hafez poem that one has found speaks to truth of one’s current life. We also did this and it led to somewhat disturbing results, mainly because the book was so badly translated. It was a lovely place to watch the crescent moon rise, and the first stars to appear in a perfectly darkening blue sky.
Supper was a very scruffy restaurant with mainly old men waiting on us. The food was quite OK though.