impressions in black and white
on the go
photos. unedited. rough. from the moment.
In November 2019 I spent again a week in London. It was cold and windy, but the autumn presented itself admirably. Obviously, I again spent a lot of time at Regent's canal and Little Venice.
North of Tehran are magnificent mountains attracting hikers and skiers alike. Darband is a location in the mountains that provides a wonderful view over Tehran.
Shops, restaurants and cafés are particularly atmospheric in the evening. My usual place to say good bye to Tehran.
The Grand Bazaar of Tehran is one of the economic hubs of Iran and literally a maze. On top of that, not only the "core" of the bazaar ist very interesting also the surroundings. So we decided to take a guide this time.
We started by walking through the Lalehzar-area which was a hotspot for art and culture in the past. Unfortunately today these streets are dominated by workshops where picturesque would not be an accurate description. Only here and there we find reminders of the past, for instance Tehran Theatre. The good new is, that some of these buildings are in the process of renovation.
Then we had excellent breakfast in a greasy spoon cafe in Lalehzar before we dive into the actual bazaar.
Don't forget: click on photos to enlarge and frame them nicely.
The bazaar changed a lot over the last 15 years. Unfortunately not always to its benefit. A lot a workshop, e.g. producing copper ware are gone and Chinese wares of questionable quality are sold in many places. Also a lot of historic substance is damaged. When you know where to look on can still finds gems here and there.
Shahr-e Sukhteh is an archeological site with first settlements reaching about 3.000 years back. Why this city is called burned city seems to be unclear.
The next former settlement is Khajeh mountain which reaches about 2.200 years back. Everything was flooded recently and the archeological site actually closed. We are lucky that one of the main experts of the site is available and offers us a private tour.
For lunch we make a stop at Ghal‘e No (New Fort). This old settlement is traditionally built from clay and is still maintained and inhabited.
This is the end of our trip to Sistan and Baluchestan. The next day we flew back from Zahedan to Tehran and had some polite, yet extensive checks at the airport security. Every lens had to be inspected.
Anyways. Thanks for your interest and patience. One more posting will follow with some new explorations of the Grand Bazaar in Tehran and its surroundings.
The last "basecamp" of our trip is Zahedan, which is also the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan. What is the first thing to visit in a new city?
Except for some rather unpleasant hygienic issues (things swimming in places where they are not supposed to swim in a cleaned room, lets put it like that), the stay in the hotel in Iranshahr was short and unspectacular.
Interesting is the continuous shift in the climate though. The brooding heat from Hormoz is gone, we are more in a European Spring climate now. Other provinces of Iran where heavily hit by floods and also here we find remains of heavy rain. Luckily, we just arrive at a time, when most streets can be passed again.
It is quite common that drivers decorate their lorry and put signs with names on top of the cabin. Often names of prophets. This particular specimen seems to have been a fan of music. Adnan is, as far as I know, an Arabic singer, the portrait on the door of the lorry is Googoosh, a famous Iranian singer.
On the way we very invited at a family where the women operate a workshop with beautiful handicraft. Some of their products are sold in other cities in the region. After visiting the workshop we had very good lunch.
In this area it is common that you are invited as a guest into the house, talk and socialise. When the food is served you are left alone for eating. As far as I understand this custom, the idea is to not set the guest under pressure (which is pretty much the opposite of what is to be expected in other regions in Iran where you usually are stuffed like a goose).
One of the daughters was very excited that Farsi people, so in principle Iranians from another province are guests in her home. So she invited all her neighbour friends. I think I was too exotic to be mentioned.