Today our plan is to get going early so we can make some of the 467 km in the cooler part of the day. We are headed south on the Gulf coast road to Shiraz. Dan got up at 520 for some sunrise shots in the square. The rest of us were up at 630 to pack the bikes and bring them around from the parking. We had breakfast and were out the door at 745.
The temperature stayed under 36 until about 200 km from the city. Then we had 2 hours in 38-39. Getting out of the city was not too bad and we finally found a petrol station.We made 200 km before the break and then had lunch with about 167 km to go.
The lunch break was next to a cement factory and they let us park in the shade there!
Riding along at 39 degrees one driver came up to Dan and offered him a 2 l bottle of water. True desert hospitality. I’m not sure how he expected him to take it while riding a motorcycle, but it was nice all the same.
The roads are so straight that when there is any curve there are huge warning signs!
Our only police check of the day…we rode on and left Reza to deal with them!
The last stop was for gas 50 km away and the man who works there was an English Translation major pumping the gas. We have met so many educated people not working in their careers. Maria at the hotel desk is an electrical engineer, but she can not get a job here as she is a woman.
Arriving to the city we again had some crazy drivers, but better than Tehran for sure. The hotel is located on a quiet street with underground parking. We arrived about 4 and retreated to the air con for a few hours.
The plan for this evening is to visit one of the most important pilgrimage shrines here in Shiras, the Shah Cheragh. We took the car over as we did not want it to close. There was a bit of a wait at the entrance as you must be accompanied by a guide. Dan had worn shorts and was not able to get in. We had to put our cameras in “the depository”. The notice says that photos with a guide are ok, but with your phone only. The entry is free, which is unusual in Iran where foreigners are charged 6-8$ for entry. The strange thing is the fee is the same whether for the spectacular UNESCO Persopolis site or a small local mosque. The guide was a women in full chador. The men entered thru the main door and I went with her thru the side door, where i was dressed in a large sheet, checked for appropriate coverage by the “staff”, and then frisked for dangerous items. I walked in to join the men and I thought Trevor was going to fall over when he saw me. He said “I’m surprised you didn’t balk at the get up and refuse to enter”. I said when in Rome.
The site is spectacular especially in the sunset light. The call to break the fast was being announced on the speakers. The hall of the tombs is covered with small mirrors. There are several significance of these small pieces One was that the mirrors came from far away and were broken on arrival. This is said to symbolize how man should be broken before God. A large mirror allows you to focus on yourself, but the tiny ones break you up and symbolize how you should not be proud.
After this we ate at a small local restaurant, but we are not very hungry because of the heat. Walking back the streets were packed. This is because of Ramadan since everyone can break the fast at about 9 pm. Usually there are not crowds like this until late. People were very friendly and asking us if we needed help or directions if we stopped to check the route to the hotel on maps.me
Happy anniversary it is 5 years since we started the trip and it is our 21 wedding anniversary. We have a big day planned and set out at 830 to drive the 60 km back north to visit Persepolis. This was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC).
You enter first thru the “Gate of all Nations”.
The site is stunning and the reliefs incredibly intact.
Despite the heat we climbed up to the tomb of the king Artaxerxes II , which also has a panorama of the site.
Next we drove a few km to the Necropolis where the tombs of the kings are located.
Now it is back to Shiraz and a visit to the Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque and it’s bazaar. We unfortunately are not here at the correct time of day for this time of year, because when you are the light thru the stained glass is spectacular.
It is after 4 and near 40 so time to retreat to the hotel. Daniel went a few blocks away to the “car part” street and found another fuel pump for 16$. The travel agent Lollie lives here and she brought us a small gift of candy.
We finally went out after 9 when it is safe to eat in public and for our wedding anniversary dinner we chose rotisserie chicken.
Today is the last of the big days and another 450 km to Yadz. This is an almost 250 km back track as the other routes are over an hour longer at leas
We left the hotel at 745 and it was 26 degrees. We stopped for tea after an hour. Once we made the turn to Yazd the desert started. We stopped for some fuel, water and a break from the 38 degrees and were surrounded by people at the shady spot in front of the restaurant.
On the way we ran across an old mud fortress.
It is Swedish mid summer’s eve and so we had to stop in the desert of the traditional frog dance around the may pole!
We stopped and did a quick and hot tour in this traditional mud village.
We had a bit of cooler temperatures to 31 in the hills, but it was over 40 for the last 45 minutes into the city.
Our traditional hotel is near the main square and down one of the very narrow lane ways of this adobe city. Step one get into the air con and have a quick rest. We are all a bit delirious from the heat. The hotel owner drove us a few km away to a restaurant that was serving food in the late afternoon. This is a challenge in Ramadan. Now back for a bit longer rest on a very full stomach. In the evening after 8 it was a bit cooler and after 9 you can get something to eat, but as it was still hot we decided on ice-cream for dinner.
Today we will see a few of the sights of the city, but you have to be done this by 1 when it will be over 40. We started out with a visit to the Fire Temple which is a place of worship for Zoroastrians.
The towers of silence is a Zoroastrian site that was used for “burial” until 60 years ago. They believe the body must be purified after death (a corpse is considered a host for decay) and this is done by leaving it in the sun to be cleaned to bones by vultures and then the bones dissolved by lye. It is a bit of a hike up, but it is only 30 fish now at 9 am.
Next stop is a garden complex that has a wind tunnel. This is a natural air-condition unit. It is an inferno out and we retreated to the hotel and after all theses long days we were asleep all afternoon. We ventured out again after 8 for some food and a stroll.