When we arrived in Esfahan we checked in the most famous and oldest Iranian hotel, the 300 year old Abbasi hotel. For once we felt like a Shah. 🙂 Although its only the thirty largest city, Esfahan is the most popular tourist destination in Iran. It has a lot of historical buildings. We were staying three days so we could take the sightseeing a bit easier. The most interesting things were the endless bazar, the (Naqsh-e Jahan) Imam Square and the Masjed-e Shah Mosque. The Imam Square is one of the biggest plazas in the world and it is a common place for local people to have a picknick and hangout. At the bazar we found a very unique coffee place which is full of random things (lamps, swords,paintings,pots…) hanging from the ceiling and walls. Even though its winter, it didn’t rain in most of Iran for a long time. So the main river in Esfahan dried out completely.
Kashan was a positive surprise for both of us. We stayed only one day on the way to Tehran and we were lucky to have found the most beautiful accommodation of our Iran trip. Altogether, we can highly recommend Manouchehri Traditional House due to the mix of a traditional house with modern interior and the familiar atmosphere.
Also, we got to know the people in Kashan as the nicest and most hospitable during our Iran trip. Regarding sights and because we are not allowed to go together to a hammam, we at least could walk through the old Hammam-e Sultan Mir Ahmad.
Before continuing our travel to Singapore we stayed another two nights in Tehran. Exhausted from a lot of sightseeing in the previous days we only saw the Golestan Palace and the Treasury of National Jewels. It was impressing to see the huge collection of very rare diamonds. Some of the Diamonds are even the biggest in the world. After seeing the sparkling eyes of Nina, Patrick is still planning his heist. 🙂
Our resume of our visit: We are both happy that we’ve visited Iran. Talking to locals was very interesting and helped us to understand the long and complicated history of Iran and its neighbor countries. We’ve learned that the people in Iran have to find a way to live with their old culture they are very proud of and the new Islamic government. Although in January the weather during the day was mild, we would definitely recommend to travel to Iran either in spring or autumn, especially to enjoy more the beauty of all the different old gardens and flowers. Also the nice patios of the traditional houses would be more inviting to have a dinner outside.
We also have to say that we felt very safe when traveling around in Iran and our prior concerns were not justified at all.