Yes folks, it is time for a bit of luxury and a bit of well deserved rest. So we re jig the program and head down to the fabled city of Esfahan. Robert Byron once described Esfahan as one of the rare cities of the world that is a balm to man's soul. We are about to find out.
We barrel done the Persian Gulf highway to Esfahan. A three lane motorway all the way with virtually no traffic
Motorbikes do not have to pay tolls and at every toll booth we always get cheery waves
We arrive down the beautiful leafy streets of Esfahan
And we arrive at the Abassi hotel which is said to be the oldest hotel in the world at 300 years old. I am not totally sure about that claim as I have stayed at some olde English hotels that I think are at least that old. The mattresses of one of those English hotels was at least 300 years old or at least it felt like it.
However I digress. Joy of joys there is a room at the hotel. The most expensive room in the hotel but you only live once and it is only money anyway. As a matter of perspective is is only twice the nighty cost of an average New Zealand motel !
But what absolute luxury. It started at the front door
And you get the picture in the following photos
Dates right outside the front door
The local non alcoholic beer
We meet a delightful chap called Maken who is Iranian but now lives in Vancouver and has an Immigration business specialising in immigration between Iran and Canada. He was a delightful young man who gave us some fascinating insights into life in modern day Iran
Diana mets up with three lovely Iranian nurses having a night out (and a night away from their husbands!) In very broken English I hear about their husbands !
We decide to stay 3 nights in the hotel and have a two day break. The first day is just blobbing out. The second day we play tourists and visit the local sights such as the beautiful castle and the beautiful square
We visit the Armenian Church built by the Armenian community who were conscripted here as artisans many years ago
And we visit the old bazaar. It has beautiful objects in it. Beautiful copper ware, silverware and fabrics. I can report that the fabric of Iranian society is very good !
We have one last meal in the lovely courtyard area of the hotel. And thus well rested on the next day we head down to the ruins of Persopolis just north of Shiraz