Saturday, November 13, 2010

Iran - Tehran

Day 1...13th Nov 2010...

Travel Expenses
*** Total: 433,000 IRR per person ***
Taxi from IKA Airport: 250,000 IRR
Admissions to Golestan Palace's Attractions: 23,000 IRR each
Accomodation @ Firouzeh Hotel: 370,000 IRR
Food and Miscellaneous: 100,000 IRR each

Golestan Palace

Golestan Palace is the oldest historic monument in Tehran, and belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg. It became the official residence of the royal family during the Qajar Dynasty, where one can still see the glories and excesses of the Qajar rulers.

Looking across the garden towards the open-fronted audience hall

Ivan-e Takht-e Marmar (Marble Throne Veranda)

Exquisite marble throne supported by human figurines

Qajar-era painting

An intriguing carving at the front of the hall

Colorful decorations on the walls

As well as on the ceilings

Central palace of Shams-Al Emarat (Edifice of the Sun)

Wonderful workmanship!

Pictures depicting the rulers' daily life can also be found on the walls

One of the soaring badgirs (traditional air-conditioning units)

Serene garden at the backyard

Ever present portraits of Iran's Supreme Leaders (Ali Khamenei and Ruhollah Khomeini)

Grand Bazaar

Tehran's Grand Bazaar is the largest market in Iran and the 10km of covered alleys are home to just about every consumer items you can imagine. The various commodities are grouped together, with alleys dedicated to spices dealers, goldsmiths, cobblers, tailors, tobacconists, and of course priceless silk hand woven Persian carpet merchants.

Street outside Grand Bazaar

One of the gates to the Grand Bazaar

Really crowded!

Magnificent ceilings

European-styled buildings near Hassanbad metro station

Roadside stall selling sweet beetroot dessert

Inside one of Tehran Metro stations

Posters marketing non-alcoholic beer

Imam Khomeini Square

Chelow Kabab, the national dish of Iran

Entrance of Firouzeh Hotel where we stayed

Double room with attached shower

Mousavi, the ever friendly hotel manager who is always enthusiastic to help in any ways possible =)

Who wants to be a Millionare!

Day 2...14th Nov 2010...

Travel Expenses
*** Total: 310,000 IRR per person ***
Admission to National Museum of Iran: 10,000 IRR each
Admission to National Jewels Museum: 30,000 IRR each
Overnight VIP Sleeper Bus from Tehran to Shiraz: 180,000 IRR each
Food and Miscellaneous: 90,000 IRR each

Entrance to National Museum of Iran

Neighbouring Museum of the Islamic Period

One of the government buildings

With an interesting wall mural

Taleghani Metro Station for U.S. Embassy (aka Den of Espionage)

Tehran's U.S. Embassy was the site of the notorious Iran hostage crisis during the Iran Revolution

Delicious burgers and sandwiches after eating too much kebabs...

Central bus terminal where we took an overnight VIP sleeper bus to Shiraz (12.5 hours)

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