Life In Extra

Change of Plans: After Abyaneh, We Head to Isfahan and Shahreza!

Leonardo Paolino,

In the previous week, in the run-up to our trip to Iran, I shared with you our itinerary. However, when we arrived at our destination, we had to make some changes. Originally after Abyaneh, we should have headed towards Shiraz but to be able to make the most of our time on Sunday, we headed towards Isfahan instead.

 

Despite these changes, due to unexpected stops and things that slowed us down, we arrived at Isfahan in the evening at 9PM. We stayed overnight at a house maintained by one of our friends. We stayed the night along with other young Iranians and spent the rest of the evening listening to music together. We went to bed past 1 am. Even if we were sleeping out of sleeping bags, we were so tired that we didn't mind at all!

On Monday morning, we biked through the city. One thing I will say is how beautiful Isfahan is. We visited the Naqsh-e jahān plaza which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and the Ali Qapu Palace which marks the entrance to the vast palace complex of the Safavid rulers spread throughout the square. Another notable site seen from the square is the Shah Mosque which was renamed to the Imam Mosque after the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

We also visited the Si-o-Se Pol bridge which translated to "Bridge of 33 Arches" and is considered one of the most famous examples of Safavid-era engineering and architecture. 

 

After touring one of the most beautiful cities in the world, we came back the house where we earlier spent the night in to have lunch since we were scheduled to leave for Shahreza from where we will start to bike.

In the following days, we realized how as Italians, we weren't really good at sticking to schedules. But what's interesting is that we may have found something worse than "Italian time". In the Middle East, the concept of being on time is even less important. This is why making plans with our local guide was difficult! 5 minutes can become an hour and waiting for 15 minutes could even turn to a couple of hours! Perhaps the Italians and Iranians have more similarities than we first realized.

But, despite all delays, we arrived at Shahreza. We changed and headed out for our bike adventure. We went through some amazing scenery even reaching an elevation of 2400 feet. After returning to the village, Yahgoob arranged a pleasant surprise for us by bringing us to a well-maintained municipal Olympic-sized swimming pool with a Turkish bath and sauna. Even if it was 8 in the evening, they even prepared us drinks and snacks. Later, we went out for dinner and ate really well! Another similarity between Italy and Iran is that both of their peoples are big foodies and can be easily seen in daily life.

After, we went to sleep and woke up to a great breakfast. Surely, we needed it as we need fuel for the next 80km tour waiting for us that Tuesday.

I'll tell you more about it later. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get updates when we post the next part of our trip!

 

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