Oasis town IsfahanDecember 19, 2017 in Iran ⋅
At least since 'The Medicus' made his way to Isfahan to learn from the greatest doctor of his time, this city became legendary and the name sounds like music in our ears.
We were expecting a green oasis with many parks and gardens, but at this time it wasn't (anymore?). Since the government built a dam to lead the water elsewhere, and rainfalls became a great rarity, the Zayanderud river is dried out and the beautiful bridges seem a bit out of place. However, Si-O-Se Pol, the 33 arch bridge, is still the town's landmark and we enjoyed a stroll at dawn when the lights came up.
We loved to cruise through the city with our bikes, even along the bazars and into a mosque through the backdoor. The huge Imam Square is the place where (tourists) life takes place and countless shops offer reams and reams of handicraft - it can be really annoying to escape the salesmen and tourist guides, so take your photos and hide in the crowds on the bazar :)
The Armenian quarter impressed us with a familiar and relaxed atmosphere and they even had a Christmas tree. The exhibition about the Armenian genocide and the history of Armenians in Isfahan was really moving and it seems like the peaceful coexistence and interactions of Islam and Christianity could be exemplary. The Armenian Vank Cathedrale shows an unique architectural mixture of Islamic elements like colorful tiles and a dome and Christian elements like wall paintings, an altar and a bell tower.
Although the bureaucracy felt like acting in a bad movie, we finally got our Iranian visas extended by another 30 days.
And not to forget: A big thanks to Reza and his family, who hosted us for two of the four nights we spent here, together with two other cyclists from Germany, Jan & Hannes. It was great fun to climb a mountain in the middle of the night!Read more