We headed south from Ferdowsi Square. One challenge which we had been reading about was the chaotic traffic and crossing the roads. However Hanoi training served us well. If we couldn’t find a local to walk beside while crossing the road we took the walk calmly, make no sudden movements approach and generally had no trouble our time in the city.
In a slightly meandering approach we made it to the Grand Bazaar, but being Friday we didn’t bother venturing in. Instead we walked to the nearby Golestan Palace. 300,000 IRR (USD 9) bought us admission to the complex and entry to the main hall of mirrors. Built in the mid-1800s after a Shah saw the European palaces and wanted to replicate them – resulting in grandiose buildings and rooms. Many of the contents were gifts from foreign countries to Iran. The hall of mirrors with its rooms of mosaic mirrors and full sized mirrors were light and dazzling. Andrew thought the gifted Porcelain collection was outstanding. Outside , having removed the plastic shoe covers we had to put over our shoes, we wandered the grounds until hunger pangs drove us off to find something for lunch.
Returning to the bazaar area we had that traditional Iranian dish – Pizza and a coke. But really nice food for 2 weary travellers.
Andrew checking out happenings. Men tend to wear less colour than your average New Zealander
We contemplated going to the nearby National Museum, but decided to hold that till tomorrow. Instead we meandered back to the hotel. Only to be enticed by a neon sign saying ‘Coffee’. So one had a coffee and one had a pomegranate juice. Followed by two large Iranian ice cream sundaes. Delicious with flavours and nuts, sugar and chocolate on top and the only Iranian food we ate all day- but a very good choice.
There weren’t a lot of places to eat in the area around the hotel -excluding fast food kebabs and tea-houses where smoke wafted our of open doors – so we ate at the hotel. Day one finished as a definitely enjoyable experience