Esfahan day 2
The next morning after having breakfast in our hotel room we went out for a walk along the river to look at the old bridges on the river Zayandeh. There are 11 old bridges dating from Safavid times (1500s-1700s). They are weirs and bridges and have two levels. Inside there have always been teahouses and they have been famous as a place where people would hang-out and you might get to hear people singing or reciting Persian poetry or legends. Not long before we arrived the teahouses in the bridges had been shut down because people were smoking too much. Some people told us that they thought that it was really because the authorities didn't want young unmarried men and women to be meeting up.
The Si-o Seh Bridge.
People stop us as we pass by to chat and take photos of each other posing with us.
Inside the lower level of the Khaju Bridge. No tea being served and no tables but people are still chilling out anyway. Some men were singing too.
The Khaju Bridge.
Ruth and Hannah walking up the street. After we seen the bridges we went to get our laundry back. They tried to charge us £90! It turned out to be a dry cleaners and they had dry-cleaned all our underwear and everything! Our clothes weren't even worth that much money. With the help of staff from our hotel we managed to get the cost down to $30 in the end but we weren't happy. Always agree a price before getting a service!
Having spent too much on laundry we went to splash-out on some fancy lunch. Right across the street from our hotel I found the same restaurant I remember going to in 1997!
Ruth and Hannah in the fancy restaurant. We had an Esfahani speciality - delicious Fesenjan Chicken - chicken in a rich walnut and pomegranate sauce.
After changing some dollars into Rials we went to look at one of the big famous mosques. The Jameh Mosque. It is the biggest mosque in Iran. Different parts of the mosque date from different periods of history and reflect different architectural styles such as Seljuk, Mongol and Safavid. Unfortunately much of it seemed to be closed off. I think they were getting ready for some special religious occasion.
In one of the great Iwans.
Looking up at the ceiling of a porchway.
We left the mosque and wandered back through kilometres of covered bazar. Alot of motorbikes were roasting about in there noisily and dangerously.
This stall was amazing. It was a treasure trove of weird and wonderful antique and junk stuff.
As night fell we hung out in Imam Square. The lively Iranian holiday vibe there is unique.
Chillin' by the side of the fountain.
The beautiful entrance to the Imam Mosque lit up at night.
People praying inside the Imam Mosque.
Ruth and Hannah had to wear these chadors to go in.
Imam Mosque at night.