Even though Esfahan calls itself bike-friendly, we decided not to use our bikes today. First, because we live at a local family 30 km away from the city center and second because the traffic especially in the suburbs is everything but not bike-friendly. So we went there by car together with the host family and some friends of theirs. In total we were 8 persons.
Spring time in Esfahan
We reached Isfahan at a very good time of the year. The Zayandeh river was carrying a lot of water (which is not normal, I saw pictures from 10 days ago when the whole riverbed was dry!). Also, the parks at the riverside were green and the flowers were blooming. The temperature was with 15-20°C also perfect for sightseeing.
In addition to three historic bridges over the river, yesterday’s highlight was the Naqsh-e Jahan Square. After Beijing’s Tiananmen square the second largest in the world with more than 500m of length and 150m wide. Compared to the Tiananmen Square, the Naqsh-e Jahan Square is howoever much more beautiful because it is surrounded with mosques, palaces, and has beautiful fountains and green on it. The pictures were unfortunately taken at noon, so the light is not that good, but I will try to go there again tomorrow to get some better shots towards the evening.
Sightseeing in a group
I really love the Iranian hospitality, but for sightseeing in a city like Esfahan it can also be an annoyance. The main problem is that first, all family members and friends want to spend as much time as possible with us, which resulted in a group of 8 people. Sightseeing gets quite inefficient like this because there is always someone to wait for. And the second problem was that for locals, sightseeing does not have the same meaning as to us. So after two hours in perfect weather, one guy suggested that we go to his home to have lunch. The home was 30 min away by car. We could convince them to stay in the city center for lunch… but only until after lunch, when they took us back to the village. So in the end there was not much sightseeing and we spent the whole afternoon at their home drinking tea and just “being” there.
I am really glad that tomorrow we have another day in Esfahan. This time I will go to the city alone with Lucie and will appreciate the hospitality again in the evening when returning to the village.