Today we were again reminded that Iran’s appeal is not limited to what the travel guidebooks pitch. There’s awe-inspiring beauty in many of Iran’s small towns, sans the traffic and expense of the touristy hotspots. Gonabad (go-NAW-bawd) is 288 km south of Mashhad in northeast Iran. It’s not even on the primary route from Mashhad to the..
Tag: Province of Khorasan
A postal route operated here when North America wasn’t yet settled by Europeans. Travelers and businessmen slept here in style 200 years before there was even such a thing as the United States. But today the caravanserai of Zafaraniyeh sits empty and abandoned, like thousands of other ancient jewels all over Iran, victim of time, cultural amnesia and..
Near SABZEVAR, Iran – Iran is so old that sometimes even aimless tourists get to discover a village chock full of antiquities seemingly unnoticed by a government overwhelmed with the upkeep of thousands of similar jewels. It’s mid-August afternoon and wife Saeideh and I are speeding toward Sabzevar on the highway that used to be..
IMAM REZA SHRINE, MASHHAD, Iran – Beneath giant chandeliers and surrounded by bewilderingly intricate mirror artwork and calligraphy sits this nation’s equivalent of the Wailing Wall. Dar-al Hojjeh is an immense underground hall adjacent to the burial chamber of Imam Reza (Persian: امام رضا), whose 1000-year-old shrine is Iran’s spiritual nucleus and the world’s largest..
IMAM REZA SHRINE, MASHHAD, Iran – It’s called the Window of Steel, through which millions of Shia pilgrims try to find hope and healing. For the tourist, it can provide a fascinating – and at times heart-wrenching – peak into mankind’s universal urge to touch something greater than himself. The Window of Steel (a.k.a Fulad..