Thursday, July 02, 2009

Travelogue: Iran: Tehran: Part 2

04/06/09 : Tehran

Our last day in Iran. Our flight back is at 8.10pm, so we still had some time to go around Tehran. We decided to take the Metro (similar to HK and S’pore’s MRT) to discover the city. Since it was Imam Khomeini’s death anniversary, we got to travel for free up til 12 noon.

Just to show Tehran's traffic jam

KL Tower copied this

The Metro train

the spacious Metro ^_^

Our trip started from Saadi station

Train time table

Women only section of the Metro. Of course, women can also travel in the 'normal' sections with the men.
Note: There is also the 'Women Taxi' in Tehran, where the driver is female, and is for females only. Japan is emulating this. Cool eh? ;-)

these women just came back from Ayatollah Khomeini shrine (we assume,because they were from the Imam Khomeini station and they were all wearing chadors)

beer handle ;-p
Note: Iran only sells non-alcoholic beer

Grand Bazaar & Golestan Palace

First stop was Panzdah-e-Khordad where we went to the (closed) Grand Bazaar and posed for pictures (i.e. Kerja Gila #4).

Closed bazaar. Even a car was parked inside the bazaar!
Next we went to Golestan (Rose Garden) Palace which is nearby the bazaar, and again posed at the closed gate. The guards were sympathetic to us, so they let us in the compound and let us took pictures in there. How sweet!
Golestān Palace is the former royal Qajar complex in Iran's capital city. The Arg was built during the reign of Tahmasp I (r. 1524-1576) of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736). The Court and Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal Qajar family. Read more here

compound of Golestan palace. (jadiklah...)

Just showing a pakcik bringing back nan bread- holding it with his bare hands

Next to Haft-e-tir, to find jubah, but the shops were still closed. So I took a picture of closed jubah shop ;-p

arghhh!! closed shop

that's a snow capped mountain on the background: captured by the roadside at haft-e-tir

US Den of Espionage
We then boarded off Taleghani to go a nearby park. Upon ascending from the Metro, we saw Anti-US signs instead. It was the US Den of Espionage. It used to house the US Embassy (Iran no longer has diplomatic ties with US after the 1979 Islamic Revolution) where 66 American citizens were held hostage for over a year.
We saw Anti-US mural paintings along the walls of the compound. A bookshop near the metro station sells copies of shredded documents found at the embassy-outlining coup plots and CIA agent covers that were laboriously glued back together by Tehrani students
Source here

the US crest

one of the anti-US murals
Parade Ground
Last Metro stop was Imam Khomeini: Here is the Tehran Gate at the Parade Ground (Bagh e Melli) or National Garden. It was the first public garden of Tehran. It was originally founded by Nassereddinshah Qajar, but was reconstructed later by Rezashah Pahlavi. It houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, The National Museum of Iran, Malek National Museum, Museum of Ancient Iran and the future National Museum of Post.
Imam Khomeini station: with art painting/ carvings adorning its walls

the Tehran Gate, gate to the Parade Ground

one of the museums at the Parade Ground

Parade Ground compound - that's another snow capped mountain in the background (probably the same mountain captured in haft-e-tir)
It was then time to pack up for our flight back to KL at 8.10pm. I felt it was too short a trip, and I still wanted more, as we didn’t get to fully explore Tehran – missing out the museums (especially the Carpet museum), bazaars and palaces. Looks like I probably would have to come back again ;-)

P/S: An unfortunate incident befell Raph at the airport later that evening. He was denied exit (instead of entry!) back to Malaysia. Some problems on his previous working visa.
Note: Malaysians do not need visa to enter Iran for a visit of within 2 weeks or less. Raph finally made it back to Malaysia 2 days later than us.



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