We rented a car in Teheran, in order to save some time, for taking us to the city of Hamadan where one can visit the cave of Al-Sadr. This huge cave is located 75Km due northeast of city of Hamadan in the heart of the mountains called Subashi in the Kaboudar-Ahang town.
As we were kind of short of time we went directly to the cave, skipping the city. Once we got there we realized that we had to slow down a little, as in rush as we were, because the waiting lines in front of the cave were huge. So we took a nice nap for 2 hours on one of the nice lawns provided by the administration of the cave, taking advantage of the moment of calm we were forced to take.
The cave is worth visiting and it is really impressive. Once inside, the visitor has to go and don a life vest and again wait in line for boarding the convoy of boats tugged by the water bicycles.
Along the water canals, which are between 2 to 50 meters wide, we faced a good number of halls.
All the routes of this cave end in a vast central square called The Island.
The visit of cave takes about 2 hours. Do not forget to take some extra clothes with you as it gets a little bit cold inside, especially after coming in from the heat of the outside.
The hours and the landscape were just rolling past my eyes when all of a sudden I noticed a strange hill pierced all over by little caves.
I made the car stop, had the reluctant but beautiful lady driver U turn it and went to visit the strange thing.
As my daughter said I clearly have a feeling for strange encounters. Glued to the hill there was a little house.
We stepped in the front yard where we were met by an old Iranian woman. She reminded me of the old grandmothers from the village I live in. So happy to have visitors, so happy to offer us some fruits from her humble storage room.
I was extremely impressed by her eagerness to show us around, to speak to us.
When we finally left, she followed, spilling water on our wake, according to an old Islamic tradition.
She remains one of the nicest memories I brought back from Persia.
By 3 o’ clock pm we finally reached Esfahan and headed directly to the house of a friend of our driver lady where we were supposed to spend the rest of the night.
Once there, after the greetings and introductions and of course, by now traditional Iranian welcoming we settled down to sleep as we were totally exhausted.
Next day we were supposed to meet our Couch Surfing friend Ali, who had accepted to accommodate us for one night, but only in the afternoon. So we decided to go for a little visit of the city. We managed to see the Shaking Minarets of Esfahan. Menar Jonban, a historical building with a mausoleum and two minarets, is located 7 km west of Esfahan.
It is mausoleum of a hermit named Amo-Abdollah-e-Karladani and was built in 716 A.H. (1316 A.D.), in the Ilkhanian period.
The minarets are made so that if one of them is moved the second one and the whole building will shake.
Well, unfortunately, they did not move at all when we visited them.
But the place had a little charm of itself.
We moved on and decided it will be a great idea to visit the Bird Garden.
The garden is located on the banks of Zayandeh River.It is one of the most beautiful places, which is visited by local citizens and tourists.
For the first time I had the opportunity to see the favorite pastime of the Iranians. Pick nick in the park, or whenever they could spot an available patch of grass.
It is impressive to see families, all over, spending time together.
The garden was worth visiting, first time of my life that I saw live flamingo.
Plenty of birds, inscriptions in English and Farsi, a nice and civilized place.
A short time after we bid goodbye to our hosts and their wonderful children and went for our meeting with Ali.
Ali is a young English translator who lives with his parents in a big, spacious and very beautiful house.
He welcome us cheerfully and introduced us to his mother and father and again I had that feeling of belonging, of being part of something magic. These people had a soul in them. These people clearly cared about the person next to them. The house also had warmth, a something that was peace inspiring.
He took us for a stroll along the river and on the famous bridges of Esfahan.
Now, this is a beautiful city!
I was charmed by the exquisite atmosphere created by the buildings around me, the antic bridges, the more than beautiful ladies walking on the sidewalks, the people able to speak English, the smell of the sweets, the Esfahan.
The bridges were crawling with people.
They were everywhere, on the bridge, under the bridge, in the water, on the shores.
The overall impression was that I was walking in my beloved city of Cluj.
Ali can compete also for the best host of the year contest. So eager to explain everything for us, so eager to learn about our culture too. Alexandra noticed once again that the approach taught by her father worked perfectly. Never go to a country if you do not want to dive in. Do not go there if all that you want is to blame, compare or analyze. And Ali noticed this and appreciated it.
In the evening Ali barbecued for us while Miss Dana was chatting with his mother in the kitchen.
One was speaking in Farsi and the other one in Romanian.
The barbecue was one of the best I ever had, improved as it was with Persian spice, and the mother said to Ali that is fantastic the way miss Dana can speak Farsi. Unknown are the God’s ways.
The next day was one of the days I was looking forward to. We went to visit Imam Square.