Iran Diary: Day Fifteen-October 24, 2009

 Yazd > Pasargadae > Shiraz

The road west from Yazd to Shiraz follows the route taken by Marco Polo. That fact made me feel excited to be retracing part of the ancient Silk Road.

By the side of the highway we saw a number of earthen mounds with holes in the center looking as though giant moles made them.  They form part of traditional irrigation systems (called Qanats) that bring water underground from the mountains to farms and towns on the plains. These systems need constant maintenance to function and many are falling into disrepair.  In their time they enabled Iranians to thrive: “ Wherever there is water there is life.”

In what seemed the middle of nowhere (actually the site of ancient Pasargadae) we came upon a massive stone structure, the tomb of Cyrus the Great (559-530 BCE) the founder of the first Persian Empire. Its simple, massive beauty and dignified appearance are remarkable. Amir told us that the tomb is the symbol of the Iranian nation and called it “Iran’s birth certificate”.

Later on the bus we watched a DVD of a recitation of the events of Ashura, a narrative in song of the death of the third Imam. It was a dramatic and passionate performance. It was startling to see hundreds of men weeping. The camera zoomed in on a man who was sobbing and wiping away his tears. It was Mr. Ahmadinejad.

Entering Shiraz I noticed many portraits of Martyrs on the buildings and on the tops of walls. Martyrdom is one of the most important elements in understanding Iranian culture. Martyrs are guaranteed admission to heaven. There are portraits (paintings and photographs) of martyrs all over Iran. Most are of casualties of the Iran-Iraq War.

The hotel we stayed in Yazd had a beautiful traditional ceiling. ヤズドのホテルの部屋の美しい伝統的な天井 

We took the route taken by Marco Polo マルコポーロが旅したルートをたどる

Bumps in the foreground are Qanats 前景に見えるでこぼこがカナート

Peeking in a Qanat カナートをのぞく

We see this box all over in Iran. It is a charity box and announcing a charity feast. Sign on the left says, “ Prayer is a weapon against the enemy” この箱をイラン中で見た。それは慈善箱で慈善の祭りを知らせている。左のサインは『お祈りは敵に対する武器』

Posters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left over from past election. マフムード アフマディーネジャード大統領のポスターが選挙の後で残っていた

Lunch under the gaze of the Ayatollah アヤトラに見つめられてランチ

Iran’s birth certificate-the tomb of Cyrus the Great イランの出生証明書−サイラス大王の墓石

Entering to Shiraz シラーズに入る

Martyrs 殉教者達

My sister lives in San Diego 姉がサンディエゴに住んでいます

For a change I had a shrimp kebab for dinner 気分を変えてシュリンプシシカバブ




She lives and works in a small beach community in Southern California with her spouse John. As an artist she has wandered around in several media (kimono painting, oil painting, drawing, installation, etc.) but has settled down to photography for the last six years. She also wanders around different countries, regions, and cultures to see life from many different angles. She has started this blog with not-so-good English, rusty Japanese and a lot of guts.
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