Day two, two more museums, another palace! Enjoyed all three. The Carpet Museum was first on the list. Displays outlined the history of carpet making in Iran, the different kinds of carpets, a bit about process. Best of all though was the display of carpets. Amazing! There was a variety of ages of carpets and a mix of nomad (pattern comes from inspiration of the weaver) and city carpets (pattern designed and followed precisely).
Then it was off to the Glassware and Ceramic Museum. Here the building itself was reason enough to visit. The Egyptian embassy was one former occupant so much of the current finishing has Egyptian overtones. Some details can be found at http://www.glasswaremuseum.ir
As many of you know I have a weakness for 'dishes and such' so I really appreciated the displays here which were representative of glass and ceramic production over the centuries. Exquisite pieces! Even the methods of displaying the artifacts were artworks in themselves, often symbolic of ancient buildings etc. I could have spent more time here!
Our final visit of the day was to the Golestan Palace. This is the palace in which the Peacock Throne was located, a replica here now. Elaborate tile patterning and mirrors, mirrors and more mirrors are featured throughout! Unfortunately, one can't take photos inside the palace. The Reception Hall in which the Peacock Throne is located was very beautiful, the Hall of Mirrors excessive; well, actually it all was excessive but if you are out to impress with how rich and powerful you are, well just go for it! One wing of the building displayed china given as gifts to the various shahs by other countries. Russia, England and France were very generous over the years! Another spot where I could have spent more time!
The last part of our day centered around getting to and milling about the domestic airport enroute to Shiraz which is an hour fifteen minute flight to the south of Tehran. By the time we got to the hotel we'd been on the go for 13 hours! Shiraz presents as a thoroughly modern city as well. Good system of streets, lots of round-abouts with beautifully planted centers often displaying sculptural pieces. Medians often lit with coloured lights, often the flag colours of red, green and white.
We've found the people to be very friendly. Big smiles in greeting. Sometimes group members have been stopped and asked where they are from, their name. Often people call out 'welcome', 'good to see you'. Most seemed to speak some English. Chatted with a couple and their preteen daughter on the airport shuttle bus who told us that learning English is compulsory in high school. This girl was actually enrolled after school hours in private school English classes. Interestingly enough she is an American citizen having been born in the US while her parents studied there.