(Traveled on February 15, 2016)
Our third day in Iran was spent in the beautiful city of Isfahan which offers many sights worth seeing. After spending the whole day there, we flew back to Tehran on a Qeshm Air Fokker 100.
Morning in Abbasi Hotel
As we were tired after hours of flying and a string of early mornings, we decided to set the city tour start to 10:00AM.
Waking up a bit early, before going out to the city, I took another look at the Abbasi gardens – this time in daylight.
Afterwards, I enjoyed the breakfast at Abbasi – much better than the breakfast at our hotel in Tehran.
Beautiful City of Isfahan
With a slight delay, we met our guide Rosa in the hotel lobby and headed out into our van which would take us around the city.
Our first stop was Naqsh-e Jahan Square – one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Before exploring the square, we went into the Imam Mosque – one of the masterpieces of Iranian architecture.
After spending some time in the mosque, we went back to the square where the group split to enjoy some “free time.” Together with some other participants, I spent most of the time in the bazaar – looking through the stores offering countless items and negotiating with the sellers.
After reuniting with the rest of the group, we went to Chehel Sotoun – the Palace of Forty Columns. While there are only 20 actual columns, combined with the reflection in the pool in front of the palace, there are 40 “columns.”
Passing through Naqsh-e Jahan Square again, we headed for a late lunch at our guide’s favorite fast-food place.
Our first stop after lunch was Si-o-Seh Pol. Because a river – Zayandeh – flows through Isfahan, there are many bridges. Si-o-Seh Pol is the longest one of those.
Next, we went to the Vank Cathedral which was established by Armenian people. It offers a unique combination of Iranian architecture with features usually seen in western churches. We also visited a carpet shop next to the cathedral where I bought my first Persian carpet.
On our way to the final sight of the day – Khaju Bridge, we encountered beautiful evening light just as we were passing by Si-o-Seh Pol. As such, we made the driver stop for some time so that we could take pictures before continuing to Khaju Bridge.
Khaju Bridge is another example of Persian architecture from the Safavid era.
See the Isfahan gallery for more photos!
As we were tired by this time, we went for a dinner at Shab Neshin – an interesting restaurant that is designed in Chinese architecture style, yet offers Iranian food.
After ordering the food, our guide had to go, and so we had a dinner together with the driver before heading to the airport for our flight back to Tehran.
Back to Tehran on a Qeshm Air F100
We arrived at the airport shortly before 9:40PM, or a little more than an hour before the flight.
As some people had luggage to repack and to check-in, we all headed to check-in separately.
After checking myself in, I waited for the rest of the group to finish, and then we headed through the security. Before boarding the aircraft, I bought a cup of mint juice from a small stall next to our gate.
Boarding for our 10:40PM flight started around 10:25PM and it was done by bus through gate 2.
A short bus ride later, we arrived next to “EP-FQI” – a Fokker 100 delivered to Midway Airlines in the United States in 1994. Among other airlines, it also flew in KLM Cityhopper colors for some time.
Soon after settling onboard, we taxied towards the active runway and took off.
Once we were on our way to Tehran, the crew sprung into action. In Iran, no matter what airline or how long the flight, passengers always get something to eat. That’s just one example of the legendary Iranian hospitality!
The crew on this flight, just like on all the other flights was unbelievably friendly. They enjoyed interacting and taking photos with us.
Less than an hour after taking off, we started our descend.
After landing, we took some more pictures with the crew and visited the cockpit to take some pictures.
Another short bus ride – this time to Mehrabad Terminal 2, pick up of luggage, and a short walk later, we arrived at our hotel knowing that the following day, another exciting aviation adventure was waiting for us.