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Old 06-07-2009, 12:09 AM   #102
Boarder06 OP
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Cambridge, MA
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Shiraz to Firouz Abas and back

Shiraz to Firouz Abas and back

I leave Shiraz at 5:30 am. At this time the roads are deserted and it is nice and cold. I watch the sun come up as I drive South into the desert.

Near Firouz Abad, on a bluff just off the road, sits Ghalíeh Dokhtar, also known as The Maiden Castle. It was built by Ardeshir I, of the Sassanian Empire, in 209 AD, roughly 500 years after the fall of the first Persian empire.

I climb up the bluff and follow a path that spirals up inside the guard tower into the castle. The ceiling is covered with bats. It looks like the reconstruction work has come to a grinding halt suddenly. Scaffolding is inside the main structure

A mangle of scaffolding hints at a major construction accident.

I continue of a few kilometers past some green fields, thanks to irrigation,

to the Palace of Ardashir, built a few years after the Maiden castle.

The palace is pretty well preserved and quite large at 104m x 55m.
Just past the palace is the Sassanian city of Gur, but all thatís left are what is thought to be the remains of a fire temple.

It looks like the town was built in a circular pattern and there are little mounds everywhere. Plenty of work for a few generations of archaeologists.
The fire temple is also the turnaround point for my trip. Iíll be going home from here.

I return to Shiraz just in time for my siesta.
Ride Reports: Germany to Iran | Eastbound, to the Stans
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