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Old 06-07-2009, 09:55 AM   #105
Boarder06 OP
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Cambridge, MA
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I leave Shiraz very early, hoping to be able to get some good shots of Persepolis right after sunrise. Iím the first one in and enjoy the site by myself for a short time. Persepolis is quite a big site and there is so much to see that I decide to stay for a couple of nights. The fancy Apadana hotel right next to the entrance has secure parking and gives me such a screaming deal that I think the very attractive woman at the front desk must have made a mistake and I ask her to write the number down and even then I clarify that it is in Rials and not Tomans. It must have been my very good looks or maybe it was just my lucky day. Only hitch is the big pool in front of the hotel is empty. I guess it would be a bit much to have such a pool in operation right next to Persepolis for everyone to see half naked bathers.
I wonít bore you with the historic details of the place other than saying that it was the ceremonial capital of the first Persian empire during the Achaemenid period and it was burned to the ground by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. Artistically the Achaemenids happily mixed styles and ideas from the areas the conquered. Itís quite fascinating and it let the pictures speak for themselves.

I notice that the Basij, the religious militia defending the revolution has taken a day off.

Sadly, the picture below is only one of many carvings of early western visitor left on the Gate of Nations. Fools are truly international.

Many Iranian families are around and they take the obligatory family shot at the Gate of Nations.

Persepolis is a nice spot to watch the sun set behind the mountains.

At night the place is lit up with barely enough lights working to make it visible.

My hotel has only fish for dinner, a poor choice in the middle of a desert. I walk down the road in search of a couple of restaurants I had seen on my way in and get a lift from a local on a small bike. We talk about the upcoming election and he tells me that he will not vote because he thinks it doesnít matter. The restaurant turns out to be a psychedelic faux grotto in slime green. What a trip! The food however is excellent.

Ride Reports: Germany to Iran | Eastbound, to the Stans
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