A short flight from Sharjah took us to beautiful Iran for 24 hours, where we visited the city of Shiraz and the Persepolis. Iran is full of history and culture and its unique rich atmosphere definitely made us keen to come back.
Umm Al Quwain
The wetlands in the smallest UAE emirate, seen from the plane flying out of Sharjah.
The rugged mountain area of southern Iran.
Landing approach in Shiraz.
The seasonal salt lake is famous for turning pink in the summer months due to the red tide algae blooms.
The rock reliefs the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods, part of which date back 1000 B.C, are just a few kilometres from the Persepolis.
The cube of Zoroaster in front of the tombs at the necropolis of Naqsh-e Rustam.
The western walls of the Persepolis. Notice the huge single pieces of stone used to construct the perimeter, with the humans for scale...
The Capital of the Achaemenid Empire
The earliest remains are from 500 BCE.
Ruins of the Apadana
One of the oldest buildings in the Persepolis.
Alexander the Great is said to have destroyed the Persepolis in revenge for the Persian's attacks on Athens.
An aerial view of the site.
Tomb of Artaxerxes II
King of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC
Some griffin capitals which fell from their columns are kept on the ground now.
The 18th-century gardens features beautiful tall cypress trees. The garden is a Unesco World Heriate site.
A couple posing in front of Qavam House, built almost 150 years ago.
A stall outside the Eram Garden.
Seems there was a time where people made a lot of calls.
The Pull for Knowledge
A statue close to the Tomb of Hafez.
Tomb of Hafez
The memorial site for Shiraz's and probably Persia's most well known poet.
The tomb has been expanded with gardens and fountains lined with orange trees in recent years.
It was a busy public holiday weekend and the tomb attracts a lot of local visitors, reading the poet's work at the monument.
The place to buy the poet's works - crowded! Might be worth a read...
Joining the Master
Several tombs of other artists and poets have been added in surrounding buildings.
Arts and Crafts
Shiraz is a vibrant cultural and artsy city - Jahan Nama Garden is currenty being enhanced with wooden pillars featuring bird sculptures.
Looking out the window into the courtyard in the morning.
Taha Traditional Hotel in the old city was a good place to stay.
The northerly entrance to Shāh-é-Chérāgh Mosque complex, with its beautiful tiles that Iran is famous for.
A man kissing the entrance door to the complex.
The facade has intricate tile and paint work.
The site is full of beautiful tile walls and ceilings.
The passage way next to the Holy Shrine.
Shahecheragh Holy Shrine
The Shia Muslim mosque was built in the 12th century, although the dome has been re-constructed several times.
A man sits on the entrance wall of one of the shrines.
Beautiful spots all around.
It was a public holiday and many shops were closed and streets less busy than usual.
Shiraz features beautiful public places.
In the Sunshine
A couple enjoying the winter sun rays.
A 19th century building with its lush gardens, now housing a museum with archaeological artifacts.
Many paint and tile works feature European features, such as this church like building.
A woman poses in front of the tile walls of the building.
The crystal and mirror features of the porch.
One of the main features of the house.
Persian carpets for sale.
For all your cooking needs.
Carpet weaving is an essential part of Persian culture and Iranian art.
Locals were friendly and welcoming.
Citadel of Kareem Khan
The interior courtyard of the citadel is now lined with orange trees.
The main building features several rooms connected by wooden doors.
The citadel has been a government building, prison, living quarters and museum since it was built 250 years ago.
Some rooms featuring beautiful coloured glass windows.
Decorated walls lead through the various bathing areas.
Marble & Tiles
The main ḥammām of the citadel.
One of the four 14m towers connecting the citadel's walls isn't quite upright anymore.
Weighing as a Service
Warning: Iranian food is amazing.
Many shops keep birds, which are said to attract luck.
Who kindly let me into the building's courtyard.
A building with art and craft galleries in the ancient centre of Shiraz.
Can never miss out on a cat shot.
The entrance to another 18th century mosque, near a beautiful public square.
The people of Shiraz are said to work to live, rather than the other way round.
The city is full of small art installations.
Tiles & Minarets
Another mosque near our hotel.
A street in the historical centre.
Martyrdom of Fatima
Fatimah bin Muhammad was the youngest daughter of prophet Muhammad. Her death is commemorated during a public holiday in Iran, following Shia Islam.