Qazvin

 

Qazvin came too quickly. The ride from Rasht was so invigoration I was half tempted to turn around and do it again. Reason set in quickly and I looked for a hotel. Hotel Iran was full and as such I was left with one expensive option. Tourism is not a big thing in this town, apparently. The receptionist at Hotel Alborz gave me the name of a third guesthouse, but I couldn't find it. I passed by Hotel Iran and stopped to ask for directions. Lo and behold, someone checked out as I arrived. This is the best hotel so far in Iran. Accommodation is generally harder to find than in Turkey, Syria or Jordan. The hotels for local tourists, mosaferkhunehs, don't take in foreigners and there are few options except in the more popular tourist destinations.

 

Qazvin had a short stint as the Persian capital, and around town there are a few monuments pointing to this era. The pictures below are from the formerly rather modest royal palace.

 

 

I suddenly realized tonight it was the first time since I arrived in Iran that the Great One was being called upon from the myriad of speakers around town. In earlier towns in Iran, attention to our great friend was not so open.

 

The Peyghambarieh mosque below was right outside the hotel. It's pretty glittery with pieces of mirror stuck on any flat surface on the interior. I could sadly not take a picture inside.

 

 

The town used to have a few big water cisterns. Sardar is the biggest one. It is located out of the center of the city and not until I virtually stubbed my toe on it did I see it. It's tucked into an alley and hidden from view behind some dilapidated housing. Sadly it is no longer in use and the main basement floor of what once was a small lake is now used as an art exhibition area. As you can see, the frames were empty when I was there.

 

 

 

A set of stairs fit for an elephant lead down to the main basement. Looking up, the inside of the dome was very impressive. The picture less so.

 

 

On the way back to the centre of town I passed by the Imamzadeh-ye Hossein mosque. Its dome was nearly intact and the mosque entrance layered with reflective material. I had to take a quick shot as a funeral just came in behind me through the main gate and it was clear I had to leave.

 

 

Another mosque right near the hotel was closed, but had a nice courtyard.

 

 

To travel in Iran is to travel economically. A random day's expenses, walking around town and sightseeing (involves ice cream): breakfast, small bottle of water, ice cream, an hour's worth of internet, ice cream, small bottle of water, two bananas, lunch, two Pepsi's, dinner, 2 hours worth of internet. Total cost, 7.19 CAD or 6.33 USD. My room is 13.6 CAD (Best Western, but smaller) or 12 USD. I filled up the bike for 2.19 CAD yesterday. In the 7 days I've been here, I've spent 82 CAD or 72 USD.