Here is the link to see the pictures that we took on our trip to Iran, Beijing, and Dubai. We hope that you enjoy them and fall in love with these places as we did. The pictures are arranged in chronological order from the bottom of the list (beginning of trip) to the top.
Before we walked around Persepolis, we visited the site of 4 tombs of “some really ancient people” as Leila called them. There’ll be more pictures, but this will be a fun first glance at some of the things that we saw.
One morning, while in a rural area just outside of Esfahan, we made this video of a herd of sheep being driven by their shepherd. At one point Leila tries to pet one, but it doesn’t work. Enjoy the action!
This is a video we took inside the Mall of the Emirates where the skiing area is. We took right after we walked in.
A few people have been asking for more pictures from our trip. I just wanted to let you know that we hope to have the pictures ready to go by this weekend. We have 1,000+ pictures and we’re working on putting captions on them so that you have an explanation of what they are and a better idea of what the trip was like. It’s just taking a little time to put captions on all of them. It’ll be worth the wait – trust me!
Persepolis was used yearly by the Empire royalty and their friends to celebrate the Persian New Year, which for Iranians coincides with the first day of spring. It is really difficult to explain the majesty of the place. I tried to comprehend its age and thought of Alexander while sending him negative vibes for destroying so much of it. Most of the kings of the Achaemenid Dynasty are buried here or around here including Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I, Xerxes II, Darius II, Artaxerxes II, Artaxerxes III, Darius III, and on and on and on. This palace has been gathering dust for the majority of 2,500 years but a small museum shows its B.C. grandeur, and we sat and contemplated as much as we could for many many hours. Some carvings are well-preserved and a detailed guidebook gave steady explanations of many of them and also a map of the palace. We definitely got a Persepolis tan that day.
I must say that part of what I was planning on enjoying about this trip to Iran was watching Neibaur go through major culture shock second-by-second. I observed none of that, except for some concern he had upon arrival at the airport “passport control” mostly spawned by not understanding what the guy was saying (the official wanted to make copies of our passports and take our fingerprints–both done with much apology for the inconvenience). I was so puzzled by Neibaur’s relaxed disposition during the trip that at one point I had to ask him if he even felt like he was in a different country at all, or if it just felt like he was around a lot of Persians (which can sometimes happen in L.A. or New York). He replied by saying that he did feel like he was in a foreign country but was not overwhelmed by it or affected in a way I thought he would be. I think that this is partly because of over-preparing, Neibaur’s abundant exposure to Iranian culture in the U.S. and having family there. Or perhaps he’s just made for a life in foreign policy.
While L and I were lugging our luggage to our hotel, a bit dazed from the flight, the new surroundings and the mean cab driver who dropped us off at least 100 meters from the hotel door, we approached someone who looked like he spoke both English and Chinese to ask for confirmation that we were going in the right direction. After he answered our question he looked at L and asked if she was from California. She said yes. Then he asked, did you go to school in San Diego? She said yes. Then he asked, did you go to UCSD? She said yes. He then said, “I know you!” We didn’t know what to say except something along the lines of it’s a small world and some other small talk. His name was Reed and, turns out, he was the founder/editor of several travel publications and a Beijing travel show that happened to be filming while we walked by. His cameraman kept the camera rolling while we exchanged pleasantries and contact info. What are the chances?