Iranian food is one delicious surprise after another. Once you’ve tried several varieties of kabab, khoresht (stew), ash (soup) and flat bread, ask for Fesenjun (chicken in walnut and pomegranate sauce) or anything with Bademjan (eggplant), or try Gilan cuisine with its predominantly sour flavors, this city is the only registered UNESCO creative city of food under the name of Iran. Then you can try the Shirini (local sweets), … As exquisite as so many Iranian flavors are, it’s the buzz that surrounds eating, the primacy of food in so many social encounters that makes it truly one of life’s great pleasures.
There are moments in travel that will long stay with you, and your first Sight of Esfahan’s majestic Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam) Square is one of them. This Square is home to arguably the most majestic Collection of buildings in the Islamic World: the perfectly proportioned blue-tiled dome of the Masjed-e Shah, the supremely elegant Masjed-e Sheikh Lotfollah and the indulgent and lavishly decorated Ali Qapu Palace. Far from being a static architectural attraction, the square and the nearby traditional tea houses overlooking the river throng with life. The Qeysarieh bazaar which is surrounded the square won’t let you feel the time passing!
Iran is an Islamic Republic country and while most travelers find Islam is not nearly as all-pervasive as they had expected, the Shiite faith remains an important part of Iranian life. It is at its most obvious in the passionate devotion seen at monuments such as the huge Haram-e Razavi in Mashhad. The main draw here is the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza, the only Shiite imam buried in Iran. The passion and warmth you’ll encounter here lends a powerful sense of Islam as a force for good in the world. The city of Mashad is one of the important stops along the Silk Road.