Saturday, June 18, 2011

Map and Itinerary

So here is Iran in the center of this map. You’ll find Iraq to the west. Turkey, Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan are up to the Northwest. You’ll find Turkmenistan on the other side of the Caspian Sea. And to the east are Afghanistan and Pakistan. About half the country is covered by mountains and about a quarter of it by deserts. Iran’s population is about 75,000,000. Most live in cities at the base of mountains where natural springs and snow melt can provide water. Tehran, for example, is located at the foot of the Alborz Mountains and is home to nearly 7,000,000 people.

Our itinerary took us to the following cities:
Tehran in the north central part of the country for two nights
Hamadan to the southwest for two nights with side trips to Bisotun and Kermanshah, moving us closer to Iraq
Zanjan heading to the north for one night, stopping at Oljeitu Mausoleum in Soltaniyeh on the way
Tabriz even further north for three nights, stopping at Takht-e Soleiman on the way, with a side trip to Jolfa, close to the border of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Mashhad to the east (240 kilometers from Afghanistan) for two nights with a side trip to Tus
Shiraz in the southwest for three nights with a side trip to Persepolis
Yazd to the northeast of Shiraz on the edge of the desert for two nights, stopping at Pasargadae on the way
Esfahan to the northwest of Yazd for four nights, stopping at Meybod and Na'in on the way

We mostly traveled by bus which allowed us to see the countryside in all its splendid beauty. For the longer distances between Tabriz and Mashhad and between Mashhad and Shiraz, we flew.

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