Thursday, 25 February 2010

Weekend in progress

We went to the Bazaar today. It is always an incredible place to visit and we did manage to find and buy what we went for. We also had a tea in a traditional tea house. This one situated below ground in an octagonal room with a domed vault crowned by a simple ventilation turret. The most incredibe chandelier dominated the centre of the room, suspended above a small fountain.

Arranged around the sides of the room were small tables and around the fountain and situated between the large pillars supporting the arches supporting the dome, longer tables provided seating for a larger party such as ours. Tokens were issued at the entrance - paid for in Rials - and these are exchanged at the table for tea, coffee, a meal, or a Hubbly Bubbly pipe loaded with scented fruity essences which are burned on glowing wood coals to make the smoke. No, there is no nicotine, tobacco or hashish involved in the Iranian version. Several members of our party smoked the hookah, which produced a mint flavoured smoke.

A copper frieze around the walls caught my eye. It is a reproduction of the frieze from the palace at Persepolis, the one Persian city Alexander the Great sacked and burned. The frieze is beautifully rendered in a wide copper strip and the whole ambience of the tea house reminded me that this is a very ancient civilisation indeed. I didn't have my camera there, but my companions did and I hope to have some pictures on Saturday.

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