shiraz, shiraz everywhere; not a drop to drink

Shirazis are universally loved throughout Iran for their relaxed, fun-loving nature. True as this is, Shiraz will always hold a special place in our hearts for the fact that it was the first place we’d been to in a long time that wasn’t India. Footpaths! Hygienically refrigerated meat! Relative anonymity! Things were off to a cracking start when we scored an upgrade to the 1980s-America’s-Cup-style penthouse suite at the hotel, complete with chandeliers and geometric exposed brick, which was bigger than our wee house at Bagot – two bedrooms; two bathrooms; and two balconies, the second of which we only discovered on the last day. You could almost see Bondy sunning himself on a banana lounge in Ken Done board shorts. The only thing missing was the city’s eponymous grape and its fruity elixir, although a box of West Coast Wine Cooler probably would have been more fitting, given the surrounds. 

Nevertheless, like its namesake, Shiraz was somewhat intoxicating – we wandered the bazaar and ate icecream in shady parks in a giddy state such that I didn’t even mind wearing the goddam scarf on my head all the time. The biggest attraction is Persepolis which, being 42km out of town, required us to hire a taxi. Recently disgorged from India, we approached this task the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for having a root canal. But we forgot that we were in the city that could do no wrong – tea, two packets of biscuits and a conversation about the owner’s son studying engineering in some Australian city beginning with “P” (“Perth! PERTH!”), we were on our way with a 20% discount.





Persepolis is really freakin’ old – like, 2500 years old – and the source of intense national pride, representing a time when Persian empire and culture, uncorrupted by Arab influence, ruled the region. While the ruins are in a fairly, well, ruinous state, you can’t help but be impressed by the sheer size of the complex, which I guess was the whole point.  The entire place was burned to the ground after Alexander the Great conquered the Persians a couple of hundred years later, although apparently there is some debate amongst scholars over whether this was done deliberately, as revenge for the Persians’ earlier destruction of Athens, or the accidental result of a drunken party. Uh, woops.




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4 Responses to “shiraz, shiraz everywhere; not a drop to drink”

  1. Tom (late at night) Says:

    I very glad to hear that you had a good time in Iran. It is a little sad when a nation is viewed through the context of its policy makers (I guess that’s why WA is looked upon as a bit of backwater by the rest of Australia). Right now, we are experience the usual Hollywood hype surrounding the release of the film, “The Prince of Persia”. I’m wondering how much studio support and funding would have been given to a film entitled, “The Prince of Iran”?
    I am also currently trying to figure out how to put photo’s on to the computer and send you some of the shots from my recent birthday. I reprised the ‘musicians’ them, and there were some impressive efforts. I’ll have to get Erin on to that soon.
    Be well,

  2. wheaters Says:

    Team! It’s so great to see and hear Dodd’s commentary on your pimped out digs in Iran (ps they are AWESOME). I love Parsons in the background making sure the extra bathroom isn’t missed, nor is the fact that the master bedroom is bigger than most of your hotel rooms in their entirety. I’d also like to add that my parents bought a townhouse in Freo in the early 90s that was used by Dennis Connor’s American team as their HQ during the America’s Cup campaign. They’ve since sold it, and it had no chandeliers, but it’s still funny. Also the US sailors didn’t know what fly screens were or how to use them (ie leave them alone), so they bent them by hand to try and ‘open’ them. Bless. I bet the flies were stoked.
    ps I felt like crying at the visually impaired man who wouldn’t take payment! thanks, pregnancy hormones. but still, awwww.

  3. wheaters Says:

    ps I should say they bought one townhouse in a group that was used at the team’s HQ. They didn’t have 30 crew and support peeps crammed in to a little townhouse, not in those heady days… xx

  4. bubba Says:

    I had similar experiences with pregmancy hormones from both daughters!
    If only I could breastfeed, it would all be fine.

    Glad to see y’all y’all are well.
    We here at the casa are still jealous…

    The wife and I had a similar experience in Tunesia so many years ago.
    The famous trip involving the Stroh 80, we rented a car and drove to the Sahara.
    There was a small town with an oasis and a huge hotel on the Libyan border.
    They saw us coming a mile away and gave us a massive room, free food since they had a giant German contingent arriving and told us that no one would notice if we showed up and ate as much food as we could and since we had booked in for 2 nights, we might as well stay for a week and not to worry about Islamic dress around the pool.

    Ridiculous really bu for our small crew it remains legend.

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