A Trip to Iran - Part 2

by Ben Mckechnie November. 14, 2016 1925 views

In Iran, speaking English in public is done at one's own risk. After being overheard on the Tehran Metro, I became trapped by university students vying for my attention, inviting me to their family homes, smiling and thrusting phone numbers into my hands. I was enjoying it so much I missed my stop.  

I traveled from Tehran to the Lut Desert (Dasht-e Lut) in Iran's Southeast. Hot desert wind whistled between rock towers, as I photographed the beauty and isolation of this remote salt desert.

In Esfahan, I was dwarfed by blue-tiled domes and minarets. New local friends showed me the best place to relax, cooling off beneath the arches of Khaju Bridge, as locals sang songs of life and of love.

In Shiraz, I felt a stirring from the lyrical flow of classical Persian at a recital beside the tomb of the poet Hafez – a book of whose poetry is said to be in every Iranian home.

These were all profound experiences that I did not expect to have in Iran.

One thing that my images can't convey is the musical soundtrack accompanying travel here. Persian music is, in turns, frenetic and heartrendingly beautiful. It blares from the speakers of shared taxis. It's turned on after dinner at the home of your host family. You are the guest and it's your honor to dance first. And dance alone you must. 

Once back at home, these new rhythms and melodies resonated in my mind for many months – as did the people of this vast and complex land.

...

PASSENGERS WAITING TO DISEMBARK, TEHRAN RAILWAY STATION

KHAJU BRIDGE SEEN FROM THE SOUTHWEST, ESFAHAN

YOUTHFUL INTERACTIONS ON THE STEPS OF KHAJU BRIDGE

MAN PLAYING A TRADITIONAL PERSIAN PIPE, BACKSTREETS OF ESFAHAN

UNDER THE EYES OF AYATOLLAHS, JUPAR VILLAGE MOSQUE

TRADITIONS PARTICULAR TO IRANIAN SHIA ISLAM, JUPAR VILLAGE MOSQUE

Portrait of a portrait -- Iranian soldier being drawn in a Tehran park

PARTICIPANTS OF THE TRADITIONAL PERSIAN SPORT ZURKHANEH, ESFAHAN

CARVINGS DEPICTING OFFERINGS BEING BROUGHT BEFORE CYRUS THE GREAT, PERSEPOLIS.


COUPLE AND DAUGHTER SIT NEAR THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT KARAJ


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There are 16 comments , add yours!
Masoud Ahmadpoor 3 years, 9 months ago

welcome to my Isfahan ;)

3 years, 9 months ago Edited
Maura Elko 4 years ago

Great article and pictures! I love glimpses into other cultures.

4 years ago Edited
Krystyna Knypl 4 years, 1 month ago

Very interesting!

4 years, 1 month ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 4 years, 1 month ago

An inspiring report.
For me I like the carvings of offerings being taken to Cyrus. The detail is splendid. Mx

4 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sara G 4 years, 2 months ago

Spectacular shots, especially the last one.

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Giancarlo Fosci 4 years, 2 months ago

Beautiful and interesting set!

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie Replied to Giancarlo Fosci 4 years, 2 months ago

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Mikkal Noptek 4 years, 2 months ago

Very interesting report !!

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie Replied to Mikkal Noptek 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks Mikkal, I'm glad you think so!

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Carl Schraefel 4 years, 2 months ago

Part 2 is as great as Part 1; thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie Replied to Carl Schraefel 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks very much Carl.

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 4 years, 2 months ago

Your sense of wonder & appreciation for other cultures is so evident in these sensitive and fascinating "slices of life" portrayed so well here. Thanks for sharing, so generously!

#10 WOW! Wonderful vista!

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie Replied to Jay Boggess 4 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for the kind comments, Jay! Did you ever see the Rick Steves episode in Iran? It's worth a watch!

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Ben Mckechnie 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm not familiar with Rick Steves.......
I'll Google him to see of what you speak....
Thanks!

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 4 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for sharing this mosaic of images of what is surely a very amazing country to visit. I especially love the way you caught people in your pictures.

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie Replied to Antonio Gil 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks Antonio! I hope you make it to Iran someday.

4 years, 2 months ago Edited
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