Sunshine, a Bridge, and a Park Bench

Tehran (pop 8.7 million)

Iran (pop 84 million)

May 3 (and May 31, 2022)

Salam,

The Iran guidebooks list dozens of museums, monuments, mosques, and architectural wonders.  Like other major cities, it would take a year to visit only some of them.

I decided on a brief visit to Tehran.  (Perhaps a longer stay next year when I travel to the north of Iran?)

After my arrival I anticipate jetlag, long rides across the city, traffic choked streets.  (I didn’t anticipate “insane” driving!)

On the afternoon of my arrival, I choose to visit a small palace with an adjoining park to see royal architecture and to meet local people.

Prologue to Iran

Bangkok

Thailand

Wednesday

June 8, 2022

Afternoon Showers

Hot and Humid

Hello,

On May 2, when I arrived at the Immigration desk at the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport with my United States of America passport and the Electronic Visa document that was issued in Bangkok by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran (after patiently waiting six weeks for the approval of the thirty-day visa from the Ministry in Tehran), I am escorted to a separate area where another Immigration officer scribbles information and makes copies of everything.  He then hands me a form printed (with questions?) in Arabic script that I assume is in Farsi and points me to a nearby desk where another officer is on the phone.  He never looks up.  

Erbil, Kurdistan

Erbil

Autonomous Kurdistan Region

Republic of Iraq

March 27, 2022

 

Erbil

Erbil, also called Hawler (Kurdish: ھەولێر ,Hewlêr Arabic: أربيل, romanized: Arbīl, Syriac:  and known in ancient history as Arbela, is the capital and most populated city in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. There is no current census of the city and official population statistics are not available, its population is estimated to be around 1,200,000.

Human settlement at Erbil may be dated back to the fifth millennium BC.  At the heart of the city is the ancient Citadel of Erbil and Mudhafaria Minaret. The earliest historical reference to the region dates to the Third Dynasty of Ur of Sumer, when King Shulgi mentioned the city of Urbilum. The city was later conquered by the Assyrians.

Federal Iraq

Mosul

Nineveh Governorate.

Republic of Iraq

March 19, 2022

Hello,

My journey in Iraq is a daily calendar of Highlights:  Dramatic ancient sites, abundant flavorful food, and the best of all: a population of welcoming, helpful, dependable men and women along with swarming, energetic children.  Everyone is pleased to meet an American.

Unfortunately, today, in the old city of Mosul, I find the heartbreaking skeletal, charred remains of the recent ISIS - Iraqi Army battle.

Scenic Isan

Nang Rong District

Buriram Province

Thailand

November 20, 2021

Hello,

This recent trip with Jenjira to three Isan provinces - Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram and Surin in the northeast - reconfirms for me that Isan is the true “Heart of Thailand.”

Jan

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