Travel Letters



(1500m 4900 ft)

(Pop 1,800.000)

Fars Province


May 12. 2022

On our first day In Shiraz, our group visited three important sites.

THE TOMB OF HAFEZ IS in a peaceful, garden setting that drips with an ambience of poetry and romance. The 14th-century writer is considered the Shakespeare of Iran, one of the greatest Persian poets of all time, and a source of national pride.

Hafez’s collected works, the Divān, is regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature.  Most every home in the country contains this book, and it is regularly read and consulted for guidance and inspiration. The poet is revered as a folk hero to this day, and people congregate at his tomb, especially at sunset, to pay their respects.

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System



May 9, 2022


Excerpts from UNESCO World Heritage Convention:

The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System demonstrates outstanding universal value.  In its present form it dates from the 3rd century CE, probably on older bases from the 5th century BCE.

It is as rich in its diversity of civil engineering structures and its constructions as in the diversity of its uses (urban water supply, mills, irrigation, river transport, and defensive system). …

Shushtar: Afzal Caravanserai


Ancient Fortress City   Pop: 102,000

Shushtar County

Khuzestan Province


May 8, 2022


Roberta, Sergio and I are scheduled for a day trip to the nearby city of Shush.  I decide to remain alone at the hotel and enjoy the sunny courtyard for a much-needed "time out." 

Nearby, a young girl who has been pouring over a pile of books approaches me and initiates a conversation.  After a series of questions and answers (She questions. I answer.), Ala tells me her story:

Ardal: Waterfalls and Lakes


Ardal County

Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province


May 8, 2022


In the hills above this small town, the restful grounds and gardens of the guesthouse are just a bit colorful, but they are inspiring.  Sergio proclaims, “Let’s stay a week!”

Our delightful young hostess and her mother serve a delicious breakfast made completely from home grown produce.

After breakfast we all travel into the mountains and hike along the rim of a gorge to a noisy waterfall.


Isfahan (pop1.9 million)

Isfahan Province


May 7, 2022


“Are you a married couple?” I asked the attractive young man and woman as they took photos of themselves on the lawn outside the Golestan Palace in Teheran.

They smiled and responded. “No.”

“Are you engaged to be married?”  I asked again since they seemed so delighted to be with each other.  ”No.”

“We are brother and sister.”

Brother and Sister!

Sunshine, a Bridge, and a Park Bench

Tehran (pop 8.7 million)

Iran (pop 84 million)

May 3 (and May 31, 2022)


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.