Isfahan was one of places on my bucket list I wanted to visit. The city has a long history going back 4500 years. It lies where the old north-south and east-west trade routes crossed each other earlier. It has had different names during the ages in addition to the Persian name Esfahan, like Spadana and Spahan. It also has the nick-name Nasf-e Jahan meaning “half the world”.
Naqsh-e Jahan square is now called Imam Square. The first name means “pattern of the world”. It is the second biggest city square in the world after the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. It is 512 meter long and 163 meters wide and is absolutely rectangular.
The place was beautiful and peaceful. I had a long talk with an older man (Strange to say this as he was younger than me). He was with a grandchild, a beautiful 5 years old girl, and we readily agreed upen the joy of being a grandfather. He tried to talk politics, something I avoided. He was curious about Norway so I told him about weather, north-south differences, the Gulf stream etc. Then we talked about how important family was. He ended by saying that he hoped I got a good impression of Iran, and I replied that the friendliness of the Iranian people had really impressed me. The we shook hands and said Goodbye and Good Luck.
We did not see everything in the Imam Mosque, said to be the most beautiful mosque in the world. We had restricted admission as they prepared for a religious celebration, but what we saw was spectacular. The entrance to the mosque faces the square, but the mosque itself faced Mekka.
Another spectacular sight in Isfahan was the bridge Si-O-Seh, which means 33 which is the number of arches. It was both a dam and a bridge.
It crossed the river Zayandeh and that was not much of a river when we were there. On the other hand we had rain, something that was very rare.
This is the river!