Tehran is a special city especially for me. Tehran was the last city I lived in, before heading west for my MBA and life, as I knew, changed for better since. I was back here after 20 years, as a tourist.
First stop was the lavish Golestan Palace, a masterpiece of the Qajar era, embodying the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildings in Tehran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Tehran the capital of the country. There is a spectacular terrace, known as the Marble throne made of 65 pieces of marble. This was primarily used for coronations of Qajar king and other court ceremonies. Also the mirror hall, a very small hall, with exquisite mirror work.
The palace was very very beautiful and ornate, clearly showcasing the wealth and taste.
After lunch at a nearby restaurant, a few of us headed to the Grand Bazaar in Tehran. The Bazaar is an old historical bazaar split into several corridors over 10Kms in length, selling different goods and has several entrances. We had to get back in time and what better mode of transport than motor bikes....Indian traffic is crazy but this ride beat everything hands down. The motor bikes weaved in and out of cars speeding with inches gap!! An adrenaline rush beyond compare.
In the evening we went to the Niavaran Palace complex. It contains several buildings and monuments dating back to the Qajar and Pahlavi eras. Again a beautiful place that has many beautiful palaces including the Shah's car collection.
Snow clad mountains reminded me of beautiful Velenjak, where I used to live 20 years ago.