The next morning we made a bee line to Naqsh E Jahan Square, which the Persians are proud to call it the second largest square in the world, second only to Beijing’s Tianenmen Square (The truth, according to Wikipedia, is that this is the world’s 12th largest and Tianenmen Square is the 3rd largest).
Ranking aside, there is something breathtaking about walking into this square. It’s incredible serenity demands reflection. Iran’s relative lack of tourists prevents the square from becoming like Beijing’s ridiculously overcrowded Tianenmen Square, but its relative normalcy of being a home to numerous shops, bazaars, schooltrips and local businesses contrasts it with becoming like North Korea’s barren Kim Il-Sung Square. Therefore it strikes a perfect balance of both taking your breath away without being too ridiculously out of this world.
To the south is the famously picturesque Imam Mosque, which architectural layout is unique to all the other mosques in the world. The challenge was to build a mosque in the South, but to also face Mecca, which isn’t south. Hence the Imam Mosque and its four-iwan style, which one iwan at the south, and the main one facing Mecca. Seeing it speaks for itself.
Afterwards we did a bit of shopping and headed to a private family home to take on a Persian cooking lesson. In return, we showed a bit of our Western style cooking: Coca-Cola Chicken. Badass.
– At time of posting in Esfahan, it was 78.8 °F –
Humidity: 14% | Wind Speed: 4km/hr | Cloud Cover: broken clouds