They call my hometown New York City “the city that never sleeps.” They call Petra “the Rose city, half as old as time.” They call Luang Prabang “the Pearl of the Orient”, Uganda “The Pearl of Africa” (thanks Shivani!), and they call Chiang Mai “the Rose of the North.”
For Esfahan, they say “if you have seen Isfahan, you have seen half of the world.”
Taglines for cities must be more than a gimmick; they have to come from somewhere. You can understand how expectations were raised when I came into Isfahan, knowing that I was about to see a ciy that the Persians regarded so majestic they would call it Nesfe Jahan, or “half of the world.”
This is Isfahan in the evening, with the glorious and iconic Si-o-seh Bridge lightning up at sundown. This is the breathing life force of the city, with countless students and families migrating here to stroll along the river, ride on some paddle boats, spread out for a picnic, smoke the shisha, or simply taking in all the energy of the city. It’s simply the perfect place to people-watch.
We were one of those families.
Thanks to a brave 11 year old girl that calmly approached our group and asked if we wanted to know a famous Persian poem about a famous flute-player, we ended up striking a wonderful conversation with her and her father, whom eventually took us on a ride on the paddle boats. It’s moments like these that reinforce the very idea of why I travel.
And if the Si-o-Seh Bridge is the breathing life force of Isfahan, then the legendary Naqsh E Jahan Square is its quiet soul.
- At time of posting in Esfahan, it was 78.8 °F -
Humidity: 14% | Wind Speed: 4km/hr | Cloud Cover: broken clouds