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28 October 2005
Christopher Legge writes: "Visit Iran and discover ancient Persia." It sounds more
like a poster caption for Greece or Italy than for a country on the axis of evil.
I have been buying rugs in Iran for more than fifteen years and in response to
customer demand I am now offering accompanied twelve day tours of the country
with a mix of hunting for antique rugs in the bazaars, looking at new carpet weaving
and production and visiting ancient sites and places of interest.
From the bustle of the Tehran bazaar, the majesty of the ruins at Persepolis and the
spectacular scenery of the Zagros Mountains, Iran is a country of contrasts. After
two days exploring the Tehran bazaar and meeting some of the colourful and
enthusiastic dealers there the tour will head off on an expedition of the southwestern
part of Iran beginning in Shiraz, to see colourful Quashgai carpets and nomads on
their spring migration.
The journey from Shiraz up to Shah re Kord, the capital of the Bakhtiari district,
through the Zagros Mountains is unforgettable. There are 47 peaks over four
thousand metres and in places the scenery looks remarkably like New Mexico.
Kebab westerns may be a thing of the future! From the clear air and generous
hospitality there the tour will descend to the delights of the Abassi Hotel in Isfahan.
This is one of the world's great hotels, based on an old karavanseri, making a
comfortable base from which to explore the architectural and cultural delights of one
of Iran's most beautiful cities.
The final coach journey will be through Nain to Yazd, rich in zoroastrian history and
mystery. The evening flight back to Tehran is timed to give the tour two days to visit
the carpet museum, the Friday market and a last trip to the bazaar. The warm
welcome we receive everywhere belies the western image and reveals a nation
intent on enjoying life despite their current difficulties.
Accommodation is in Four Star hotels, travel by internal flights and air-conditioned
coach. The tour has two interpreters and with my incomparable sense of humour (!)
this is a trip not to be missed. If you are interested in this Persian journey please
look at www.leggeorientalcarpets.com for the detailed itinerary and prices