Amazing start to the tour

OK, back from dinner at the hotel (I am really glad we ate at the hotel tonight rather than a restaurant!) and I am about ready to fall asleep. But first, I have to write about our first day in Tehran. We went to the Golestan Papace and Museum complex. WOW! The artwork and the ornateness are very impressive. The tile and stone work in particular are really amazing. The palace was definitely built to impress. I cannot give any historical information here as my brain is getting ready to go to sleep, but the buildings are not that old by the standards in Iran – only a couple hundred years old!

We had lunch at a night typical restaurant and the food was delicious! Next stop, after driving by the old American embassy, we visited the National Bank and the special vault below that holds the crown jewels and other items from the monarchy. If you have ever seen the crown jewels in London, or the Hope Diamond, or anything like that, it doesn’t even come close to what we saw today. The collection is simply amazing to the point of mind boggling when you think of the quantity and value of the pieces in this collection. But all were very beautiful and many were ornated and intricate so you have to appreciate the craftsmanship involved as well as the gems and monetary value. So many pieces, from crowns, daggers, scepters, buttons, sashes, and of course the Peacock Throne and the globe made from diamonds, rubies, emeralds. And it is huge- at least 24 inches in diameter! This is only a small fraction of what is on display, and it is well worth it to make the time to visit the crown jewels.

Tomorrow we leave Tehran for Hamadan, and hopefully I can post again from there. Now it is off to get some sleep for me! Maybe I will have dreams of tiaras with giant rubies, emeralds, diamonds, and pearls!

More later!

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