I am writing this at the same late time I wrote yesterday’s entry: 1am. Tonight I was treated to dinner at Sahar and Akbar’s house, enjoying a delicious spread of spaghetti, two types of soup, halva (much different from that which goes by the same name in Tajikistan), blue and purple layered jelly in a glass, and a fluoro pink milk cream ‘thing’. After these gastronomic delights, a bright green cake was delivered in front of me. It took me a few moments of admiring the awesome cake before I noticed the chocolate writing written around it on the plate on which it was served. ‘We love you Mark’, it read. I sent a photo of it to my parents, in a way testing to see if they were awake. They were, so we had a bit a chat session whereby everyone got to say hello to my parents on video chat. It was another very special night among great people.
During the day I had a very nice time seeing more sights, this time with Alirezar. First we visited the city’s Saltmen exhibit. On display are several mummified corpses of people who died within an ancient salt mine. One of the mummies was in very good condition and it’s posed showed that the individual (who was about 16 years old) was running or crawling to escape the tunnel collapse that buried and killed him. His clothes are largely intact and were obviously deigned to protect the skin while working with salt. Also with him were a couple of pottery vessels, one of which likely contained oil that he put on his skin to make sure it didn’t dry out. The mummies are at least 1,500 years old and may be as old as 2,300 years. We also visited another museum that displayed some of the handicrafts that Zanjan is famous for, including copper work and shoe-making.
After exploring the streets for a while, we returned home for a delicious lunch with Sahar, Akbar, Mohammad Mahdi and Aniya. I had a nap in the afternoon before being taken out of town by Alirezar to visit Soltaniyeh, which is famous for the Soltaniyeh Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage site comprising one of the largest brick structures in the world, built in 1302-12 AC and used as a mausoleum for the king who ordered its construction. It was certainly an impressive sight, especially in the waning light of the day when it was beautifully lit by both natural light and well-placed spotlights.
|Accommodation||Home of lovely family|
|Distance ridden today||0km|
|Total distance ridden||23,975km|