This was love at first sight! Islamic architecture of its finest and a refined urban flair. What left an equally everlasting imprint in our memory was the friendliness and openness we were received with in this town. Hardly anybody passed without giving us a smile, the braver ones whispered a shy “Hello”, “How are you?” or “Welcome to Esfahan”, while passing by. Quite a few stopped to ask how we liked Iran and their city. We also heard brave remarks like: we are not like our government.
It was touching, sometimes overwhelming to be confronted with so much interest in your very person. It seemed the people were just so happy that tourists are finally arriving in Iran. For the Iranians it must be a sign towards a positive change in the political climate and what’s even more important, a kick to boost Iran’s ailing economy.
The beauty of the architecture surrounding Maydan-e Imman is unparalleled – A square so huge, surrounded by impressive mosques and the Qaqu Palace. Esfahan’s other draw cards are the many parks, like a string of pearls that merges into each other. And they are used – groups of retired men chat on shaded benches, young couple hold hands in the shadow of orange tree, families enjoy a picnic, but they never seem crowded because of the sheer size of these evergreen oxygen donors.