Monday, July 2, 2007

Hello, Bonjour, Salom

I'm back after a tiring, yet so very exciting trip overseas. I got back last Tuesday, but this post has taken an awful lot of time so I just got it posted today. I was gone exactly 26 days and went to both France and Iran. Sorry about this post, it's kind of sloppy because I really wanted to finish it. I'll put up another post about with my finds in both Iran and France.

Thursday May 31st 2007
My mom, sister, and I took a 11:30 a.m. flight from Atlanta to Paris. Though the flight was not enjoyable, I did like the part when the passengers went to sleep and the plane was lit by the few lights remaining. That's when the plane was peaceful and quiet, and I was able to write and read Life of Pi.
France was so much more beautiful than I ever thought it would be, I am glad we went and saw so many memorable places.
It was kind of strange how some streets would give off the aroma of Chanel, very French. And the men were quite amazing. A lot of Iranians there. There were also a lot of good looking guys who were visiting, you found a lot of them on the RER and Metro.
There were a lot of schools from the U.S. on a trip in Paris, and many of them stayed at my hotel. You could tell who was on one of those school trips, by the way they dressed. The girls in jeans, t's or sweatshirts, and the guys in T's, cargo's or jeans. I found this absolutely horrible, because you can't come to Paris and dress like that. So I made sure that I dressed appropriately for Paris, everyday. And I must say I had some pretty nice outfits.


Our flight on May 31st to Paris, France.
Me in my seat. I have to say that flight, was one of the most uncomfortable flights I have ever been on. I couldn't find any position to sleep in and the plane was FREEZING!
This is our hotel, The Novotel. We didn't take this picture the day we got there, the day we got there was gloomy and cold.
We were right across from Radio France
Our hotel was right in front of the river (and the statue of liberty).
The river.
Through a side window you could see a building with a strange modern grass garden all over it. I found it quite odd.

For dinner, we went to a Lebanese restaurant. We ordered mint tea and I'm pretty sure we were charged like 15 euros for it. Drinks were so expensive in France.
After dinner, we walked to the Eiffel tower.I wore leggings under my jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt, under a t-shirt, under a sweatshirt, under a jacket, just to keep warm. I couldn't how cold it was for the beginning of June.
The Eiffel Tower is WAY bigger than I ever thought it would be. It was amazing walking by it.

NOTRE DAME The Notre Dame was a very beautiful church.
The inside was amazing. They set out a book on a table so people could write a message to God. The book was filled with so many different languages.
For lunch, after The Notre Dame, we found a sandwich shop and had some of the best sandwiches I have ever had. Mine was a cheese that looked like Mozzarella and tomato with other stuff.

THE LOUVRE The first Sunday of every month, entrance to The Louvre is free, so we went on Sunday. I think everybody else knew that too because it was very crowded.
Through the entrance into The Louvre we saw the bottom half of the Pyramid du Louvre.
Behind my mom and me are statues by Micheal Angelo.

I really love Vermeer's work ever since I read Girl With Pearl Earring, and had to do a project on it. Here I am next to one of his pieces.

The Pyramid du Louvre. This is the whole reason I came to The Louvre. It's amazing.
The Louvre museum is huge. We were exhausted and hadn't even gone through the whole thing. A highlight was defiantly seeing the Mona Lisa it was very neat, though I thought it would be bigger. Some other paintings were very big. Some would fill a whole wall. Others were hundreds of years old. The museum its self was built so well, with paintings on the ceilings, and a historic outside.

My mom, sister, and I were lucky enough to travel to the famous avenue of Champs Elysee.
The entrance is the most famous part of all.
This is right before we left (the metro station is literally right in front of us), but we found somebody to take our picture.
There was a little sitting place at the opposite end from the entrance, where we sat down to rest. I finished Life of Pi here.

We took the RER to the Musee d'Orsay. I liked the RER, because it was 2 stories.
The Musee d'Orsay was much smaller than The Louvre, but I liked it a lot better.

The architecture of Musee d'Orsay was more modern than The Louvre. Actually the place you see above, used to be a metro station and then they changed it to Musee d'Orsay, how cool, right?
My mom and I with 3 dancers behind us.
One part of Musee d'Orsay reminded me of The Louvre, it was a room with the ceiling painted with ponies (above). I want this ceiling in my room.
Okay so I felt a little weird taking a picture with a famous self-portrait, i don't know it's like taking a picture with picture.

We took the RER to Versailles to visit The Versailles Palace. I actually only heard of this after watching Marie Antoinette.
My sister said I look like a CIA agent here. I think it looks like I'm breast feeding because my dress came up too much.
Walking around on the Palace grounds we found a lot of cute statues.
A cool fountain.
I absolutely love this picture, I'm even considering painting it. I just love how the trees lean in towards each other.
This isn't very cute, but very cool. The statue's coming out of the water.
You can see my mom and me in this photo. We're in Marie Antoinette's estate.
I believe this is the original of Marie Antoinette.

This is at the main palace, the ceilings were painted so well.

More exquisite ceilings. I wonder how long it took to paint them.
The chapel was a really wonderful part of the Palace. The theatre was as well, but no picutres were alowed
The Palace had many interesting paintings of The Royal Family.
The Hall of Mirrors was one of the best parts of the Palace.

The ceiling was the best.
The King.

We went to the top of The Eiffel Tower.

It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but I sighned my name and the date in red pen at the top of The Eiffel Tower.

France was really nice.

Time for, IRAN
On June 7th my mom, sister, and I took a flight from Paris to Tehran. About 30 minutes before the plane landed all the women, including me, started to get up, take out their carry ons and put their trench coats, tunics, or chadors with their head scarfs on. I though that part was really cool, becaue I felt like I was a part of something, it was pretty neat.
We landed in Tehran around 8 o'clock and I was met at the airport by my grandparents. They were really happy to see all of us, and vise versa.
Our first full day in Tehran, was so HOT! It was probably the same temp as it was in Atlanta, but the sun beat down so much hotter there. It probably also helped that I was wearing jeans, a trench, and headscarf. Plus, they don't get much rain.
For the rest of the time we were there we didn't make the mistake of going out from 11-3, it was hottest then.
In Tehran, trying to talk to my grandparents I realized how much Farsi I had forgotten. I understood what people were saying, but it was hard for me to answer back. But my Farsi did improve while I was there, and I really want to try to learn how to read and write Farsi, as well. I actually now know how to write 3 words, my name, dam, and no.
We visited many places in Iran, not only Tehran. Like Ramsar, Shiraz, Gatchsaron, and Esfahon (or Isfahon).

This is the street my grandparent's live on in Tehran, the capitol of Iran.
This is my grandparent's apartment. They live on the first floor so they get a little back yard too.

Streets of Iran. They usually don't look this nice.
Here's a Bazaar in Tehran that we didn't spend much time at, though my mom's cousin said you could find good things there.

Mountain - - Koo
My mom, grandma, sister, and I hiked up the mountain. We didn't get that far, but it was pretty.

I love this picture.
My grandma.
My mom took this picture to get all the women in black in it.

Here we are walking back through a village at the beginning of the mountain.

A day or two later my uncle's fiance drove us up the mountain.
What a nice view.
We found snow!
Here's my sister, me, and my mom. The weather on the mountain was so nice, way cooler than Tehran.
The snow was really clean underneath so I tried some and it was really good. No wonder Iran's water taste's so good, it's all from the mountain.
We saw a family of Kurds at the top of the mountain. When I tried to get a photo as we drove by I only got the last person. Though, I think the photo turned out quite well.
A town in the Mt.
My soon to be aunt bought us yogurt, drinks, and bread. Then we found this deserted place by a waterfall.

Ramsar, Iran -- The Caspian Sea

In Ramsar, the weather was cooler so even with the intense humidity the weather was cool. The Caspain Sea was nice. The beaches were really dirty because of some rude people who litter, but still, it was nice. At the beach we saw the section they give to women so they can get in the water. We only saw poles buy when it's hotter they cover the sides so the women can go in.
This is a little alley we used to get to the beach, there were pomegranites growing on the trees.
My mom was just so interested in this truck selling watermelons.
No it's not the rainforest it's the mountains in Ramsar. I know Amazing.
Me in the hotel in Rumsat. I needed a picture with the regular toilets there.
Driving back to Tehran this truck full of lambs got in front of us.

This is really cool they shaped something into the thing on The Iranian flag.

My mom had friends in Shiraz, so we stayed with them. It was the first time we saw them in 10 years. This is us eating dinner, many people eat on the floor.
Smoking the hukka is a tradition in Iran. That was my first time.
Here I'm at the small bazar of Shiraz. I ended up finding more here than at the big bazar.
My mom took my sister, me, and Ida (my mom's friend's daughter) to this garden in Shiraz. Kind of like the Botanical Garden in Atlanta.
Garden in Shiraz.
Garden in Shiraz. I think that's a mosque behind us.


This is Gatchsarron. My mom has friends here, too. We didn't go out into the city much, but it looked boring to me anyway.
This is my sort of cousin, Freug (pronounced Froog). She is so adorable.
In Gatchsarron we went to a village called Aub Shireen, translated that means Sweat Water. We visited people here. I would have shown the photo with their kids and my sister and I, but they all turned out blurry.
This is their back yard in Sweet Water. The flame to the right is natural gas burning.

After Gatchsarron we drove 3 hours back to Shiraz and stayed with different friends of my mom. This is a photo of ruins of a persian palace.
My mom and I at the grave of a persian poet who used to live in a cave. My mom said he was a simple man.
This was the house of a famous persian guy, but I have no idea who.
Inside the house. A room with mirrors.
Inside the house.
In France I saw 2 guys on a motorcycle, but in Iran I saw 3, everywhere. I would think they would feel uncomfortable, but over there guys held hands with each other and weren't even gay. My mom said it was the culture. Definitely something I'm not going to get used to. When I took a picture of these guys I was in the car, and (as you can see) the last guy saw me, so when we had stopped at a different traffic light they passed by and he had his camera phone out, her probably thought I was a weirdo.

Esfahon is sort of Iran's Paris and it was the one place we saw a lot of tourists, of course none of them were American, but you could spot them from a mile away.
This is a famous bridge in Esfahon. It's name is Sio se Pol. Translated it means 33 bridges, if you count the curves on bottom you'll get 33.
The river it runs over is so clean, it's all melted snow from the mountain.
My sister and me. You can see people in the background walking in the shallow part.

This is the entrance to a smaller bridge, I forgot what the name was, but at this bridge you could go out on a piece of stone in the water, but it was only like 1/4 of a foot deep.

The smaller bridge had more art to it.
On the bottom of the bridge, men would sit in the middle barriers shading from the cool, and listening to the men who would sing.
On the steps out to the water of the smaller bridge.
When we crossed the bridge of the smaller bridge there was a really small park and we saw this huge mob of ladies crossing the street all wearing their black chadors. In front of the black there's a girl wearing a jacket with white buttons, it's a really nice coat, just more for the winter.
While in the car I saw this bush shaped like a bird. Even has a beak.
Imam Square , this is one of the biggest squares in the world. It consists of two Mosques one of them is Imam mosque and I think the other is Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque but I have no idea. I actually thought there was only one mosque so I don't know which one I was in, in each picute.
I think this is Imam Mosque because online it said the Mosque has 2 turquoise buildings.
My mom and I in Imam Square.
Imam Mosque, Gosh I look tiny.
Inside the mosque
The top floor of the Mosque's ceiling. Those pillars you see are made out of wood, and they're still standing.
That's my foot on the top floor of the mosque.
Imam Mosque had very pretty tile work.
In Imam Square was also the Esfahon Bazaar. This is the entrance to the art section.
Esfahon Bazaar
Here we are at The Shaking Minarets of Esfahan. Now I was excpecting the whole building to shake like an earthquake, but instead a man climbed the stairs went up to the right pillar and shook the pillar, the left pillar shook a little in reaction. I was disappointed. Someone said you had to shake the pillar for about 15 minutes then the whole building would shake, but the man only shook for a couple minutes.
On the last morning we were in Esfahon, we took a walk by the 33 Bridge and saw these trees that were filled with bricks. I think they were sick so they filled the wholes, like in To Kill A Mockingbird.
On our way back to the hotel, we saw these manicans in a store window, we had seen many before, but we took a picture of these. This actually brings me to a funny story. The night before, we went out looking for dinner and I had decided to wear capri leggings with me trench, and make it more of a dress, because it was origianlly a dress. I guess I forgot that Esfahon was a little stricter because I was stared at by every girl and guy. Now some people liked it (the gross guys), and the rest just thought I was a skank. I didn't get it, my mom said they were okay to wear. I was so embarrassed by the time Ie got back to the hotel. I've definatley learned not to wear them in public again, in Iran.

After a one hour flight from Esfahon we arrived in Tehran for our last few days.
I woke up at 4:45 a.m. this morning so my mom and I went to Laila Park. She went to walk, while I answered questions to Life of Pi.
Here is the entrance to a square where machine guns were made. That's why you can see the machine gun in the left corner.
The Door with a wholly man.
The Bazaar of Tehran was very busy, and very big. The gold section was absolutely gigantic. It was more than 5 stories high and consisted of SO MUCH gold, and some silver.
My mom stopped at a store to buy dried lemons while I took a photo of the line of motorcycles.
We took the metro home from the Bazaar, and sumprisingly it was really nice. Clean with a cooler, though it was packed. The women and the men were seperated on the metro and the women got fewer carts.
My mom's aunt Zara (head of the table) and her daughter (my mom's cousin, sitting across from me) Afsone took us out to lunch along with 2 of Afsone's friends (one's taking the picture).
Back at my grandparent's house, there's my grandpa making kabob.
In my grandparent's backyard they have 2 adult cats, one has 4 babies, including the one pictured here that I named Vaughn. The other adult cat is pregnant.

We left on Monday June 26th at 1:50 a.m. I can't wait until we go back again, but until then this will be the last post like this.

So for now, Bye, Quodahfes, Au Revoir.


alexgirl said...

Whoa, your trip sounds/looks AMAZING! I'm going to have to look over the whole post again though, cuz I started getting some a.d.d. after a while. but i love that pic of you in front of the toilet. You have such a funny expression!
And now that your back you must make the guacamole! it's perfect for summer.

alexgirl said...

ps-yeah, that's the cover of my book "Back Talk"--hope you can find it somewhere! At least it's on amazon.

Tru said...

wow that was a very long post...did you enjoy Life of Pi? its one of my all time favorites

coco said...

you have amazing stlye
i love the white shirt you were wearing
fab post too

*** MeMiLy EdD *** said...

Your trip sounds so kl!!!
I love france
i am really sorry but i can't remeber where i found the photos i just go on magazine sites and save the ones i love! i should get round to writing where they are from!

Jennifer said...

I love all your pictures, you look so pretty and i'm beyond jealous of your trip!!

Emily ♥ said...

Wow, it looks like your really had a great time! Nice pictures :)

mary said...

wow, i'm insanely jealous of your amazing trip. you and your clothes are adorable. i read the whole thing, and now i feel like i've been on a trip myself!

Calleth said...

It sounds like a really nice trip. I agree it's tirening to walk through the entire Louvre! And haha, on the top of the Eiffel Tower, that picture with the names, someone wrote my name, on your picture. Or I think it's my name? It looks like it says Anja. And I've written my name there, maybe it's me who wrote it haha :P

By the way, thanks for the comment on my blog, the patterned shirt is from Zara if you're interested :) Or, I don't know if you have Zara in USA? I've never been there!

The Stiletto Effect said...

what a great post!
i love to travel, and love Paris :)
never been to Iran though, but from what i've seen on the photos must be very beautiful and a very interesting country to visit.

AVA said...

It seems you had a great time! This is the first time I see your blog, it looks great! Paris is so beautiful (and drinks are waaay to expensive!!). I've never been to Iran though, I'd love to go some place far for a change!

Jennifer said...

someday I will take a trip like yours;)

Romeika said...

Oh, travelling is so good...=) I loved the pictures! I'd love to visit Paris for the museums and Versailles and would like to visit some very different country such as Iran, for experiencing a different culture rather than western, even for a short while. Great trip!

Eli said...

wow, what great pictures, good documenting. Looks like you find some beautiful places.

stilettostetico said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stilettostetico said...

Maybe Vanity, but I'm glad that you are appreciating Paris, our prestigious "Ville Lumière", sanctuary of class and elegance . . . The pictures of Iran are simply majestic.
Tu as sincèrement un très beau Blog.Cordialement.

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