14 Days in Iran

14 days is too little of course, but it is all that the visa would allow. Two weeks
in the company of Maryam who had worked so hard on-line with me over
three or four years to complete the book of translations of Hafiz of Shiraz.  
Two weeks with her parents and so many more good friends. All were
admirers of Hafiz and other giants of the world stage. There was Anna,
Jeyran, Nargis, the two Ghazals, Marjan, Samineh, another Maryam, and
Yasmin.  Four of us arrived in Shiraz by a Turkish airlines flight from Istanbul;
myself, Farhana my wife, Ali and Asif. We reached there at about one in the
morning on 11th October 2017.  There was a short delay in getting passports
checked and stamped but soon we were through to the waiting and waving
group. We were also greeted by Ali Zadeh from the tourist agency.
The night seemed to us quite balmy as we
drove to the small hotel In Maryam’s father’s
car. It was well past 3 am when we finally
got to bed in what proved a rather small and
not too well equipped
Pension . Nothing
however could dampen the delight of seeing
such good friends in their own country.

The following morning we were moved to a
more comfortable hotel named Hotel Hafiz.
Very suitable, since our main aim had been
to visit the place where the great poet is
buried.
Here the rooms were
comfortable and the service
good. As you can see
Maryam wore a dress from
Ajmer I suspect.

It was however very warm
outside so we were advised
tomake our first visit to Baba
Kuhi's shrine in the late
afternoon. F

First we enjoyed a sumptuous
meal at the house of Maryam
and her parents (below). This
was a spacious well
appointed flat accessed by a
unique lift.  From the kitchen
one could see the shrine of
Baba Kuhi. The meal and the
company were marvellous.
We discovered that our Irani
friends enjoyed soup and
salad a lot
.
We went into Maryam's own room after the meal - there we had good talks and
enjoyed the atmosphere with many pictures of Ajmer, quotes from the holy
Qur'an, Rumi, Hafiz etc. Delicious cake was available too.
Our first formal visit in fact was not to Hafiz but to Baba Kuhi. Kuhi mean
mountain in Farsi and though his shrine is not in a mountain in the strictest sense,
it was high up in the hills that surround Shiraz and not easy to access. We went
there first because that is where Hafiz is said to have received the divine gift of
knowledge and poetry. A car took us some of the way but we had to walk the
remainder. This was managed with the support of these good people who
assisted me up the steep steps; even counting them for me to give
encouragement when I was a bit tired.
The shrine itself was not fully open but we were able to see it from the back and
to sit near and offer our respects and make Fatiha (prayer) for the soul of Baba
Kuhi. We also had a magnificent view across Shiraz as the night drew in. Later
we descended a bit and got some refreshment at a small cafe. Asif and Ali and
several of the girls had to walk up further than us. The girls arrived first. Asif and
Ali did eventually get up there though.
Eventually we returned to the car and were driven back by Maryam to the hotel
where we went and sat in a sort of small enclave, (alachign) in the garden at the
back of the hotel - a traditional style that we saw quite often whilst in Iran. There
we ate a little food and talked until it was time for bed. It was a blessed evening.
It was such a delight to be in the company of these good Irani people. They were
so full of love and so sincere, it made both Farhana and I very happy. We often
called them our daughters. It seemed no effort was too much for them to make
our stay welcoming and comfortable.
End of Day One
Day Two - Khwaja Mohammed  Shemsuddin Hafiz Shirazi
The following day was a special for Hafiz. On that day, 12th October, he is
celebrated nationally. Admission to his shrine is free and many people visit.
A warm day - walking round the shrine of Hafiz Saheb.
A place for coffee and talk in the grounds of Hafiz Saheb's shrine.
A farewell visit to the shrine itself - although we fully hope to return in the
next day or two.
A Visit to the home of Marjan
Another important shrine in Shiraz is the shrine of Hazrat Sadi. He
predates Hafiz Saheb slightly and he is better known for his moral stories.
As you can see we visited in the pleasant evening light. The trees here,
especially the cypress trees,  are exceptional
Time for an ice cream - Irani style in the street near Saadi's shrine.
Day 3 October 13th 2017
End of Day Two
Day three coincided with the 71st birthday of Jamil. As you can see
Farhana had pre-arranged a bitrthday cake with the cover of the book on
Hafiz.
The Day was Friday so Asif, Ali, Ali Zardar, and Jamil went to a local Sunni Mosque.

We  also went to a mosque called Nasir-al-Mulk (1305 AH) that is no longer active
but has beautiful stained glass windows, carpets and decorations.
Nargis took these beautiful photos of the mosque ceiling
In the library that is part of the Hafiz complex. They also now have copies
of our translation of Hafiz.
The souvenir shop
In the shrine of Saadi
Standing at the back was Maryam's father and mother who hosted along with
Maryam this amazing meal.
Bismillah ar Rehman ir Rahim