Wednesday 12th, December 2018
We arrived in Isfahan after lunch with plenty of time to look around and get to our accommodation. Unfortunately we had no actual location to get to due to some misunderstanding with our Iranian friend. Our friend Alireza was not with us because he had to take a bus from Kashan to Isfahan due to knee pain●. He gave our number to a friend in Isfahan who could host us. That friend never called●.
It took us no time to reach the heart of the city so we decided to look around the parks and bridges. The city is famous for it’s iconic brick bridges which is now pedestrian only. We recognized one of the bridge which many of our fellow cyclist shared on their Instagram. Still that friend hadn’t call so we got into a little panic● and started sending request through CouchSurfing and WarmShower for hosts under short notice.
While the locals were enjoying promenade and passing us, we were stuck on our screen searching for a host. A gentleman with his wife walked by us and asked if we were tourists (of course we were! However, that’s a good conversation starter). We got into the usual conversation of where we are from, where we’ve cycled, how long, etc. Then he asked where we were staying tonight. We explained● the situation and he kindly offered his home in another city which was 15 km out if we have absolutely nowhere else to go. It was something we hoped to happen while in Iran for a friendly stranger to host us, and it surely did●. That friend of Alireza never called so we set out and arrived at our host in Khomeini Shahr by 7 pm in the dark. We felt so annoyed and angry● on the way we stopped at a bakery and bought some sweets to cheer up a bit.
We arrived at Thor’s home – a nickname he picked himself. His son Sorush let us in. He was home alone but his parents arrived a little later. They had a modest but warm home●. Any home was good enough at this stage of our travel.
我们到达了Thor的家 – 这是他自己挑选的绰号。他的儿子索罗什让我们进去。他独自在家，但他的父母到了一会儿。他们有一个温和但温暖的家。在我们旅行的这个阶段，任何一个家都很好。
Thursday 13th, December 2018
Thor helped us plan a day trip to go see some of the attractions. We saved it on our map and excitedly● hopped on our bikes.
It took us half an hour and we arrived at the first attraction: the Temple of Fire. This temple is up on a hill and there’s no way to get up unless you pay for a ticket●. We told the ticket seller our story about the stolen money, but they couldn’t let us in for free. In the end we valued 2 days of food more than visiting an attraction and left●.
Next on the list was the mosque famous for it’s moving minarets… both of them. A cycleway between the Fire Temple and Monar Jonban made it pleasant to cycle through. Oh no, once again there’s a ticket to get in●. We repeated the same story but the same outcome. This time it wasn’t worth 3 days of food for us.
A little bit frustrated, we go to the cathedral which shouldn’t cost right? We crossed the city to find out indeed it does cost●. Attempt three didn’t work, not even a discount was offered●. We walked away feeling so low● that our day so far had been “visiting attractions” but not actually seeing it.
名单上的下一个是以其移动的尖塔而闻名的清真寺……两者都是。 Fire Temple和Monar Jonban之间的自行车道令人愉快。哦不，再次有一张进入的门票。我们重复了相同的故事，但结果相同。这次我们不值得3天的食物。
Naqsh-e Jahan Square
One last place for the day before we call it quits: the Naqsh-e Jahan Square. A few more pedals were pushed and we entered the square. It was grand●, so huge that we walked around it instead of cycling through so we can see and soak up everything. We knew not to buy anything here because it’s a touristy spot. We sat down on a bench to rest a bit and share photos on Instagram for our followers back home.
A gentleman on a bicycle stopped by us and introduced himself as a tour guide. A well rehearsed advertisement came out of his mouth and we politely waited for him to let us talk. We told him we had our money stolen and were very poor in Iran. Almost immediately he said “nice to meet you” and left●. That was quite easy, usually they would be quite sticky.
We cycled home and the sadness hit us really hard. Matt cried● most of the way home. It’s been something we tried to deal with but also keep a cool and relaxed attitude about. Stressing over it won’t bring the money back. Our inability to buy tickets today made us feel at the bottom● of the jar.
我们称之为前一天的最后一个地方：Naqsh-e Jahan Square。推了几个踏板，我们进入了广场。这是伟大的，如此巨大，我们走来走去，而不是骑自行车，所以我们可以看到和吸收一切。我们知道不要在这里买任何东西，因为它是一个旅游景点。我们坐在长凳上休息了一下，并在Instagram上分享照片，让我们的追随者回到家中。
Friday 14th, December 2018
It is finally Friday! The weekend day in Iran is Friday. Thor drove us and the family into the city to drop off Sorush for violin practice. We went to a park for a morning tea picnic. It was very busy but we found a carpark in no time. Soon after, we were like an Iranian family drinking tea and chatting away on the picnic mat. We felt belonged in Thor’s family●.
Pheng takes a sneaky shot of Thor and Marzieh
A friend we met 3 weeks ago in Bandar-e-gaz arranged to take us out for the afternoon. Mohammed had been very insistent earlier that we don’t eat Biryani while in Isfahan. So what’s for lunch was sorted. First he took us to Mt Sofe for a view of the city. The smog blanketed the city so we thought it’ll be a good opportunity to post about the pollution● and mentioned how cheap petrol was here.
After a good climb we set off to get lunch in the city centre. The restaurant was busy with a line of 20 people. We patiently waited and took photos like happy● snappy tourists. It must be part of the experience… like Ferg Burger in Queenstown.
The meal came and it was delicious●. We took more photos and thanked Mohammed for introducing us to a new food. Mohammed took us back home and we rested a bit, catching up on social media and checking if the rentals back home had any new tenants.
Thor took us to an aunty’s house for dinner. We were in for another treat: Gormeh sabsi (قورمهسبزی)●. Thor proudly told everyone about our trip and our Farsi skills. All the uncles and aunties had a rundown of the recent unfortunate event too. By now we just want to get over it and let it be a story and nothing more.
Thor带我们到阿姨家吃饭。我们正在接受另一种享受：Gormeh sabsi（قورمهسبزی）。 Thor自豪地告诉大家我们的旅行和我们的波斯语技能。所有的叔叔和阿姨都对最近的不幸事件有所了解。到现在为止，我们只是想克服它，让它成为一个故事，仅此而已。
“Gormeh sabsi” on the fourth dish to the right
In the car on the way home we thanked Thor, Marzieh and son again for their hospitality. They said it had been an honour to host us. We are their family now. We told them on the first day we met them, if they hadn’t talk to us, we’d had nowhere to stay. Then they said when they first saw us, they noticed how sad we looked. We really were sad● that day. It was sweet● of them to help us when we were in such a dark moment.
Saturday 15th, December 2018
We got up early and packed our bags ready for the next leg of the trip to Yazd. We gave big hugs to Thor and Marzieh shook● our hands! Usually a women in Iran wouldn’t be able to do that with non related men. We left the city feeling a bit better than when we first arrived.
If you have watched Inside Out you may recognise these ●●●●● as the Memory Orbs. We had a such an emotional rollercoaster of a time in Isfahan and it putting it into words didn’t feel adequate. Meeting Thor’s family really improved our experience in Isfahan.
如果您已观看Inside Out，您可能会将这些●●●●●识别为Memory Orbs。我们在伊斯法罕有过一次如此情绪化的过山车，并且用言语表达并不合适。会见Thor的家人真的改善了我们在伊斯法罕的经历。
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