Saturday, September 27, 2003

Over the last few days, I visited Tabriz, Qareh Kelisa, and Takht-e-Soleiman. Qareh Kelisa is an extraordinary church located near Maku, far away from anything else. Perhaps only isolated buildings can survive long periods of time, as there were many buildings to see in Tabriz but earthquakes have damaged or destroyed many of the famous ones there.

Takht-e-Soleiman was like Persepolis without bas-reliefs, really. I loved the setting with the lake in the middle. I didn't really understand the significance of the place, but I bought a book there which should help. If you want to visit either of these places on a day trip from Tabriz, it will cost you about $US40 for a round trip, which is 500km or more in both cases. It is good value for foreign tourists!

The car situation in Kabul sounds similar to Tehran - a few are very rich, with the BMWs, Mercedes, and Maximas. (The Maxima had a terrible accident and became a Minima!!) Mahboubeh told me that the Afghan Health Minister Dr Saddiq makes about $13 a day (I think?) so I don't know what kind of government officials they are talking about in the article.

sorry if I didn't get to your email - spam and travel are distracting. another catch-up session soon!

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