Hi everyone! We're so excited to be in Tabriz, the capital of the East-Azerbaijan province, in Iran's northwest. It's an industrial city, with around 2 million inhabitants - including Ingrid, who is originally from Germany but has been living here for 38 years! Can you spot it on a map?
Ingrid regularly hosts Toy Voyagers in her home, so we were warmly greeted by her own Playmobil toys Possy & Crossy (nice names!), who poured us a welcome drink! Mr. F.M. Baer was also visiting from the Baltic Coast, so we got to meet him as well.
We took a walk around to the nearby Shahgoli park with our new friends. The park has a big lake in the middle, and walkways all around it, really nice for a stroll or a bike ride! Aaaah... feels good to stretch our legs a little!
Oh! Today is Ingrid's turn to host her weekly "ladies' gameboard gathering". The ladies come together to play all kind of games: memory games (their favorites), card games, Mikado, Halli Galli... or whatever the
host proposes to play! They decided to teach us Halli Galli, which is quite fun and fast! We learnt that it is common for the host to offer some snacks, so we helped serve the food:
We had the great opportunity to see
the Potters' house of Tabriz, a live museum. There
is also a permanent exhibition of pottery of East-Azerbaijan
as well as many classes for pottery and decoration.
On this particular day, it was the anniversary
of the Potters' house and there was a great gathering, with traditional
Iranian music, too! The mansion itself was an ancient
traditional house of Qajar dinasty.
Then night fell, and it was so nice that we decided to have a stroll. We ended up walking through some of Tabriz's most famous sightseeing points, like the pilgrimage site Seyed Hamze, next to which there is a large modern mausoleum, called the Poets Tomb. It is very impressive at night, with all the lights turned on! This is where famous personalities such as scholars are laid to rest.
After that, we headed over to Khaqani park, which is named after a poet from Tabriz. It's just beside the Blue Mosque, but sadly it was closed, because it was quite late already...
One week later, Ingrid had guests over from the Caspian seaside
and they went together to Marand, 70 km far from Tabriz, for a mourning gathering. On our way back home we
had a break at an ancient caravansary! These are places along the road where travelers can stop to rest and have some water - a bit like a rest area along the highway, but a 1000 times nicer looking! About 500 years ago, a Shah had 999 Caravanserais built all over Iran to make traveling easier. It was a brilliant idea!
The next day, Ingrid showed the Bazaar of Tabriz to her
guests and us. It is by far the largest roofed bazar in the world and a UNESCO World
Heritage Site since 2010.
It was really buzzing with activity, and the smells and sounds were so enticing... everything was new and different, and we showered Ingrid with a thousand questions!
But it was almost time for us to leave... before hopping on our envelope once again, Ingrid took us to an old public bath, Nobar Hammam, where her husband used to go with his dad, back when he was a little child!
Aaah... much more relaxed and ready for the trip through the mail! Goodbye Ingrid and lovely friends - we loved Iran!