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Shiraz – Weird and a Bit Rubbish Actually

Firstly, I’m not talking about Persepolis or the other sights surrounding Shiraz… they were really good! I’ve not got the world’s greatest love for ruins and the like, (I much prefer natural beauty) but this was really well preserved, informative and interesting. Also as it was off season we scored a swanky cabin at the ‘Tourist complex’ for bugger all money – score; although there is also plenty of opportunity to camp outside Persepolis for free. But you could honestly turn your bike around there and head elsewhere.

What Now Lion

What Now Lion!?

The guide book, as well as many locals, had told us that Shiraz was a must see city, like Esfahan – which we really enjoyed; so we were really looking forward to spending a few days here. However, our opinion of the place, (as well as the view of the posse of other cycle tourists and overlanders we’ve been hanging round with at the hotel… and two solo female travellers we met in Yadz) is that it’s a bit weird and a bit crap. And here’s why:

• “Hello Mister, where you from?!”: Now don’t get me wrong, we’re used to this after being in Iran for several weeks already and for the most part don’t mind it at all, but Shiraz seems so much worse than any other place we’ve been – and the people who ask it here don’t seem to speak any other English or engage in further conversation. They just NEED to know where you’re from like some kind of autistic child… or maybe they are just making sure you’re not from Israel.

• Creepy Sleazy Guys: Shiraz seems to have the greatest concentration of sleazy guys, and this isn’t just a problem for the ladies, two who we’ve spoken to reported being followed and harassed; oh no, as a guy your just as likely to have your leg touched up in the street and have guys constantly stroking your arms or hair in the park, (not exaggeration, all actual stuff that happened to our mates while we were here). But the guys walking past while quietly whispering, “I love you” is just fucking hilarious.

• Not a Pretty Place: Yeah, it’s not – we didn’t find Shiraz charming or beautiful.

Some Crap Fort

Some Crap Fort

• Expensive Accommodation: Dam do they want a lot of money for hotels here! Places that would cost 300,000 to 500,000 IR in any other place, (including tourist spots) was anywhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 IR. We opted for one of the cheap options, it’s not glamorous but it’s clean and the staff are nice.

• Shrieking/Fucking weird noises: People in Shiraz and the surrounding ‘Zone of Madness’ as I like to call it seem to all have some strange version of Tourettes syndrome where they are not just content shouting “Hello mister!” at you, but feel the need to scream mental sounds.

• Nose Jobs and Hair Dos: Lots of young Iranians seem pretty vain, (especially the guys) but in Shiraz they take it to the next level, so many posers and so many nose jobs.

Moronic Posing

Do I look cool enough now?

• Dull: Shiraz is dull.

We actually had a great time here because of the people we met; we always kept missing other cycle tourists in Iran and it’s been very cool to pal around with some for a few days; but this was very much in spite of the city and not because of it. Also I think there is an element of Iran just ‘getting on top of us’ after weeks here, (It seemed to hit every other tourist we know at the same time too) it’s a pretty odd and full on place to travel, don’t get me wrong, for the most part the people are wonderful, but some of its ‘eccentricities’ can get a bit much after a while.

1 comment to Shiraz – Weird and a Bit Rubbish Actually

  • Milad

    You have been here in bad time, bad place, Shiraz has many beautiful things that you should find with a local. And also there are many cheap hotel

    Better luck next time.

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