week in order to soothe my battered soul and mind, we went
and I really mean downtown. Valiasr (formerly Pahlavi)
from Tajrish in the north to the railway station. With
friend we went by taxi to the southern end and started our
sightseeing from the Tehran
Railway Station. Contrary to our
the place was busy but not swamped with passengers, it was
quite clean, even the toilets were passable, and there was a great sense of
large. There was a large board that had the list of all
where rail tickets may be bought around Tehran, and all the
were in Persian and English. The station looked a little
built in the 1930s by a Danish company during the time of
Shah. The good news is that trains are very cheap still.
travel from Tehran to
Isfahan first class for less than 4000 toman
to Yazd for less than 5000 toman ($5) and it is also possible
tickets to Istanbul for
about 58000 toman ($61) but the journey
you three days!
there we started to walk up Valiasr Avenue to where it crossed
Avenue, where I wanted to show my friend the City Theater
(taatre-shahr). The fact that it was the middle of Ramadan did not
in the least. As we started to walk north we passed many old
and different shops and people, all of them were very nice and
in the most beautiful Iranian way which reminded me of the
days. We came across a place where most of my happy
been spent, the Flor Cinema which was now closed down
looked quite tattered - and the original Laadan confectionery
parlor. I was born not far from there and lived in
until I was 11. In those days my grandmother would take us to
Thursday afternoons and then, if we were good, for ice-cream
at Laadan. We passed the old public bath house, which
open, that we used to go to.
steps further down, I saw the Sharzad store where I had bought
my toys when I was little and amazingly the owner- Mr Sharzad
called him- was still there nearly fifty years later, even
did not remember me after so many years, he and his shop
many old memories. We went to my old alley which I
long and wide when I played there, but in reality it was quite
narrow. Sadly our old house was not there anymore.
to the saghakhaneh set into a wall near my aunt Flor’s
house, which I remembered from those times a saghakhaneh is a
shrine, where you can light a candle while making a wish and
always drinking water. It is usually dedicated to Imam
built as an offering by a good person long ago. We bought a
candles from a tiny shop across the street and the three of us
while making our wishes.
walked down one of the back streets, we came across a small
with a wood carver whose specialty was making the clubs (mil)
used in the House of Strength (zurkhaneh) or varzesh-e pahlavani
demonstrated how they are used he was quite adept - and
they cost from about 20,000 toman ($21) a pair to 200,000 toman.
started walking north up Valiasr again. As we walked
places I remembered from so long ago, we heard the azan and those
who had been fasting since sunrise could break their fast, maybe with some
halim (a very nourishing food made of wheat and hot oil,
without meat and decorated with cinnamon and coconut flakes).
for fresh fruit juice at a very clean shop first and then some
(barbecued liver) at one of the tiny eatery places (jigarri)
specialize in this. We finished our walk at the City Theater,
an impromptu open air performance going on.
refreshed me totally and we all had a good time, here I have a
photos from that lovely walk downtown in the good old Tehran.
Jaye shoma khali!