Friday, 24 August 2012

Qom to Hamedan (22-24 August 2012)

23 August 2012 – We started the day early wanting to see the Holy Shrine in Qom. We drove towards the Holy Shrine hoping to find a parking spot, the street was busy made worst by a crowded Taxi stand at the end of the street. This is where it happened, an unmarked taxi was backing out into the street, we all thought he would stop to let us pass, traffic was crawling, but he kept backing up and the inevitable happened, he backed straight into Our Sorento’s back wheel and scraped the side bumper. Dad got off and inspected the damage. Seeing that the damaged was light and the whole bumper stayed intact, Dad got back in and drove off, of course after showing his displeasure to the errant taxi driver. This totally ruined our visit to Qom and we made our way out of the city to visit Jamkaran Mosque.


In the outskirts of Qom, we find ourselves at Jamkaran Mosque, a sacred place and a popular pilgrimage site for Shi’ite Muslims. The mosque was undergoing some major renovations to add a new entrance gate, amongst others.
According to Wikipedia, “Local belief has it that the Twelfth Imam (Muhammad al-Mahdi) — a messiah figure Shia believe will lead the world to an era of universal peace — once appeared and offered prayers at Jamkaran. On Tuesday evenings especially large crowds of tens of thousands gather at Jamkaran to pray and to drop a note to the Imam in a well at the site, asking for help with some problem.”

There is an interesting history on how the Jamkaran Mosque came to be built, click here and take some time to read all about it.

>> Fresh trout on sale at Gezel Park, 23km east of Arak town. Lots of locals and travellers would stop to buy  live trout fish with most getting the fish cleaned and barbecued and some eating in the Park, like us. This is a government run trout fish ponds/ ‘market’.

>> Fish cleaned using simple machines. The fish monger first butterflies the fish with the bones intact. He then uses a simple machine to suck out the fish innards. Finally, he uses this machine to wash the fish.

I have never seen such a thing back in Malaysia. Fish monger back home should probably get one of these – its fast and clean.

>> The fish comes out squeaky clean, ready to be grilled
Grilled trout fish. Looked so yummy, we bought four for dinner. The live fishes costs 118,000 Rials.  Charges for grilling was 60,000 Rials, plus 4 large pieces of flat naan-like bread. >>

We stayed the night at Arak and headed for Hamedan the next day.

>> 53km west of Arak, we came by this little town near the foot of a mountain. We saw a sign minutes earlier reading “Welcome to Toureh city”, so this could be Toureh city.

There were a lot of stalls along the roadside selling grapes on this stretch of route 56.

>> Raisins and almonds on sale in one of the roadside stalls, 23km away from Malayer town. Also on sale are local honey and a variety of fruit juices.

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