One of my favourite pastimes in Esfahan is strolling around the many alleyways, nooks and crannies which make up the great bazaar. I could spend the whole day “just looking” but Feri knows me better than that and so far I have been unable to shake him off and go it alone…..too much temptation to spend, spend, spend and consequently he sticks to me like glue.
The bazaar is organised so that the shops are grouped by trade or product. You can be walking past gold shops galore, turn the corner and be faced with mountains of nuts, dried fruit herbs and spices. The sights and smells as you walk round are simply stunning and I get a real sense of the Iranian way of life as I pass by each guild and their wares.
This time I found myself faced with hundreds of incense holders and lamps all hand made by father and son intricately woven in copper and brass. They come in all shapes and sizes, colours and patterns but looking up towards the bazaar ceiling I noticed two huge incense holders suspended by chains. Talking to the shop owner and son of the master craftsman, he explained that the two ornaments are a special order for a mosque in Malaysia. They have been paid for; the princely sum of £12,000 each but they will remain hanging in the bazaar until the dispute relating to the shipping costs of £1,000 each is resolved.
Long may the dispute continue I say-they are a magnificent sight!