November 21, 1961 – Iran

Sina Hotel, Teheran, Iran – Clear, cool

      Edith and I were up early, as we were most days, to meet the others in the lobby for breakfast before our tour.  It felt good to wake up feeling normal again today and I was hungry.  Our meal was good and afterward I was ready for a full day of touring.

       Our tour took us to several famous and beautiful palaces and I was stunned that one city could have so many.  We went to the Shah’s palace, then the Golestan Palace and then finally we saw the Crystal Palace.  This last palace was quite elegant and more sumptuous than I could ever have imagined.  It was so amazing with its mosaics and chandeliers.  There were mirror mosaic walls and ceilings everywhere.  It was so opulent that it took my breath away.   Our guide told us that Queen Elizabeth had eaten lunch in the dining room at the palace just eight months earlier.  The table top was glass with painted flowers.  The chairs were covered with red and gold tooled leather.

Shahs Palace Alabaster Throne

Golestan Palace Mosaic

Chrystal Palace Interior View

Crystal Palace Interior Mirror Mosaic

       Next we went to the Royal Museum to see the famous Peacock Throne. We also had a chance to wander around and see some of the collections of artifacts that were on display there.  While all the things I had seen were interesting I was more excited to travel and see our next stop.

Candalabra Peacock Throne

Royal Mursum Interior

       Tuesdays and Fridays it turned out the public was allowed to enter a bank vault to see the crown jewels.  Once we were inside the bank our guide walked us down a hall on a red Persian carpet to where jewels were displayed.  Inside the vault there was a huge assembly hall that contained thirty one large glass cabinets filled with various objects covered with diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other precious stones.  There were Royal Crowns, brooches, rings, china vases, ornaments and on and on and on.  There was a globe that was covered with diamonds, rubies and emeralds.  It was a most magnificent display of grandeur and majestic beauty that I had ever seen.  We were told that the Crown Jewels in the cabinets still belonged to the Royal Family but the government had confiscated the rest. 

      In India we had seen treasures, jewels and gold but here, in the vault the crown jewels we saw were even more overwhelming.  The sight of so many jewels reminded me of sand on a beach because there were so many.  So much richness not being used for good compared to what we’d seen of so many beggars and children starving on the streets made me sad.   

      After touring we returned to the hotel and met with our guide to make arrangements to travel into Iraq.  We each needed to provide proper papers and pay fees to obtain a visa before we could enter into the country.  That done Edith and I returned to our room to prepare for dinner. 

      Dinner was very nice and I enjoyed talking with the rest of our group over the meal.  We all felt good that we finally had our visas to go into Iraq and we were excited to see what that country had to offer tomorrow.  The food was tasty and I tried some new dishes like humus which I found was surprisingly good.  After dinner Edith and I bid good night to the rest and returned to our room to catch up our correspondence, wash out some clothes, get ready for our trip in the morning and, of course, bathe.  While I waited for Edith to finish her bath I wrote a quick letter to Ramona: 

November 21, 1961 – Teheran, Iran

Dear Ramona; 

     Well Teheran is a nice city.  I did not do any shopping here though as our tour lasted too long and now we will leave in the morning at 8:30am. 

     We saw a beautiful palace today and tell Janice now I can tell her what a Crystal Palace is like.  Then we saw the crown jewels; 31 cases of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls and gold – it hurt our eyes.  One diamond, the largest in the world, was square cut.  This was all in a vault.  We walked to the vault down a hall on a red Persian carpet and marble floors.  You can’t imagine such wealth as these countries have. 

     Oh that reminds me, please send me $500 instead of $300 to Italy.  I will remind you in each letter I write from now on.  I’m not sure which letter won’t go through.  Edith is broke and I am paying her expenses as well as my own.  She had doctor bills on account of her wrist.  Because she failed to have an x-ray within a week, the bone is crooked.  She will have to have surgery when she gets home.  Speaking of broken arms, how is David getting along with his?  I hope he doesn’t have trouble with his wrist.

     I have decided to cut out the Petra trip to see the Red City ruins.  It is a two day trip by car and will be hard.  I will stay in the Hilton Hotel in Jerusalem.  That will be Nov 30.  I find the bus and car trips are too hard for me especially the two day trips. 

     Everything is fine and we are having wonderful weather.  I took a picture of some school boys today.  I tried to get a picture of the little girls coming home from school.  They all wear black capes that cover their head and down to the feet.  All you see are the faces.  It is odd. 

     Well dear write often and tell me the news.  I love to hear from you.  Love Mother

     I put the letter in an envelope and sealed it so I could mail the letter in the morning.  I didn’t want to leave it open while I took a bath incase Edith tried to sneak a peek at the letter and copy it like she had done others.  After my bath I felt relaxed and I was really ready to sleep.  When I found the bed was comfortable I was glad and drifted off quickly.

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