After enjoying a lot of delicious street food, Leo’s Rabbit was ready for Iranian fine dinning and he chose to experience it at the beautiful 4-star Dad Hotel located in the centre of an ancient city of Yazd. This stately Moorish building with a brick façade dates back to 1928 when it was founded by Haj Abdolkhaalegh Dad and for over 80 years served as inn and transportation establishment. It was fully renovated and re-opened as a hotel in 2007. Now it is regarded as the best hotel in the city.
The 54 of its spacious rooms are set around a grand central courtyard with a lovely garden in the middle. Rabbit enjoyed the spectacular view from the top of the stairs overlooking the courtyard.
The restaurant was pristine and the food, served by very polite and friendly staff, excellent. As you already know (that is, if you are one of the two regular readers of Rabbit’s blog ;-) ), our small Rabbit has a big appetite so he had three-course meal for two and left very content and satisfied. He didn’t spend all his carrot money as his massive meal was only about £20!
The exploration of the Grand Bazaar was a big task for a small Rabbit. This old historical bazaar in Tehran is a maze of several corridors, over 10 kilometres in length, each specialising in different types of goods. Leo’s Rabbit got lost (at times also literally) in the bazaar’s alleys bursting with goods, noisy shopkeepers and a massive crowd of shoppers.
Most lanes specialise in a particular commodity: copper, paper, gold, spices, nuts, clothes, porcelain, carpets, and almost anything you can possibly imagine. Rabbit loved a variety of colourful goods, exotic spices, nuts, beautiful fabrics, unique jewellery and handicraft. He had a little laugh when he noticed a lane of stores selling fake designer labels (literally labels, not clothes!) and a fake Apple watch that doesn’t perform any functions, but is supposed to look like a real deal :-)
There are also few reputable restaurants and street food shops within the bazaar, as well as guesthouses, banks and the impressive Imam Khomeini Mosque. Leo’s Rabbit enjoyed a lovely kebab sandwich bursting with organic vegetables, and freshly made pistachio milkshake (well… actually three of them!). Rabbit loved it; it was most delicious and invigorating beverage he ever tried (he thought that on his next trip to America, he should speak to Mr Kevin Johnson to introduce pistachio Frappuccino at Starbucks) ;-)
At some point the crowd in the bazaar was really dense, with motorbikes and trolleys promptly manoeuvring between people, and our little Rabbit was a bit frightened from being run over by a piece of fast-moving haulage equipment. Thankfully he found safety in PapaMus’s pocket. Overloaded trolleys pulled by manpower are the main means of transportation of goods within the bazaar. Being a ‘trolley driver’ is a proper job, and every trolley is officially registered and has its own number plate. Rabbit thought that being a ‘trolley driver’ in the bazaar is a very hard physical work and he felt much respect for people of this profession.
Leo’s Rabbit likes people of Iran and they did not disappoint him during his visit in the bazaar. He was once again blown away by their hospitality and kindness. Everyone he approached received him with friendliness, helpfulness and real joy. He was given a cup of tea, offered a ride with one of the trolleys and people were taking photos with him. He felt like a one Very Important Rabbit (VIR) indeed!
After hours of wandering the labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys, Leo’s Rabbit left the bazaar very content, with full belly carrying bags of fresh herbs, nuts, spices and a newly acquired carrot sharpener (Yes! He found one!).
‘The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.’
Leo’s Rabbit just finished reading Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. He read it for the first time few years ago, but this is one of those books that inspire and energise him, so he likes coming back to it again, and again. He regards it an astounding masterpiece with an incisive, honest and beautifully told story, and the best book he has ever read so far (although he is just a little Rabbit, he is a big reader and he went through a lot of books in his lifetime).
Isaacson’s book is a biography of Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple, a complicated, obsessive, charming, peculiar personality, and a passionate visionary whose dream was to ‘put a dent in the universe’. And he did.
The book is written with a great attention to detail and offers an unbiased portrait of a flawed genius. Jobs could be charming and lovable, but also crude, unforgiving, hurtful and maddening. His out-sized personality was captured by the author with a brutal honesty. It’s certainly not one of these ‘sugar-coated’ tales about a successful entrepreneur. It’s an intelligent and captivating story of a complicated man who wasn’t perfect; a man driven by his desire and passion to create ‘insanely great products’ that make life more magical. And the magic happened for Rabbit, so it did for billions of Apple, Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, App Store and iCloud users.
Leo’s Rabbit bought his first MacBook Pro just over 10 years ago and he never looked back. He loves the feel, quality and simplicity of beautifully crafted Apple products and he is willing to pay a premium price to be part of Apple culture that embraces creativity, diversity and thinking ‘outside the box’.
Apple’s clear core values present in company’s every action and communication, integrity and emotional appeal made it undeniably one of the strongest and most admired brands in the world. In his book Isaacson offers a compelling study of Apple’s success and an inspiring business account of the events leading to it.
Even if you are not an Apple fan and you have no interest in Steve Jobs’ life, the book is still worth reading as it’s also a fascinating and richly entertaining history of the most exciting time in the information age and the birth of our modern digital world.
All in all, this is an outstanding book and Rabbit cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s an epic biography and superbly told history of digital age. ‘Essential reading, better than a million carrots’, says Rabbit :-)
Tehran with its metropolitan area is home to 23 million people, and a large number of feral cats. There are no official statistics available but just during a half-an hour city walk, you a likely to encounter 20 or more street cats; the number doubles in the parks and green areas. In the city infested with rats, cats are welcomed animals as they keep the population of rodents in check.
Most Iranians don’t keep pets at home, but many shopkeepers and cat enthusiasts tame stray cats and feed them regularly. Leo’s Rabbit loves and admires his fluffy, furry friends (don’t forget that his family pet is a cat called Whiskey), so he grabbed couple of chicken breasts from the fridge (don’t tell MamaMus!) and embarked on a journey to a nearby Laleh Park, where he could feed the cats. He encountered a variety of beautiful, good and poorly looking, animals, all sort of breeds and fur colours, and he was happy to watch them eat. He captured some of them in his photographs.
Leo's Rabbit 'lives' in my handbag and he travels with us everywhere we go. He has pictures taken at various locations, tourist attractions and places we visit. As a part of this blog we will describe Leo's Rabbit Travels to share our personal experiences from these visits. Hopefully couple of people (apart from us :-) ) will find it interesting and may even feel encouraged to visit one of Rabbit's destinations.