On the way to Ardabil

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I arrived in Ardabil around 3 PM on October 23, 2013. I checked into Sabalan Hotel and went to the restaurant and it was closed. It turns out that most restaurants in town close after lunch and open at 6:00 for dinner. So, I ate an apple and went on to explore the city. First, this is a very clean city unlike most that I have visited so far. Second, Ardabilies speak Azari which I do not speak or understand. The first place I visited was the old Bazaar which is more than 400 years old. I literally got lost in it and couldn’t care less. It is gorgeous. Bazaaries were real nice to me. One old shop keeper asked me to go in his small shop and talk politics and drink tea. Of course, I obliged and had a great time listening to him. After a few cups, I went on to other wings of the Bazaar and talked to few other shop keepers and shoppers. I found them very kind, warm, and engaging. Naturally, I mostly listened. A pastry shop keeper allowed me to take his picture and gave me free pastries which I gladly accepted and ate them on the spot. Everyone that I met in this city was very nice and kind to me and I will forever remember the warm reception that I experienced in this historic city on the Silk Road.

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