Rayy Bazaar

I am in the Rayy Bazaar looking around, hearing so many things, and smelling lots of spices. It is hard to describe what I am smelling because there is to many different smells and all the noises are overwhelming for my ears.

A bazaar is a trading place on the Silk Road. I see that there is many people together. The Rayy Bazaar has plenty of stalls to trade goods. I see spices, textiles, grain, vegetables, fruit, animal hides, tools, artwork, precious stones, and more! I hear people haggling  in foreign tongues over trading goods.

My ears start to tingle from the noisy hoard of bargainers. My nose is loaded by the spices. It is all anyone can smell in this market place. I smell cinnamon, pepper, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. My senses are overwhelmed I haven’t touch any of the spices, but I imagine what they feel like. I can not taste anything because of my tight budget. I barely have enough for the next day. I leave the market dejected, because I was hoping to experience the Rayy Bazaar to the fullest. The next time I come I will have to be able to see it to the fullest. I am hoping I am able to earn money.


Dakhma/Tower of Silence

After almost an entire day travelling aboard my camel, I was almost to the city of Rayy. But just before I got there, a sight caught my eye. Amid the desert sand stood a dome-shaped structure. Sitting in between two poles, it was a beige color and about twice my height. I could see an archway a few feet past it. Confused, I tied my camel to one of the poles, intent on taking a closer look. I took a few steps forward, an I finally saw what this was the entrance to. There lay a small plateau, and at the top stood a cylindrical tower. The same color as the dome, poles, and archway, it appeared to have no top. Wondering what such a tower was doing in the middle of the desert, way outside any city limits, I started to climb up the stairs to the top.

The steps were mercifully shallow, likely made out of the same bricks as the entrance. They were lined with rocks on either side, like tiny walls that barely reached my ankles.

About two-thirds of the way up, my legs started to give out. I decided to take a break and sit down, admiring the view. The desert looked much more spectacular from above. Almost all conceivable hues of gold and tan and orange blended together amid the lights and shadows created by the radiant heat of the sun. Dunes, hills, and valleys stretched out as far as the eye could see, with little ripples woven into the sand by passing winds. Every once in a while a particularly strong breeze would come and sweep grains of sand into the air, dancing in the sunlight as they fell. I wiped the sweat off my forehead, with only curiosity and the water left in my canteen guiding me up.

When I was almost to the top, I could see that it was not one tower but five, with four outermost small ones and a larger central one. I also began to sense peculiar things. I heard the sound of desert vultures, as well as a crunching noise as if one was stepping on bones. And I smelled something so awful, so putrid, that it could only be rotting flesh. My running up the last few steps scared the birds away, but there was no mistaking what was right in front of me.This was a burial site.

I have never seen such a thing before. There appeared to be three sections: the outermost ring was composed of only male bodies, the middle females, and in the center lay young children. Mostly stripped of any meat, the remaining bones were here for who knows how long, as evidenced by their bleached appearance. Confused and disturbed, all I could do was stare.

As the horror of what i had just seen sank in, I hurried down the steps, trying to forget the scene I just witnessed. Before long I was halfway down. Then two-thirds, and soon after three-quarters. When I reached the bottom I ran as fast as I could through the sand, past the archway, and back to the pole to which I had tied my camel. Sweating, panting, I quickly untied the rope and got onto the camel’s back. I took a deep breath, and began to head once again towards Rayy.

Sights of the Shah-Abdol-Azim shrine

I have traveled many days & nights to see the famous Shah-Abdol-Azim shrine in Rayy we’re Shah-Abdol-Azim was intombed along with many other famous people. I came from the caspian sea & traveled over the mountains to come to Rayy. I stay in one of the local hotels that we’re scattered around the city. Rayy is mostly a muslim city. As I got closer I could see very intricate designs on it that was embroidered it gold looking stuff. The domes that we’re on top of it we’re amazing. Their we’re 2 small ones & one massive one. As we approached the tomb we started walking on a gravel path that was all around & lead to the Marble stairs in the shrine. I could hear many different noises around it but the loudest was the prayers. Their were also a lot of local people talking around the shrine. The shrine seemed to attract the local people’s around it.

I climbed the marble steps I finally took in on how big the interior was. I looked at the top of It & the roofs were shaped in Massive Domes colored turquoise & other lightish shades of Blue with Gold embroidered in it with a spiral design. Two tower that were just behind the main entrance that towered over the domes. There were very pretty designs inside on the ceiling & on the walls inside especially in this hall way that looked like a bunch of arches In a row that went in 4 ways. Attached to the ceiling we’re many crystal chandeliers that looked polished extremely well. There was also many different designs on the ceiling was we’re actually gold pieces attached to the top.  I spent many hours walking around looking at the designs & things all around the shrine. After I left the shrine i said to myself I would visit it again. It was on of the most beautiful places I had ever visited

The Golestan Palace

While traveling the Silk Road in the capital of Rayy, I meet a friend. It’s Joe, the salesman I went to school with. What a coincidence! He invites me to stay at his place for the night, and I accept. While at his place, he tells me about the city.

*The city really is beautiful”, Joe says. “In fact, the Khan just recently built a huge palace here. One of the most beautiful things I’ve even seen.”

“Really,” I say, “I should go and check it out tomorrow before leaving.”

“Great idea! You’re going to love it.”

After our conversation I go to the room I was staying in. While laying in bed I wonder, “What Is this place like? How many people live there? How big is it? Will I get to see the Khan?” These questions raced through my mind as I drifted to sleep.

The next morning I say my goodbyes to Joe and head over to where he said the palace was. It’s about a 15 minute ride, I get to see many other stores along the way. Finally, I start to see the palace. I stop my camel, and start walking over to it. I’m finally able to see the front of the building. The walkway leading up to the palace is made of long, stunning fountains. From afar, I can barely see the entrance of the building. The first thing that catches my attention are the large, wide arches that support the huge wooden windows above the entrance. The beautifully crafted concrete that makes up the arches meld well with the polished wood, which seems like oak, that makes up the various, intricate carved windows. The master craftsmanship shows through the various shapes carved through the concrete and marble making up the walls and pillars holding up the building.

Suddenly, a guard sees me staring at the building. I guess he was worried because I was from another land, for he yelled over to me, “Hey, what is your business here?”.

I was so mesmerized staring at the beauty of the building that I had not realized that I had walked at least 20 metres toward the building. “I walk backwards and respond, “Sorry, sir. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the palace. I was wondering if I could see the inside.”

The guard said, “Sorry sir, but I have strict orders from the Khan to not let anyone inside. Safety measures, you know.”

“Oh, I get it. Still can you tell me anything about the place?”, I ask.

“I myself don’t know much, but I do know of the Marble Throne.”

“Oh please, do tell!”

“Well, the room itself is pretty big, and has many arches of concrete and marble to support the building. The throne itself is entirely made of marble. It’s shape depicts many men, women, and even angels holding up a platform with a throne on it. This throne is where many important ceremonies are held, such as coronations, weddings, and many others…”

I take notes of the details of the throne that he tells me. The more he talks, the more it makes me want to see it myself.

“…and that’s all I know of the Palace.” He clears his throat, “I hope you are satisfied, I have to ask you to leave now. Good luck with your travels.”

“Oh, thank you for all you have told me! This was truly a wonderful experience.”

I started to walk away from the palace. I saddled up my camel and headed off towards my next stop. Along the way I took more notes of the palace and what the guard had told me, so that I could share the experience with my friends.


Welcome to our amazing travel blog! Here you will read about our breathtaking travels in Rayy, Iran, the ninth oldest city, but Rayy is in the Tehran province. Our travel group will write about our experiences, challenges, and history of the city as if we were there during the time of the Silk Road. We hope we don’t bore you to death.