Layover in Doha
After the difficulties with the checking the previous day in Zurich I was hoping that the rest of my trip would go smooth. And actually when I boarded the plane, more than 50% of the seats were not occupied so I could choose my favorite seat in the economy class: in the first row with additional legroom and a window. However when we were approaching Doha for the layover, the night sky was beautifully illuminated by countless thunderstorms over the Persian Gulf. While this nature spectacle was nice to watch, it also delayed our landing by 20 minutes. This does not sound too bad, but if the original layover time was only 55 min (officially suggested by Qatar Airways), then it got tight. And after running through half the airport and an additional security check I made it with the last call into the aircraft.
Flight to Shiraz
The thunderstorms were still active over the Persian Gulf, so the flight that should have taken less than an hour had an additional delay of 45 minutes. I did not mind so much however because I know I will arrive at the final destination eventually. Once landed in Shiraz, I made my way quickly through the immigration and was hoping to retrieve my two boxes quickly and assemble the bike. However, it turned out that the layover time in Doha was two short, no boxes arrived. However, I was not alone, a whole travel group from Switzerland were also missing their luggage. The unfortunate point is, the next flight only arrives in 2 days, this means wearing the same clothes for 3 days in total.
Sightseeing in Shiraz
With just my hand luggage in my hand, which consisted mainly of my electronic equipment and the travel documents, I met Lucie, my bike partner for the next three months. She already organized accommodation with some locals, and I was glad that I could simply drop off my luggage at their place and go sightseeing afterwards.
The historical center of Shiraz is really beautiful, especially the mosques and the famous bazaars, where you can choose between hundreds if not thousands of small vendors for carpets, sweets, clothes, and other traditional goods. However, the bazaar was also very crowded, so we were glad to visit the famous and impressive Shahcheragh Holy Shrine, the Vakil Mosque as well as other well-known historical sites. Our hosts Masoud and Zahra accompanied us the whole day and their support was priceless as only the minority of the people in the streets speak reasonable English.
After a day full of impressions, I finally get my well-deserved sleep to catch up from the last night during which I basically did not sleep at all.