Since 1976 when I first visited Turkey I have wanted to visit Iran – the Nation and Distant Horizons made it happen. My thanks to Lorraine the tour manager and scholar of comparative religion and to Ali the guide whose sea of stories made travel meaningful, and to all our travel companions. Seeing the abundant reminders of the sweep of history from Darius to Khomeini gave us perspective and the hope that our conflicts are only of the moment.

Persepolis’ ancient glory and Shiraz’ poets were high points, but there are many contenders. Geometric and floral decoration and the Persian gardens refreshed us in body and soul. The best surprise was the unfailing welcome offered by passers-by, who were so kind to greet us.