While my travel compagnions went straight back to Tehran for the start of their new term the next day, I opted to spend two days in Esfahan before heading back. After all the hosting in the past two weeks I was happy to pay for my accommodation and be in command of my own time again. While driving into town I noticed that Esfahan has a community bycicle lending programme, so I spend a very pleasant day cycling around.

Imam Khomeini square with surrounding handycraft shops and mosques.
Inside the Ali Qapu Palace.
Swimming is forbidden! But apparently the river flow had been diverted and is used for irrigation somewhere else.
I splurged on a 'Royal - VIP' overnight bus to get to Esfahan. Very comfy seats; I actually managed to sleep a bit.
The main North-South street through Esfahan, which is home to the only dedicated bike path.
Bycicles are a common sight; as are the little motorbikes on the right which can easily accommodate a family of four. Bikes with an engine bigger than 150 cc are rarely seen as they need a special permit and may only be driven in a specific 3 hour timeslot once per week...!