The only geopark in the Middle East which is a designated UNESCO Global geopark is located in Qeshm, the Persian Gulf’s largest island. We were lucky to have an invitation extended to the Gilgamesh Magazine research team to have a visit, so a curious group of us comprised of researcher, photographer, and sketcher grabbed at this great opportunity and went to have a detailed look for ourselves. Shortly after leaving the local airport, we felt that we had landed on another planet or had travelled back in time to a previous geological period. The road we were driving on was surrounded on both sides by gigantic and amazing rock formations or more descriptive – nature-made statues! This dolphin-shaped island has many surprises that attract tourists, especially in autumn and winter. As we continued on the road, the turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf appeared alongside sparkling gold and reflecting the sun’s rays. This combination displayed an unforgettable shade of blue. When I asked about the umbrella-shaped trees along the road, our warm and friendly driver, Mr Baghai, said their name was cineraria which together with thorn mimosa, are the main plants of the island.
After having a pleasant meeting with the Manager of the geopark, Mr Mohsenpour, and taking a short rest, Mr Baghai took us to our first destination. As the sun was setting, we approached one of the Portuguese castles by the Persian Gulf. We walked along the walls of the castle and witnessed the sun slowly melting into the palm trees by the beach. The red reflection of the sun on the water was quite a spiritual experience where we felt absolute peace.
This square-shaped castle’s architecture was inspired by the Sassanid era. The purpose of this particular one was mostly to store ammunition. From the catapults and canons used in the past, only a few of the canons remain. During the Safavid era, the Portuguese invaders were defeated by Imam-Quli Khan, the Governor of Fars province.
After exploring the castle, we left to check out Qeshm’s vibrant night life.
The rest of this article is published in the 3rd number of Gilgamesh international edition