This is 125kms west of Shiraz. Bradt says that the scenery is dramatic and to some extent it is. You drive on the side of one longish ‘mountain’ and see the valley below (including crashed vehicles), as well as the mountains on the other side.

Bishapur is a palace town complex dating from 266CE. According to an inscription, the city itself was founded in 266 by Shapur I (241-272), who was the second Sassanid king, restored the borders of the empire to where they had been in the Achaemenid Persian period, inflicting a triple defeat on the Romans. In his native province of Fars, he built a new capital that would measure up to his ambitions: Bishapur, Shapur's City.

To be honest there is not a very great deal left, the French having taken away the most impressive stuff to the Louvre. As you stand looking at the site you don’t actually see a lot. It’s only by walking around and looking down that you actually see the stone remains of rooms (not even entire buildings). Some paths have also been excavated. Apparently the site is much larger than what has been excavated.

Two buildings of note are the royal audience chamber (lots of columns which look obviously restored) and the Anahita temple. The latter has some accessible interior chambers, for which you need a torch and I did not have one. I went a little way in by taking pics with the flash on my digital camera to see what lay ahead, but after a few yards lost my bottle and headed back.

Apart from the main path access to the rest of the site is over thorny scrub, but there did not appear to be any creepy crawlies to worry about

Leaving the site I went to the river bank nearby to paddle, see more rock reliefs and shared a water melon with the driver for lunch. A couple of years previously my family had gone onto see the statue of Shapur which is in a cave, accessed by walking up a mountain. But I was too tired by this stage to do that and headed back to Shiraz.

All information provided in good faith, please check as appropriate before you travel (c) 2009