First impressions of Iran, just about everything is quite opposite to anything we thought it would be

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Middle East » Iran » North » Rasht
September 20th 2018
Published: September 20th 2018
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We have been in so many countries and places already during this trip where our main insight was that people are so incredibly friendly everywhere. Now again we have to admit that the people we meet are so much friendlier and welcoming to us than we would ever picture ourselves behave towards them in our own country. We experience hospitality taken to the ultimate level.

Although we try to learn the local language Farsi we have a serious language challenge with the majority of the people not speaking any English but this does not really hinder us nor them in social interactions. The Persians (as the Iranians are called) are truly wonderful people. We find them joyous, having fun, very social, curious and happy. They are the contrary of the fanatic angry somber or shy persons most of us might have as stereotypes in our minds. Even in the most chaotic traffic in Tehran the drivers are more patient and polite to each other than in many other countries, including our own.

They open their hearts, their homes, their families to us and invite us for tea, food or even to stay with them at their homes. We can hardly walk back along the road to our hotel without being offered a ride, and there is no expectation for anything in return. They must be the most unselfish people we know.

The people we meet are well informed via satellite television and the internet, not only about the rest of the world but they also know of the news we receive about their own country’s leaders and the bad image we have about actually anything in Iran. Until so far we only heard them disapprove with every single decision and action of their religious leaders and how tight their hands are bound to object or protest.

The religious leaders make it impossible for the basically democratic elected government and president (who are not part of the religious leadership) to really change things (by vetoing anything that touches their ideology). Especially the taxi drivers are very verbal about the religious leaders and they speak freely to us about the dictators that run their country (meaning the religious leaders), they even simply refuse to take them in their taxis, so the mullahs in Tehran have to find another way to get around.

We have only visited Tehran, Garmaroud in the Alamut Valley and now Ramsar at the Caspian Sea but already we have seen some parts of the beauty of the country, from beautiful mosques, palaces and bazars to huge mountain ranges.

Additional photos below
Photos: 55, Displayed: 23


Tehran - hip & modernTehran - hip & modern
Tehran - hip & modern

Sipping cocktails on a roof top terrace with 0% alcohol :-)
Tehran - hip & modernTehran - hip & modern
Tehran - hip & modern

Great VW food trucks
Tehran - Outside the former US embassyTehran - Outside the former US embassy
Tehran - Outside the former US embassy

The Iranians love and welcome all foreigners, including Americans, but they hate a lot of leaders and governments, including their own and clearly the US leaders.
Tehran- former US embassyTehran- former US embassy
Tehran- former US embassy

The US embassy was the base for a lot of cold war spying and secret rooms and vaults
Tehran - former US embassyTehran - former US embassy
Tehran - former US embassy

The US embassy was the base for a lot of cold war spying and secret rooms and vaults

Must be a famous guy
Tehran - DarbandTehran - Darband
Tehran - Darband

The whole valley is filled with restaurants on both sides built against the mountain

21st September 2018
Tehran - hip & modern

Good for you
Attempting the language is a good thing. I'm sure they appreciated the efforts. Thanks for taking us along.

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