Blogs from Tehran, North, Iran, Middle East

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Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran January 6th 2019

My time in Iran wasn't quite over yet. Indeed I was on my way home but after worrying ever so slightly about getting to Shiraz International Airport on time, navigating the poorly-signed said airport, catching two a hour flight and arriving at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, I still had about ten hours to kill in the capital before catching my (two) flight(s) back to Berlin. I had missed out on seeing the Treasury of National Jewels when I was in Tehran last and knowing the very short opening hours it had, I headed straight there from the city's domestic airport. Travelling super-light made this a feasible proposition! Locked in a steel vault of metre-thick walls inside the Central Bank Of Iran, are the Iranian crown jewels, a breathtaking collection of precious gems and jewel-encrusted objects that were ... read more
Streets Of Tehran #1
US Den Of Espionage
Exhibits At The Iranian Artists House

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran December 24th 2018

Twenty years ago, if someone had told me that I'd one day be going to Iran, I would never have believed it. In fact even now I was met with raised eyebrows when I told friends and colleagues of my holiday plans. Requiring a deal with major world powers to curb nuclear ambitions, being a conservative Islamic republic and having recently and arbitrarily detained foreign nationals, the country gets a bit of a bad rap in Western media but even taking this into account, I was still slightly concerned about what might happen to me while over there. But then on the other hand, I had heard of many tourists who had been there and I had never heard anyone say a single bad word about it; only that the food was amazing, the architecture beautiful ... read more
Darband
Emarat-e Badgir
Tabiat Bridge

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran November 14th 2017

Preamble: I can’t really remember when the idea of visiting Iran first made its way into my head. It might have been over ten years ago when I bought a book on Islamic architecture and gazed at photographs of amazing tilework at mosques in Esfahan. In late 2016 we started thinking of where to go for our next sabbatical and Iran had by then made it to the shortlist. When we started looking at the practicalities we realised that this wasn’t as simple as buying a plane ticket and making it up from there. Politics raised its inconvenient head and as Brits we needed to go on an organised trip. Finding that a visa would cost £165 meant that we wanted a trip that would last a few weeks and found the Explore “Iran in depth” ... read more
Tehran from 12th floor hotel balcony
National Museum
Bowl in museum

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran October 10th 2017

What a thrill to fly from cool autumnal Britain, overnight from Heathrow and arrive at Imam Khomeini International Airport to a cool clear dawn in Tehran. Many of our family and friends were incredulous at our choice of this latest Wandering destination - we are hoping over the next couple of weeks to show what an inspired choice it was!! We are travelling on a Wild Frontiers small group tour, commencing in Tehran and then travelling south through the central and eastern deserts to Yazd, Shiraz and Persepolis and subsequently heading back north through the mountain ranges to the amazing Silk Road city of Esfahan. Tehran is a sprawling metropolis, suffering with dreadful traffic congestion, but the slow moving traffic does allow one to cross the busy roads dodging between slow moving traffic! Between the modern ... read more
Saffron in the Bazaar - Tehran
Mosque - Tehran
Tile decoration Jama ‘Friday’ Mosque - Yazd

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran March 13th 2017

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.– Sa’adi Uneventful six-hour bus ride to Tehran. Arrived late afternoon and took a long taxi drive to the Markazi Hotel in central Tehran – fine rooms but an uninspired breakfast. One of the first things we noticed about the city, in addition to its size and the traffic, was the way that shops were set up in different parts of town by specialty, like a gigantic bazaar, with shop after shop selling similar items. We were staying the in the indoor lighting area ourselves. We were within walking distance to many of the sights – brave souls! – and thus didn’t have an opportunity to take the metro, reportedly very busy at all hours. We were also fortunate to have some good cafes in the area, and ... read more
National Archeological Museum
National Archeological Museum
National Archeological Museum

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran November 22nd 2016

Our flight to Tehran was delayed by nearly 2 hours which meant we didn’t arrive at the hotel until nearly 10pm. It was cold and raining and as we drove it turned to light snow. An hour after we arrived everywhere was blanketed. The last day in Tehran was taken up by Marie doing some work, Emma went shopping at the bazaar. Most people would bring home some handicrafts as a souvenir, or maybe a rug. Oh no not us we have 6 Iranian kebab skewers (which are not small) for the bargain price of about NZ$3. Ironically since work was paying we stayed in what should have been by far the best hotel but was by far the worst; rude service, appalling food and rubbish internet. Completely un-Iranian. You wonder when you’re here in Iran ... read more
IMG_1760

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran November 9th 2016

Leaving Uzbekistan was straightforward, we had to queue to go through 4 sets of security/immigration checks but that was about as exciting as it got. 3.5hrs later we were in Dubai to the news that Trump is the next US President. We focussed on the important things in life like getting more hand sanitizer, soap and shampoo. We think it was helpful having an Iranian visa (instead of doing a VOA) as we got questioned before they'd let us on either flight about visas. We flew through Iranian immigration with a barely a glance, just a straight stamp in. The bags turned up pretty efficiently given the shabbiness of the airport. We changed a few dollars to get a bit of local currency and then caught a taxi to a hotel we'd emailed and booked the ... read more

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 17th 2016

La mer Capsienne, c’est autour de cette dernière que nous avons voyagé ce dernier mois. Nous quittons le Kazakhstan pour rejoindre le Caucase et transiter par l’Azerbaïdjan pour quelques jours. L’objectif est maintenant l’Iran. Pays si convoité depuis des millénaires et si souillé à l’heure d’aujourd'hui par toutes nos politiques respectives. En logeant chez l’habitant pendant un mois, nous avons pu découvrir de l’intérieur ce que voulait dire "être Perse”. Loin des clichés fanatiques et moyenâgeux que nous enseigne notre société, nous sommes tombés nez à nez avec la douceur, la générosité et l’amour d’un peuple emprisonné dans son propre pays. Une découverte déroutante remettant en question - encore après 10 mois de voyages - toutes les idées préconçues que nous pouvons avoir sur notre monde. De nouvelles merveilleuses amitiés, d... read more
CouchSurfing 2
Chaloos Family
Strangers Team

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 7th 2016

TEHRAN REST DAY 2. 7 September, 2016. Blue Sky 30c Today was an easy day. Wandered down to the US Embassy, which was overrun in the Islamic Revolution in 1979, led by A. Khomeini. Murals on the surrounding walls now proclaim peace. The US is known as the "GREAT EVIL". Makes up for the Americans calling the clerics, "The Mad Mullahs". Afterwards wandered down to a great bakery producing Iranian sweet delicacies, as often is the case, they looked better than they tasted. Took them to a pleasant coffee shop where I consumed all. Then found a shop where I purchased an elaborate Backgammon board, made in the famed city of Estafan to the south of Tehran. Just need to find somewhere to display it, and learn to play !! Tomorrow we bus out of Tehran ... read more
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Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 6th 2016

LAKE CAMP to SEMNAN 3 September, 2016. Stage 90 75 Kms SubT. Kms 1780kms. Road Condition: Good Weather: All seasons. brutal head and cross winds remainder of day, BLUE SKY HOT 33 max. Time in Saddle: Av Speed: av. kph. Av Cadence. RpmElevation: 1650m up; m downCalories burned : > 5500. Last night the winds blew hard. All night the tent flapped despite everything being zipped. Then it rained. On the sharp rocky desert floors where we are camping my tent has developed a small hole, fingernail size. It let in the water despite sitting on a ground sheet. My bedroll then became wet. A joy. Woke with a bad headache! Departed at 6.00, arrived at lunch at 11.30, totally depleted. So stopped and rode the truck from lunch to a hotel, surprise surprise. Wasn't hungry ... read more
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