Blogs from Tehran, North, Iran, Middle East - page 4


Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 26th 2014

Sleep in - 5am, it's nice and quiet. By comparison, at 7am the breakfast room is not. I have to sit at the table under the cups- it's a dangerous spot, significant risk of falling china. Enjoy my last Golestan breaky and make my plan to visit the park and Golestan Palace (Take 2). The park is only about 800m away- I get there successfully! Park e-Shahr is an exciting little green oasis amongst the busyness of Tehran. There are a few different entrances- I came in by the Si Tir St one. The first thing I see is the central fountains and long rectangular pool, there are benches all around and there are a lot of Tehran's elderly male population relaxing. The next standout feature is about 8 birdcages holding parakeets, pheasants, pigeons, flamingoes, geese, ... read more
Park e Shahr
Park e Shahr
Park e Shahr

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 25th 2014

Wake up at 4. Altitude? Eventually get up and am ready to go when Amir knocks on the door at 0530. Breakfast is an instant coffee and a tomato and cheese omelette- it looks like blended scrambled eggs. Looking down the mountain there are a steady stream of hikers coming up. It's now the weekend in Iran (Thursday, Friday) and Amir says many do it as a day hike getting maximum weekend benefit. We head off as the sun is already coming up. The view is already and it's quite a pleasant temperature, warm enough for a shirt with a base layer singlet. The path is quite Nepal-esque ( my word), it is primarily dirt and rocks and low brown vegetation. There are only dried flower heads to be seen, no little blue flowers anywhere. It ... read more
Beginning of Tochal Climb
Trekker Gear with Headscarf
Stone Tower +1

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 24th 2014

Spend the morning having breakfast then getting ready for the start of my trekking programme. The next 2 days are acclimatisation days and we are going to climb Mt Tochal at 4000m. My guide is going to meet me in the lobby at 1100. So, pack, unpack, repack... Seems heavy for just 1 night. Back down to the lobby to pay; USD $88, they have a room tomorrow if I need it- $31 with shared bathroom. Amir arrives and goes through my gear- get rid of a couple of things- 1 top, 1 cardi, 1 pr Merrells- all the stuff you'd change into post trek to eat and sit around- doesn't look like this is how it's done here- no problem, less weight. He then rejects my trekking shoes- not good enough! No ankle support. I ... read more
Think I'm in the right place
Easy way up
Terrain on way up to Shirpala Mountain Camp

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 23rd 2014

Arrived last night, headscarf and modest mid thigh length top firmly in place. Cleared immigration after a prolonged line up in the Foreigners queue. I had chosen to pre-apply for my visa from Canberra rather than risk the VOA, so it was a very smooth process and then "Welcome to Iran". I had a taxi driver waiting for me so after changing some AUD from the booth upstairs and getting a SIM card from the booth downstairs we were speeding (like really speeding- 140 km/hr) off to the Golestan Hotel ($44/night for twin share inc own bathroom, wifi and breakfast- they didn't have any single rooms $27/night). The hotel is located on an office furniture street, it has a street front door that leads into a glitzy little reception area complete with fish tank, flags ... read more
My bathroom
Building - many styles

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 22nd 2014

With no trepidation whatsoever I think that I am finally ready for this journey that has been a very long time in the planning. Pretty much since the Nepal trip last year I have been shaping this one. I think I would have just as happily gone back to Nepal to explore a new region but felt I should try to break, or at least dampen, my "addiction" to the country that has unleashed a different part of me. Iran has been on my list for some years. In 1994 I read the book, "Nine Parts Desire" by Geraldine Brooks, the book is an examination of women from different parts of the middle east in order to try to understand what shapes them and their role in society. It was intriguing and it sparked my interest. ... read more
The assorted packing solutions!
All set

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran » Tehran May 28th 2014

My first day in Iran with my parents, aunt and cousin.... read more

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran May 27th 2014

23rd May The train came to a shuddering halt at a station around 05:30 which pulled me from my sleep. Dozing until each station wasn't a viable option and I gave up around 8am. Looking across to Steph and Quinn, they had found the bizarre but inventive 'cappuccino in a can' which was self heating. They followed the instructions while everyone else stood around, fascinated. It was definitely hot and for the price, I think they wished they'd bought more. We arrived in Astana not long before 9am and were met by taxi drivers ready to whisk our luggage into their cars and be on their way. But Suse needed to get across that we wanted to go to Customs, not the border and to do that she rang the apartment owner in Baku to translate. ... read more
Signs are conveniently written in english as well
A ridiculous amount of ice cream for a ridiculously low price
Welcome to Tehran!

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran » Tehran May 19th 2014

Darband was formerly a village close to Tajrish, Shemiran, and is now a neighbourhood inside Tehran's city limits. It is the beginning of a very popular hiking trail into the Alborz mountain Tochal, which towers over Tehran. A chair liftis also available for those not interested in hiking. To be far away from the center of this crowded commercial city, Darband is such a good experience for those tourists who prefer the nature rather than shopping or visiting touristy places in heart of the Capital city. The initial start of the trail at Darband is about 250 metres long and is dotted with a n... read more
A water bed
A restaurant

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran May 10th 2014

Today was sadly our last day in Iran and was supposed to be a fairly dull day. Wake up, eat breakfast, drive to the airport late at night and board the plane. However, Ali and Hojat were kind enough to offer to take us into Tehran to spend the day. One last Iranian experience. We started the morning with a quick stop at Barg-e Fin (Fin Garden), one of Iran's most beautiful Persian style gardens. Of course, this was our 100th garden for the trip, so we prepared to be slightly underwhelmed. It did turn out to be a very pretty garden though, and to top it off, it had a great story of Amir Kabir. He was a well-loved chancellor that got a bit too much love from the people. The jealous Nasir od-Din, the ... read more
Barg-e Fin (Fin Garden)
Barg-e Fin (Fin Garden)
Rose water distiller

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran » Tehran May 1st 2014

Nobody goes to Iran for a holiday, and particularly nobody takes their young kids with them on that holiday. Or so my colleagues had disapprovingly told me when I broke the news we were off on our next adventure. As did the lady at the Iran embassy that had been processing my visa. Well then, we were going to make history and show the world just how doable traveling around Iran is. And then revel in rubbing our awesome photos and kebab-filled bellies in their proverbial noses. The trip into Tehran was uneventful and we got our first dose of Northern Iranian scenery. You don't think about snow when you think about Iran, but the first thing you see as you pull out of the airport are the imposing Alborg mountains - Mt. Kilimanjaro-esque monolithic blobs ... read more
Tehran Bazaar
Inside a traditional tea house
Kebabs everywhere

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