Blogs from North, Iran, Middle East


Middle East » Iran » North June 3rd 2019

Noc v pohode. Zbieham dole k parkovisku kde v obchodiku kupujem neaky proviant na ranajky. Odtial smer vodopad. Podla mapy mam ist po ceste pre auta, no znacenie ma taha do kopca. Sledujem 3domacich. Nakonec k hlavnemu vodopadu nejdem ale slapem do kopca. Podla mapy idem smer neake vrcholy, sledujem furt chalanov. Dostavam sa na plosinku, kde pod stromami je par stanov Stupanie pokracuje, oproti mne ide familia. Klasika, nik tu nezdravi. Chalani si davaju pauzu, cul je to len na mne. Ale idem stale vo vyslapanej cesticke. Pekny vyhlad na dedinku na jednej strane a vysoke hory na druhej. I tu je na niektorych este trocha snehu. Obcas stretnem i dake kravy, ci pasucich sa konov. Rozcestnik, mapa vravi vpravo, preslapana cesticka vlavo. Idem vlavo, v kopci domcek a okolo neake plodiny. Pokracujem po fajn ... read more

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran June 1st 2019

Budicek dost neskoro, kym som sa vymotal 1000 prec. Takze 12hod (podla cs) tura na kolakchal (3340m) nebude. Nasadam na modre metro, prestup na cervene a vyskocenie na konecnej tajrish. Vo vagonoch predajcovia blbovin, neskor aj hudobnici. Metro dost vytazene. Listok som si kupil v pokladni. Dostal som papierik s qr kodom, ten som prilozil k citacke, dvere sa otvorili a uz som bol dnu. Vacsina ludi mala nabijatelne karty. Na konecnej nekonecny vystup na povrh. Ked som myslel, ze uz som tam, prisiel dalsi eskalator. Na vystupe listok nebolo treba pipat avsak kartu hej. Na povrchu kopa obchodov, trznica a kvanta ludi. V pekarni kupujem nieco na cestu. Tu ma bezocivo predbehla jedna zenska, pri kupovani listka taktiez. Iranci su dobre oprskli teda. Jebnuty za volantom aj pri stati v rade. Problem najst niekde vodu. ... read more

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
Emarat-e Badgir
Tabiat Bridge

Middle East » Iran » North » Rasht September 20th 2018

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 ... read more
Tehran - Golestan Palace
Tehran - Golestan Palace
Tehran - Golestan Palace

Middle East » Iran » North » Tabriz November 19th 2017

Saturday. Another day another castle! Some of our group decided that a day exploring Tabriz would be fun, the rest of us headed for the hills to see Babak castle. This remote site on a crag was three hours from Tabriz by bus then about 20 minutes in ancient four wheel drive jeeps followed by a 40 min walk. Not as strenuous as we thought it might be but the final steps up and across the cliff felt exposed to the drop. The views were worth it when we reached the top. After a good bumble about and picnic snacks we headed back the way we had come. Back in Tabriz we all went out for dinner, a good 40 minute walk away from the hotel - sadly the restaurant recommended in both the guidebooks had ... read more
Spice section in the Tabriz bazaar
Takht e Soleyman
Avicenna in Hamedan

Middle East » Iran » North » Tabriz November 18th 2017

Tuesday. To Qazvin via Alamut Looking back I can’t work out whether I enjoyed this day. We spent quite some time getting out of Tehran and driving to the outskirts of Qazvin where we changed to a smaller bus to tackle the mountain roads. One of the odd, but nerdily interesting, events was realising, when the driver filled up, that petrol/diesel costs about 6p a litre (compared to around £1.20 in London). Our objective for the day was the Assassin sect’s castle of Alamut. Three hours or so from leaving the motorway we arrived at the foot of an outcrop which seemed to be crowned with scaffolding and corrugated iron….the castle. The surrounding countryside was either bleached by the summer into a pale brown dustiness or covered in trees that were turning beautiful shades of gold ... read more
autumn colours near Alamut
Most of the gang at Alamut

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 » Mazandaran August 8th 2017

Mazandaran, or Tabarestan in old Persian, was the last Persian stronghold to be conquered by the Arab armies who brought Islam to Iran. Unlike the rest of the Iranian Plateau, the residents of Mazandaran were able to defend their land from Arab invaders for centuries thanks to the natural barriers of mountains and a resilient population known for being warriors. The ancient religion of Persia "Zoroastrianism" was able to hold a majority in the region until the 12th century while the rest of Persia fell quickly to Islam in the 7th century. Mazandaran has many beautiful sites. Within mainland Iran, this area is called "shomal" which literally translates to "north". Many Persians today consider it the most beautiful region of Iran. It's a great area for adventure seekers with lots of jungles, mountains, and of course ... read more

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