First impressions of Iran

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August 15th 2010
Published: August 16th 2010
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First impression of Iran - the people, they have been absolutely wonderful and very welcoming.

We crossed the border on Friday, August 13th and headed towards Kandovan where we did a homestay thing. Driving into the city/villiage was amazing, most people seemed to wave, or smile as the big Dragoman truck drove by.

The following day we stopped briefly in Zanjan to visit the bazaar and have a look around. We split off from the group and just wondered around. Sadly we only brought out our small camera to take a few photos. We found that so many people seemed excited for us to take their photo (quite different than many other countries we've travelled to). For example, we walked by a bakery and the guy making bread motioned for us to come in and take a photo of how they make their bread.

Another guy noticed that we seemed to be looking for a restaurant, pointed us in the right direction and made sure we got something to eat. Since it's Ramadan here, most restaurants and shops are closed during the day. The restaurants that are open are somewhat hidden behind sheets or have their windows covered in newspaper to be discreet.

Our next night we spent bush camping on a friendly farmer's land. Once we got set up, he and his family came by to chit-chat. Unfortuately it was pretty tough to communicate since we had only the lonely planet guide book that had limited Farsi/English translations. But we managed to get various messages across. They seemed excited to see some of the wedding photos we had on our netbook. It's too bad we didn't think to bring more photos from home to show people.

On a personal note, since entering into Iran I've had to wear a head scarf and long shirt/pants to cover up. It's been incredibly difficult and somewhat frustrating especially in the heat. But I figure, I can 'suffer' for the 2 weeks here while I'm in Iran, the women here have to live with it for their entire lives. It gives me a chance to see how it would feel.

We have found that both Facebook and CNN have been blocked by the Government. So for the next few weeks while we're in Iran we will rely on email and travelblog for communication.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Flat bread ovenFlat bread oven
Flat bread oven

The tasty flatbread is baked over hot pebbles in a big oven.
Flat breadFlat bread
Flat bread

Once the bread is baked they knock all the pebbles out and it leaves a neat texture.
Bush camp in farmers fieldBush camp in farmers field
Bush camp in farmers field

Jordan is in the background trying to communicate with the farmer using the limited phrases in the guide book. We're doing our best to learn some Farsi.
Indian RestaurantIndian Restaurant
Indian Restaurant

Date night in Tehran.
Our homestay in KandevanOur homestay in Kandevan
Our homestay in Kandevan

The most basic of accomodation, but only $4 for the night.

This was our entire dinner in Kandevan and it was well after 9pm due to Ramadan.

They didn't taste quite as good as they looked and smelled.

Powerful imagery painted on the walls of the former US embassy in Tehran. These are from 1979, but anti-american (government, not the people) sentiment is strong.

We travelled through this area of Iran the day after this happened. We had no idea until we saw this in Tehran.

17th August 2010

thanks for sharing
Thanks for sharing your experiences and have a wonderful time.
17th August 2010

It looks like you're having a great time. This is the first post I've read and it's so interesting. Stay safe and I'm sending you Love and Light.
18th August 2010

I love your blogs!! I don't really get to travel much, so I live it through your eyes! Awsome!!
20th August 2010

What a Wonderful Trip You've Made!
Hi guys! It seems to have been quite an experience. You've seen a lot and I'm happy you've liked Iran and its' people. Hope your story brings more people to the country to uncover its realities. All the best, Rahman Mehraby from: Destination Iran
23rd August 2010

Who are you kidding..... :)
They look great from here... where's the "after" picture? Loreen and I are really enjoying your blog and seeing that part of the world through your eye's. It's a bit of an eye opener. I think we have pre-disposed opinions at times and a front line look means a lot. Thanks and travel safely. Paul and Loreen, Calgary
7th September 2010

Hey guys, Just catching up with the blog, firstly i have to say you look spectacular in headdress kathie, although hopefully you don't have heat rash! You guys have covered a lot of ground and it looks wonderful, the pictures are fantastic and i love the blogs, thanks! Carla

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