Blogs from 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 » South » Shiraz January 4th 2019

Just like the irony of there being no beef madras in Madras, there is no shiraz to be found in Shiraz. A place that once produced some of the finest wine in the world, Iran's 300 pre-revolution wineries have now been reduced to zero. We are in the Islamic Republic after all and as such, there is not a drop of alcohol to be (legally) found in the country, outside of the small Iranian Christian communities that live here. Not that this should put anyone off visiting Shiraz, of course - my next destination has many a sight worth seeing. Oh, does it just. Now when I think about every place I have been in on New Year's Day over the years, the list is a microcosm of all my travels; London, Dubai, Berlin (twice), url=../../Africa/Egypt/Lower ... read more
Persepolis
Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh, Shiraz
Pink Mosque, Shiraz

Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd December 31st 2018

It was supposed to be so easy. Have the hostel book me a taxi to the bus station, buy a ticket to Yazd at the station, get on the bus. The first part went according to plan apart from my driver not being able to change a 500,000 rial note, so he asked some fellow taxi drivers if they could help him. One guy with very light eyes and who could easily have passed for being Spanish or Greek was able to give my driver change. He asks me where I am going. “Yazd”, I tell him. He then tells me in very broken English that I was at the wrong station and that there wouldn’t be a bus leaving from here to Yazd for another three hours. He says I can get a bus leaving ... read more
Tunnel Alley
Amir Chakmaq Mosque Complex
Desert View From Chak Chak

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan December 29th 2018

It was a hectic scramble getting to the bus station and having arrived at the huge Terminal e-Jonub back in Tehran, I had no idea what was going on. All the signage was Persian-only which I cannot for the life of me decipher, so I just approached the man yelling “Esfahan, Esfahan!” who took me to the ticket office and put me on the bus. At least in China I could at least recognise characters, even if I didn’t know what they meant. I'm not sure if the bus was sticking to a timetable but I knew that buses left for Isfahan pretty frequently from here and would probably just leave when it had picked up enough passengers. While I was buying the ticket, I was pestered the whole way by some dude trying to tell ... read more
Pol-e Khaju
Kakh-e Ali Qapu
Inside The Masjed-e Sheik Lotfallah

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 » South » Kish Island November 13th 2018

In this blogpost we'll just share some personal reflections, our next blogpost will tell more about where we went, what we saw and did. "Iran .... we feel sad leaving you and your beautiful people behind, we hope all our so called 'leaders' will not screw up too much ..." It is with mixed feelings and thoughts that we have left Iran, after travelling through the country for 60 days. It has been quite an experience, a very real travelling experience I would say. Iran has left an enormous impression on us with all its nature, culture, history, food, beautiful buildings and of course people. We have found that we still learn new things, cultures and languages. We enjoy meeting new people and talking about the commonalities and differences in our lives. We love seeing new ... read more
Iranians are cool
Iranians are cool
Iranians are cool

Middle East » Iran » South » Kish Island November 13th 2018

We are writing this blog post from Amman, the capital of Jordan, thinking back to the last part of our journey through Iran, which remains a weird country if you think about the way the government and religious leaders don't respect internationally accepted human rights and laws. But these so called leaders are absolutely not representing the real country and its people as we discovered. We have fully embraced the people of Iran as they have embraced us with their friendliness, politeness and extreme hospitality. Iran truly is a fantastic travelling country. From Masshad we went to Qa'en and then to Birjand where we arranged a car and driver willing to bring us to Deh Salm a small oasis village in the middle of the desert. The journey itself was already worth it and we stopped ... read more
Desert castle
Desert castle
Desert castle

Middle East » Iran » East » Birjand October 19th 2018

This blog post has not just written itself and we found it hard to briefly describe our past month of travelling in Iran without using all the clichés, without sounding like a tourism promotion brochure and without sounding like we are all naive and don't see the more difficult side of the country and it is complex and difficult to understand politics. We simply love Iran and the Iranians. Travelling in Iran is an extremely positive experience. Iran has varied nature, a long interesting history, a beautiful distinct culture, architectural beauties and the most hospitable welcoming people of the world. The infrastructure and public transport is very good and comfortable, which makes travelling very easy and (currently with a very weak currency) very cheap. We have travelled from Tehran via the mountains of Qazvin and Alamut ... read more
Ramsar - Ashura ceremonie
Rasht - Kaleh Rudkhan
Rasht - Kaleh Rudkhan

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




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