Blogs from Iran, Middle East - page 3

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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

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan November 19th 2017

Wednesday 1 November We arrived in time to relax for a while before going out to start exploring this amazing city. For a start we walked down to the Se-o-e Pol (33 arch bridge), a fabulous sight and popular with tourists and locals alike. We realised that we were going to start seeing other European tourist groups for the first time. Luckily the city is big enough and the numbers small enough so that this is not a problem. After this some of us went to the Shahrzad restaurant and had possibly the best ever plate of lamb chops followed by a shared dish of the local speciality, khoresht-e mast (google it). At the end of the dinner the waiters plied us with local nougat (gaz). Thursday 2 November Esfahan A day of sightseeing in this ... read more
The 33 arch bridge in Esfahan
Women's mosque
Masjad e Imam

Middle East » Iran » South November 19th 2017

Sat 4 November Esfahan to Shiraz After a fairly straight forward, if long, drive we arrived in Shiraz in late afternoon. Another historic city with plenty to see - and we only touched the surface. Just enough afternoon daylight for us to walk to the formal gardens near the hotel; these were nice if quite simple and going into the autumn colours. We also visited the Tomb of Hafez as darkness fell. A nice spot and very popular with locals and tourists. We had dinner near the hotel - Susan managed to order a dish of liver, heart and kidney (she loved it), I had a koobiyeh (simple lamb kebab). Sunday was spent at Persepolis (see separate entry). In the evening we had a walk into town and ended up at the small friendly Café Naqashi ... read more
Masjed-e Nasir al-Molk
"the pink mosque"
Masjed-e Nasir al-Molk

Middle East » Iran » South » Persepolis November 19th 2017

I was oddly anxious about visiting Persepolis. I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of whether it would be a disappointment - had Alexander made such a thorough demolition job in 330BC that there would be nothing worth seeing. In retrospect I needn't have worried, there is plenty to see and it is still an impressive place. Vahid walked us around the main elements of the site - I think we were lucky that it wasn't blazing sunshine at this exposed place. Whilst the buildings are fragmentary there are lots of marvellous reliefs to look at. We then had free time to explore further - Susan went for tea, I went to see the rock cut tombs in the hillside above the site. Going up the hill gave the opportunity to look down over the ... read more
Persepolis - Approaching the platform
Persepolis
The Gate of All Nations

Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd November 19th 2017

Tuesday 7 November We left Shiraz to travel to Yazd. En route we stopped at the early Achaemenid ruins at Pasargardae. Not too far from Persepolis this was the city built by Cyrus the Great somewhat earlier. There isn't a vast amount to see at this spread out site - but enough to give an impression of what this could have been like 2,500 years ago. Slightly hard to imagine the gardens that were here in the desert but we saw the irrigation channels. We had a lunch break at a small town called Abarkuh - we saw a very impressive ice house here in the desert. The town also has an old Cypress tree and a tall wind tower... We arrived in Yazd as night fell, staying at the lovely Dad hotel, a converted caravanserai. ... read more
Pasargadae - Tomb of Cyrus
Tower of Silence
Eternal flame (since c470AD)

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
Alamut
autumn colours near Alamut
Most of the gang at Alamut




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