hiking camp backpack in iran
hiking camp backpack in iran
I couchsurfed on a regular basis there and probably due to that I didn’t meet even one foreigner at my whole stay. For the reason I had a great deal of time to question these questions I had about the nation since the truith is in Europe, we don’t know anything about this. Or just simply accept the simplest version – a land of terrorists and criminals. Before leaving Spain, I remember telling the folks what countries im going to visit and also the reaction when mentioning Iran, was always a similar : “Iran !? ! Why? Don’t go there ! Be cautious ! ”. But what I found, was just people like most of us, educated and curious about the remainder of the world, and incredibly nice towards the foreigners. One common thing was that each one the strategies hated the govt and really a couple of them saw a way from the current situation. No wonder a lot of the young, educated Iranians wish to emigrate (buying only one way ticket )… Sad but that’s the Iranian reality.
My only inconvenience was the dress code – it was eventually hot, and the undeniable fact that someone lets you know how you can dress, was much more annoying than the warmth.
And the shortage of ATMs… There will be lots of ATMs in cities in Iran but none the strategies accept foreign credit or debit cards, the only real option for those is that the cash. It was eventually quite frustrating cos i didn’t have much cash left. And I‘d been told that crossing the Armenian-Iranian border (the foremost beautiful border i’ve seen thus far, but It wasn’t allowed to bring photos there ), in the Armenian side there was an ATM but NOOOOO, no ATM there. So I needed to be very careful how I spend my money, especially visiting Turkmenistan afterwards where I knew I might come upon a similar problem.
But what I received there, was just hospitality and generosity that Europeans would never show to some stranger (unless they‘re “imported” Europeans ). I got that everywhere and from everyone – buses, trains, street, my hosts, their families and friends…. Towards the end from the bus journey from Yerevan to Tehran, the entire bus knew I‘d been from Bulgaria and that they all were so friendly and nice. Even in the border as my shirt wasn’t enough (apparently it needs to cover your ass and half the thighs a minimum of ) I‘d been given a suitable shirt by a pleasant family from my bus. Another girl gave me her scarf (she had a different one ) because mine was falling down on a regular basis. And everyone was giving me their phone numbers just in case I want outside assistance… So nice..
Another sad thing is it’s very hard to the Iranians to travel abroad. As inside the “Stans”, Georgia, Armenia is really a question of cash, many Iranians are able it but their visa applications get rejected (another option usually is to book an organised trip but that’s way too costly ). I remember Fred who hosted me in Yerevan – he requested 3 European visas (part of them was Polish ) and all 3 the strategies were rejected. Really frustrating, only because He‘s a holder in an Iranian passport !
Alcohol in fact is forbidden but somehow open to everyone in case you wanna have it, quite pricey though.
Education is very expensive, a lot more expensive that it must be in Europe… but somehow most of the young people manage to visit University. To get yourself a proper job afterwards is yet another story : (.
I arrived very early each morning following a 24 hour bus ride, dropped my things, chatted a little to my host Araz and visited the city centre. It was eventually the final days of Ramadan so I had to cover if I wanted to possess some food or drinks on the road, not allowed. He put me in contact with Somi – another couchsurfer in Tehran. We met after she finished work and my day changed completely. Until then I‘d been just exploring on my very own, still inside the initial shock from the chaos and also the completely different culture… however when I met her after work, everything changed. She was as a breath of fresh air, very flexible and wanting showing me everything. We‘re taking buses and metro like crazy, I still don’t know where exactly we went but I loved each minute I spent using this girl. We‘d a great many items in common and shared the passion of travelling. Imagine my surprise the day after, when I run across her at Azadi tower. A city of 10 million people and I happen to satisfy the only real person I do know ! This type of coincidence !
Araz was probably the most experienced couchsurfers in Tehran. He‘s addicted to his shisha and these card and word games, he will even show you future (well, type of J ). I truly enjoyed the talks we‘d along side his friends and felt sorry I had to leave so soon. It was eventually really nice to satisfy his friend Bahar before leaving for Esfahan. Bahar, if you‘re reading this article, I’ll keep my promise and you‘ll be the very first one to understand. U really know what J.
Something you need he gave me which Im very thankful for, is all of the Lonely Planet books, for all of the countries in the planet (digital in fact ). It’s this type of priceless gift, considering I can’t carry the actual books for all of the countries Im going through. Ever since that day I’ve been sharing all of them with many other travellers I came across.
Crossing the streets is really a nightmare in Iran. Almost anything goes on these roads. The level of traffic could be overwhelming and produce crossing the road seems as a bet on Russian roulette, only during this game You will find a fewer empty chambers. Its this type of chaos of cars, buses, bikes and motorbikes (and all versions the strategies ), lights and beeping, no rules in the least, only a few traffic lights, the zebra crossing doesn’t mean anything… Every time I attempted to do it right and merely do a measure i had to reach back and await someone more experienced than me I will attach to.
Metro of Tehran
I‘d been amazed how everything is separated inside the metro and buses. Last two wagons inside the metro were only for ladies and inside the buses women always fall into coming from the second door and stay behind from the bus (There‘s actually a bar that divides the bus into 2 sections ).
ESFAHAN – the city of mosques, palaces and Islamic architecture
I went upon the train to Esfahan sharing the compartment with 5 Iranian women. Part of them spoke English and also as all of the Iranians they had been extremely friendly and smiling therefore the time went by… then we slept till 7, 30am (I‘d been upon the 3rd “floor” but it was eventually quite comfortable ). After which I met Puya. Actually he found me in the bus terminal once we agreed previously, but because of some “technical” problems I couldn’t call him and merely sat down on the bench there playing with netbook and waiting to become found J.
He took me to his house where I met his family. His mum was very nice to cook for those whenever We‘re home and I additionally spent some time with his younger sister who showed me all around the city.
Through the night we walked all around the city with his friends – 2 couples : Happy and Sad, and Khosro and Scheherazade (these are generally my versions of the names in fact… as I‘d been not able to remember them while I‘d been there, now because of FB I do know everything ). All of them were attempting to outdo one another in generosity and hospitality giving me quite lots of details about Iranian and Esfahan history, habits and the lives.
They asked me lots of reasons for Bulgaria and Spain and just how people live there. We wound up at Happy and Sad’s place, drinking weird alcohol and playing some games. Happy (Farnaz ) gave me a very nice scarf, which I wore aIl the some serious amounts of which I still have inside my backpack, truly understanding that probably I won’t apply it until finished from the trip, but I refuse to eliminate it J.
At Imam square
Bridge of Khadju
Soffeh mountain was just behind Puya’s house so my last night in Esfahan me and him hiked up having a bottle of cognac. On the way in which there, We‘re meeting people he knew and I‘d been getting their attention like a foreigner. Anyway it was eventually nice to speak to differing people. Once we need to the highest, it was eventually already dark so we just sat down upon the rocks, watching the city from above, drinking the cognac and hearing a girl near us singing some beautiful songs in Farsi.
View of Esfahan from Soffeh mountains
Once we agreed the night before using the others, we went God knows where (another town near Esfahan ) to get a party in other Puya’s house. He was living there with his girlfriend without being married, something unusual in Iran… Lots of individuals showed up. So first was the drinking, then dancing, then some barbeque chicken upon the roof… after which everyone got extremely hungry and ate everything available inside the house and once that everybody was dead.
Barbeque upon the roof
Alcohol hunger, attacking the very last thing left – bread
Provide them with a little bit of alcohol and they‘ll giggle like kids for many hours : )
A lot of the people stayed overnight as they simply were too drunk to drive but Puya and I had to leave because of my early bus to Shiraz next day. But anyway, im in contact with just about everyone and im sure thats not the final time we view one another.
SHIRAZ – the city of poets, literature, wine and flowers
The tomb of Saadi
I got hosted by Parisa, a beautiful Iranian girl studying and dealing being an engineer. I spent on a regular basis together with her and her lovely family as I happened to become there throughout the holidays after Ramadan. They treated me like I‘d been section of their loved ones, took me to Persepolis, the tombs of Hafiz and Saadi as well as to her grandma’s house.
Parisa and her sister Sara explained me something I didnt know much about when it comes to the Iranian culture – arranged marriages. In traditional Iranian families, arranged marriage proceedings begin with khaastegaari, or formal marriage proposal, using a delegation (usually of parents and elders ) coming from the man’s side. Both the strategies got several of these proposals but their answer was always NO.
A man could have greater than one wife. Although marriage law dominant in Iran, enables a man to simultaneously have as much as four wives, polygamy lacks popular support and is never practiced in Iran.
Inside a relatively short driving distance from Shiraz will be the ruins of Persepolis. To the traditional Persians, the city was referred to as Pārsa, which suggests ” The City of Persians ” and it was eventually built 512 BC and in 331 BC it was eventually set on fire and savagely destroyed by Alexander the Great. What it is that we see today is simply a glimpse from the glory of the wonderful place and that is for sure worth a visit.
Mashad is quite a distance from anywhere you are prone to wish to visit, and also the city itself has little appealing other compared to the shrine. I got there throughout the holiday following the Ramadan s there have been lots and lots of Iranians visiting the shrine for pilgrimage. It‘s the largest mosque in the planet by dimension and also the second largest in capacity.
We‘d really late girly and never that girly talks at midnight in her own room analyzing our lives… and I definitely wanna remain touch together with her. She was also really helpful with the hassle I had to reach through givenfor my method to Turkmenistan… and not just : )