Iran April and May 2014
there is no alcohol in Iran but that does not stop you from having delicious drinks!
Sudoku in Farsi
inside the Bazaar in Tehran
luckily the WC was sometimes also indicated in latin letters
when driving through Iran you will quite often see propaganda pictures of the government against the USA. Like so often this does not reflect the peoples opinion - Iranians watch lots of american movies and like the american people a lot. Many Iranians emigrate to the US.
who can figure out how much we had to pay?
Tehran has a major pollution problem. As you can see it was really smoggy but according to a local not even a bad day...
a delicious local cookie from Fuman - we bought about 2KG of them...
Masuleh in the north of Iran - the first day it was rather grey and cold
we had hiked for 10 minutes when we had to make our first stop - we were invited for tea and cookies by this lovely couple. They did not speak English, we don't speak Farsi but we still had a wonderful time and communicated with hand and feet and our picture book.
we had magical weather that day - it changed every 5 minutes.
the sign posts were of limited use for us ;-)
in Fuman this lovely man asked us in the street if he could help us. We ended up sleeping in his restaurant for free.
we had a lovely afternoon with the restaurant owners and friends
although we had already eaten a lot at lunch we got stew and what felt like 1 KG of rice in the evening as well.
our "bed" was inside the restaurant were you normally sit down to eat
who would have thought that there are rice fields in Iran?!
Edgar felt like a pop star... 15 girls around him
we had met Hojjat (the guy in the yellow shirt) in the bus to the north and he invited us to stay with him in Lahijan. So some days later we called him and ended up staying with him and his girlfriend for 3 days. During that time their wonderful friend Milad (to the right) drove us around with his car a LOT! We had so much fun with them and the hospitality was incredible!
the aunt and uncle of Hojjat invited us into their shop - naturally we could not go without having tea with them ;-)
with Hojjat and his girlfriend Mahshid in Lahijan
the holy shrine above Lahijan
women have to enter Mosques / Shrines with a chador - this was the first time Verena wore one and as you can see it was funny :-)
our lovely, crazy friend Milad who drove us around a lot
we met at least 10 wonderful friends of Hojjat and Mashid. With some of them we went to the Caspian Sea.
at the Caspian Sea. Who would have thought we would be freezing like this in Iran?!?
bread being prepared
with one of Hojjat's friends - Abed - we went hiking for a day in the mountains of Lahijan and had a wonderful time with him.
Abed - like so many other Iranian friends - invited us to come to his home. His mum instantly fell in love with Verena.
invited into another home - this time to Milad's family. As this was our last evening in Lahijan they made a delicious farewell dinner for us...
... and then we danced to Iranian music. We made many amazing new friends in Lahijan and as you can see had a wonderful time there.
this bread is called "Lavash" and its form somehow reminded us of a cleaning rag (but it was delicious!)
a typical rug shop in the Bazaar
inside the Bazaar of Kashan there is a wonderful dome with a little fountain
this 15 year old boy had a lengthy conversation with us in very good english. Very impressive.
one of the uncountable impressive ceilings
the traditional doors have two different knockers - left for women and right for men
the inner courtyard of our lovely hostel in Kashan
inside one of the many historical and very impressive buildings in Kashan
in the (almost abandoned) town Abyaneh
Abyaneh as seen from the opposing hill
in the central square of Esfahan. In Iranian cities everybody seems to gather in the afternoon in parks or squares to have a picnic and the obligatory tea (heated on massive gas stoves).
Esfahan by night. It was beautiful and a wonderful atmosphere.
a typical Iranian breakfast. For one month we almost only ate on the floor.
Si-o Seh bridge in Iran. As there is a water shortage in south Iran there sadly was no water in the river.
although there is a water shortage in the south of Iran almost every shop owner cleans his pavement with lots of water every single day. From an outside view this was hard to understand. We asked local people about the water difficulty and apparently the government is not taking any action to regulate the consumption of water (for example stricter rules or higher water prices).
charging station inside a park :-) We saw charging stations like this in many Iranian cities - much more advanced than in Germany.
another propaganda image of the government - again not reflecting the opinion of Iranian people.
one of the many impressive buildings in Esfahan
women have to wear a scarf and modest clothes in public - in private this is very different. We were told that when Iranian women go to a private party or a wedding it is very usual to wear such fancy, sexy dresses.
due to the horse carriages which drove around the square Esfahan reminded us a bit of Vienna
inside the very impressive Masjed-e Shah Mosque in Esfahan
you can buy almost every western product in Iran. Our favorite German chocolate for example...
... or German Haribo (though we did not meet a single Iranian who knew that Haribo is German). Islamic / halal Haribo is produced in Turkey - without any pig ingredients.
though Islam is the major religion in Iran there are other religions as well. In Esfahan we visited a Christian church.
after weeks of drinking tea we enjoyed our first Latte Macchiato after a long time a lot :-)
we would not have imagined to see so many expensive German cars in Iran. Actually Iran surprised us quite often.
a very typical, delicious Iranian lunch. Usually served with yoghurt. The only problem is: as a foreigner you will end up eating Kebab a LOT (due to the language barrier) and after a while it gets monotonous. We were also missing vegetables.
with our Australian-Irish friends in Yazd. We met them several times in Iran and ended up renting a holiday apartment for some days with them.
our favorite spot in Yazd - above the roofs and the mountains in the background
trying to order food in a restaurant - the waiter googled pictures to show us what they have
Edgar trying a typical Iranian drink: carrot juice with ice cream. In our eyes not the best combination but we are also not used to it...
the tomb of Hafez - one of the most famous poets of Iran
whereas most mosques in Iran were in blue or cyan tones the mosques in Shiraz were in pink tones.
in a local restaurant with other travelers
we were asked to fill out a survey regarding tourism in Shiraz - apparently Edgar was not able to tick the boxes all by himself ;-)
in Sepidan we went walking and when we crossed a ridge we were greeted with this wonderful view
after hiking we wanted to go to the park for 5 minutes. These 5 minutes turned into 4 hours with this lovely family.
a normal scene when we were looking / bargaining for a Taxi...
as communication in English was often limited we just went into the kitchen to look into the pots and pointed at what we wanted.
this is what it looks like when after weeks of traveling without laundry service all of a sudden 4 people do laundry by hand.
starting from Sisakht we went hiking early in the morning in the Zagros mountains
we did not expect snow in southern Iran in May - this was at an elevation of 3000m.
when Verena and Kirsty went down "just for 5 minutes" to pay the holiday apartment they came back 1 hour later in these traditional dresses - parts of them even were the wedding dress of the owner
afterwards we were invited to the owners family to have drinks and cookies. In this picture we are sitting in the living room which was very large but other than carpets on the floor there were no furnitures in it.
we started the conversation with the 2 owners and during the conversation they called their niece and friends who then joined us.
the girls where very impressed when they saw the pictures of Verena climbing.
there are quite a few areas in Iran which are very green
the Nazir al Molk mosque is famous for its wonderful atmosphere in the morning when light shines through the colored windows