A Travellerspoint blog

Official Adventure #1

As I write this I am sitting listening to Dave play drums with an a.maz.ing dulcimer player in a Tehrani home where we have been invited to stay for the last two nights. (Thanks Fari! Leily and Javad have been the perfect hosts and it has been a pleasure to share their company)

I can't tell you how happy I am to be in Tehran :-D we have had our first proper adventure getting here. Unfortunately due to *some* circumstances out of our control and *some* complacency we were unable to catch the train from Istanbul and so we had to take a mixture of buses and begging lifts and more buses and revising plans upon plans and one final lucky bus. But finally we crossed the border into Tabriz on Saturday morning.

As soon as we arrived at the border we seemed to become local celebrities. Everyone wanted to know where we were from and where we were going and why we were there. One group of boys even wanted a photo :s

The crossing over the border was a breeze and the immigration officers were the most polite and friendly people you could imagine. We had to have our temperature taken and all our fingerprints taken like on the Bill (although we didnt take our elbow prints...fools!)

We amused a bunch of taxi drivers no end by learning aloud our numbers and basic farsi phrases like small children while waiting for a shared cab to fill up with its compliment and then finally we hit the road. One of our first sights in Iran was one of the most beautiful sunsets i've ever seen. It felt like our journey had finally started.

We dumped our stuff in a hotel, and fumbled our way though a food order in a nearby caff. Although persian food is hearty and delicious one thing about Iran is that the food in restaurants is not very good at all. Apparently the persian response to restaurants is "why pay for a meal that you can get better and for free at home". So our kebab theme continued still.

After another day of buying language guides (see above about fumbling) trying to book onward travel, being thwarted again, redrawing counter plans (we're now going to fly to Syria on 6th September instead of the train....there's only one train a week and our visa expires at just the wrong time and would cut our trip here too short) we decided to hit the streets in the late evening and try and see at least one sight.

While standing at the corner of the street with a map we were approached, as had been the case every 10 minutes all day actually, by some local Tabrizians asking where we were from, how we were and whether we wanted some help. After some consultation of the map and rejection of our apparently unfullfilling plans (another iranian custom!) the kind lady and her daughter insisted many times on showing us a nice place. So we thought what the hey and followed...i was gently grabbed by the hand, lead surely across a busy street, bundled into an unexpected cab and taken to Elgoli Park which wasnt "*shrug* not far" but a loooong way across town :)

There we spent a truly pleasant few hours strolling around the park talking with this retired primary school teacher and her artist daughter who were genuinely frustrated that we had to leave the next day otherwise I think we may have been adopted. Again, everywhere we went people would stop us to shake our hands and ask where we were from with no other motive than curiosity. Dave and I are having to try very hard to adjust to the fact that no one wants anything other than to satify their interest and wish us a good trip round the country of which they are very proud. One trip to the toilet took me 15 minutes while Dave was stood outside while I shared my life story with three women in turn who wouldnt let me leave without taking their email addresses, refusing offers for dinner, and promising to take care :)

I have to say Dave is receiving a *lot* more attention than me. And everyone thinks he is german or austrian for some reason. As yet to be explained....

Posted by rachndave 11:02 Archived in Iran Tagged transportation

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.