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  • Day91

    It all started with a marathon through several classes of an English school and ended three days later with a heavy-heartedly good bye.

    Teymour, Rooshanak and their son Nima incorporated us in their family and from the beginning it felt like we were a part of it. We went to the sea and countryside together, visited other family members and saw their houses. We had great conversations, lots of laughs and enjoyed delicious food.

    We learned a lot about family life in Iran, cultural specifics and habits, how to play the Santoo, teacher motivation, problems of the educational system, independency of the government and still protest, the sadness of Iranian music, Iranian jokes about the wedding night and that women are actually not allowed to ride a bike (and policemen turning a blind eye to it).

    We were fascinated by their beautiful carpets, slept, ate and sat on them and made the mistake too say how much we like them so that Teymour's uncle asked us for an address to send a carpet to.

    There is so much on our mind about these days that we hardly find words. Thank you for a great time and everything you did for us!
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  • Day93

    Cycling along the Caspian Sea was characterized by beaches littered with trash and cars stopping us to give us bread, fruits or sweets, to take pictures or to invite us to their homes. Whenever a car pulls over in front of us, this is very likely to happen and we were told that many Iranians view foreign tourists as 'messengers of God'. What can we say?

    In Bandar Anzali, we met Mostafa, Jalal and his wife Nushin who hosted us, showed us around in the city and invited us for some kebab.

    On our way to Rasht another cyclist unexpectedly joined us on his bike. It was Mohamed. We cycled together and spent a great day at the old bazar, the city center of Rasht and had a tasty dinner in his favorite restaurant.

    We love these bazars and the mindset of the Iranians.
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  • Day88

    Although the southern region of Azerbaijan is famous for its tea, and the green of the grass and the trees seemed to be exceptionally intense, the main thing on our mind was the border crossing to Iran. Did we cover all the bases? Do we carry enough money? The excitement increased steadily..

    With tailwind in our backs, we decided to become test drivers of the new motorway to Astara, praised the road workers for the great job they've done and couldn't believe that we had already reached the border to Iran.

    After the Azerbaijani border officials had kindly reminded Silke to put her headscarf on, we proceeded and set foot on Iranian ground for the first time, directly followed by some requests for selfies.

    It didn't take long and we were invited for kebab by Karamat, an Iranian cyclist who has been almost everywhere on earth with his bike. After an exciting day, we had some very relaxing hours of sleep in Mojde's cosy home. Thanks again, the two of you!

    Next morning, women exercising on the ubiquitous gym equipment in the parks caught our eyes and they did not hesitate to make contact with us - we could really feel how curious Iranian people would be and imagined how the following weeks could look like.
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  • Day95

    Coming from the Caspian Sea, there is no other option than crossing the Elburs Mountain Range to get South in Iran. So, these days were about climbing, wild camping and the first night frost on our trip.

    The two nights in our tent gave us a handle to take a few deep breaths and to reflect a pile of impressions from the first week in this country (details will follow).

    In Qazvin, Hamid welcomed us to his home and a bit later, we found ourselves within a severe family conflict. However, Hamid insisted that we should stay and his best friend came to smooth down the differences. They figured out that a family trip (or 'party' how they called it) would solve the conflict and we squeezed us into a Saipa Saba with 7 people, drove to a 'Santa ice cream shop' and high up into a mountain park - in the middle of the night!Read more

  • Day96

    It was obvious that we were getting closer to Tehran: The challenge to ride slalom between the cars became more and more intense, we passed several power plants and industrial areas and the smog became a beige grey wall hiding everything further than a few hundred meters around us - insane!

    We realized the incredible dimensions of this monster city when we reached Karaj, a suburb of Tehran 40km from the center which has more habitants than Berlin. It is said that more than 20 million people live in the metropolitan region of Tehran - again insane!

    We stayed with Abbas, Molud and Siabash in Karaj and they took care of our bikes the next day when we went to Tehran by
    metro. Abbas even gave us insight into a bakery he owns. The Iranian bread culture is ubiquitous, no meal happens without any of the various types of it, queues in front of the bakeries at rush hours make them easy to find. Other than the bread we're used to, the Iranian bread is only tasty when still warm - our favorite is definitely Sangak which is baked on small stones and thicker than Lavash.

    Some other aspect of our interaction with the people who treat us with an unlimited kindness, hospitality and readiness to help: We did not expect that the people would pay us that much attention and feel that some of them take us too fast into their hearts or express their love, especially when the communication is difficult or we did only spend a few hours together. It usually feels weird and we don't know what to say. And makes it even more difficult to explain ourselves if we can only stay one or two nights :)
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  • Day97

    Yes, we made it to Tehran - by metro from Karaj!

    Even though taking the metro sounds like a convenient and unchallenging project, we should be taught better. The closer we got to the city center, the more crowded became the train until finally various men rudely pushed and shoved each other in order to get into the train.
    As we wanted to stay together, we made the mistake to go into the same (mixed) compartment not considering the 'Women Only' sections. The consequence: While entering the train a few men touched Silke on purpose.. The exclusive sections for women initially seemed weird to her but they promptly became reasonable!

    First sight on our list was the the Golestan Palace which impressed us with its effortful and beautiful tiles and mosaics, mirror decorations and treasures from the whole world.

    As we said before, we love the bazars. But the one in Tehran is way too bustling and too large. More than 10(!) kilometers of a labyrinth make it probably the largest in the world and we decide to escape after a short stroll.

    Another sight is the Azadi Tower which was renamed after the revolution and means 'tower of freedom'. This seems grotesque to us because the freedom of the people in Iran has been severely limited since then. After sunset, we spot an Iranian couple quickly kissing in the cloak of the tower. Is this why the tower became the symbol of the modern Tehran? A still and hidden bypassing of the rules?

    Noticeable: Whenever people reveal us as Germans or we make the mistake to expose us, it may happen that people start showing us pictures of Nazis which they received in WhatsApp groups like 'NaziNews' with hundreds of members or even do the Hitler salute on a bazar.
    If we shake our heads or ask the 'why'-question, these people react with incomprehension. A questioning of things or clarification doesn't seem to be common for many Iranians...

    Another anecdote: The weight lifting world championships are on TV and we became aware of the manipulation of the media in Iran. An Iranian, Sohrab Moradi, wins the gold medal and during the award ceremony he refuses to shake the hands of the American lady who gives him the medal. He says a few words and the lady seems to understand and accept. This is what we see on the Iranian TV.
    But our host shows us the whole ceremony on his smartphone: The other men on the podest, from Uzbekistan and Lithuania, shake her hands, of course, after receiving their medals and Moradi tries to explain himself for almost a minute whereas she reacts visibly shocked and uncomprehending (physical contact in public between men and women is forbidden for Iranians).
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  • Day2246

    Die Mopeds verzurrt, die Tore verplombt und der Container bereit zum Verladen. Uns bleiben jetzt nur unsere Rucksäcke - diese haben wir für je 12€ das Stück beim Rucksackdealer ums Eck gekauft - und wir sind um eine neue Herausforderung reicher.
    Aber zum Anfang der Geschichte: Als wir am 04.10.2017 die Grenze zum Iran passierten, wussten wir, dass wir es nicht schaffen werden rechtzeitig nach Pakistan einzureisen. Auf Grund uuuunvorhersehbarer Verzögerungen bei der Beantragung unseres Iranvisums in der Türkei, konnten wir erst später als geplant in den Iran einreisen. Stefans Pakistanvisum war lediglich bis zum 10.10.2017 gültig. Damit wären genau 6 Tage zur Verfügung gestanden, um ein Land zu durchqueren, das etwa 4x größer ist als Deutschland. Da wir nicht bereit waren uns die Chance entgehen zu lassen, die Menschen, die Kultur und die Landschaft intensiv kennen zu lernen, entschieden wir uns die Dinge entspannt angehen zu lassen. Der Gedanke: Im pakistanischen Konsulat Teheran innerhalb 2-3 Tagen ein neues Visum für Stefan beantragen... Doch nachdem wir uns 4 Tage sowohl mit dem deutschen, als auch dem pakistanischen Konsulat rumärgerten, nahm uns der pakistanische Beamte letztlich die Luft aus den Reifen: "My friend, I'm sorry, we can't give you visa".....
    Damit waren die Pläne erst einmal (gefühlt) komplett über den Haufen geworfen, und wir hatten einen "kleinen" Schock zu verarbeiten. Eine schnelle Entscheidung war gefällt: Wir verschiffen nach sonstwohin! (um Pakistan herum ;)

    Nach gut 3 Wochen Reise durch eines der beeindruckendsten und schönsten Länder das wir bis dato kennenlernen durften, kamen wir mit absolut stabilem Halbwissen über Fahrzeugverschiffungen vom Iran nach Indien - dieses haben wir uns mit Hilfe von Google, diversen Foren und anderen Reisenden angeeignet - in der Hafenstadt Bandar Abbas an. Wie schon so oft auf unserer Reise durften wir einmal mehr lernen, dass der Zufall die besten Lösungen bereit hält.

    Die vollbepackte V-Strom 650 eines Kaliforniers machte uns auf eine der größten iranischen Reedereien aufmerksam. Ein wenig hartnäckiges Verhandlungsgeschick später und Dank der Sympathie des versammelten Cargo-Departements stand der Kontakt zum Forwarder unseres Vertrauens: Reza (verdammt guter Mann!)

    Mit ein wenig Hartnäckigkeit konnten wir erreichen, die Verzurrung unserer Gefährt(inn)en selbst erledigen zu dürfen und damit so beruhigt wie möglich das Flugzeug Richtung Indien besteigen zu können. (Das "zu Hause auf 2 Rädern" aus der eigenen Kontrolle zu geben sorgt für schweißperlen auf der Stirn...)
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  • Day2220

    Drei Tage Visumstress, hektischer Verkehr und ein pralles Programm mit unseren Gastgebern - wir brauchen Abstand. Es zieht uns wieder nach draußen, der Berg ruft. Der 5400-Meter-Koloss Damavand, seines Zeichens der höchste Berg im Mittleren Osten, schafft Abhilfe.

  • Day1

    1. Tag in Teheran - auf dem Plan stand eigentlich eine Palastbesichtigung und was ist daraus geworden? Eine Wanderung über Stock und Stein mit 1.000 anderen Iranern "on top of Teheran" 😁. Insbesondere die jungen Iraner scheinen gern ihren freien Tag gechillt bei Picknick und Musik in den Bergen zu verbringen. Abends hat sich Iran von seiner kulinarischen Seite gezeigt, etwas über meinen Budget, aber verdammt lecker. Ich habe selten so zartes Lammfleisch gegessen.Read more

  • Day3

    Heute gings nach Kaschan weiter - schnell zum Bus geflitzt und los gings. In Kaschan haben wir unsere kleine polnische-spanische-deutsche Gruppe vortgesetzt. Gemeinsam haben wir die Fin-Gärten besucht, wenig Touristen, aber mit uns eine Gruppe munterer älterer österreichischer Damen. Weiter gings zur Moschee und zum Basar - angenehm ruhig im Gegensatz zum hektischen Teheran.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Islamic Republic of Iran, Iran (Islamische Republik), Iran, ኢራን, Irán, إيران, ܐܝܪܐܢ, İran, Іран, Ісламская Рэспубліка, Иран, Iraŋ, ইরান, ཨི་རཱན།, Írán, Den Islamiske Republik Iran, ཨི་རཱན, Iran nutome, Ιράν, Ισλαμική Δημοκρατία του, Persujo, Iraan, ایران, Éran, An Iaráin, ઈરાન, איראן, ईरान, Islamska Republika, Իրան, Íran, イラン・イスラム共和国, iran, ირანი, Uajemi, អ៊ីរ៉ង់, ಇರಾನ್, 이란, ئێران, Persia, Yiraani, Irâ, ອີລ່ານ, Iranas, Ira, Irāna, Īrāna, ഇറാൻ, ईराण, အီရန်, इरान, Iran (Islamitische Republiek), ଇରାନ୍, ايران, República Islâmica do Irã, Irã, Irani, Iran (Republica islamică), Iräan, ඉරානය, Iiraan, ஈரான், ఇరాన్, Эрон, อิหร่าน, ʻIulaani, ئىران, Ісламська Республіка, Eron, Lirän, Orílẹ́ède Irani, 伊朗伊斯兰共和国, i-Iran

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