Iran
East Azerbaijan

Here you’ll find travel reports about East Azerbaijan. Discover travel destinations in Iran of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

9 travelers at this place:

  • Day21

    Tabriz

    October 10, 2016 in Iran

    Sinds gisteren in Tabriz. Kandovan bezocht, een dorpje waar de mensen tot op de dag van vandaag in grotten wonen. Daarna Tabriz verkend en voor de zoveelste keer kebab gegeten. Het eten is hier niet bepaald gevarieerd. Wat vlees op een stok en ze zijn hier tevreden ;). Laura viel nogal uit de toon tussen al dat zwart. De mensen maken zich klaar voor Ashura, een jaarlijks rouwfeest waarbij de moord op de derde imam, Hussein, herdacht wordt.Read more

  • Day181

    Today was Anna’s birthday! To celebrate it - and to make the most of our last few days in Iran - we embarked on a big tour (by car with a driver). About 550km 🛣 and 4 highlights:
    - The mountain village of Kandovan, where houses and shelters for sheep are carved into the mountainside. The houses look a bit like the hats of the smurfs (but they are not white). We met a lot of shepherds and their animals.
    - The Armenian monastery of St. Stephanos, a christian orthodox church/monastery that is nicely settled into the mountainside ⛪️
    - The Araz River Valley and the border stretch between Iran on one side and Armenia/Azerbaijan on the other side. The valley is enormously beautiful, plus quite an attractive change to the desert lands of central and southern Iran. The valley also still bears the scars from the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia that began with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and lasted until 1994. We saw a number of train-wrecks, abandoned villages and military observation points everywhere. Travelling on the southern (Iranian) side of the river - where we were driving - was, however, easy and without problems.
    - Babak Castle, a 9th century fortress of which some ruins still remain. 🏰 To visit the castle, we would have to hike up for about 1 hour. We were quite disillusioned when we started the hike, as there was fog and clouds everywhere and one could hardly see 10 metres. However, as we climbed up the mountain, we actually climbed higher than the surrounding clouds and were rewarded with amazing views down on top of the clouds 😊

    By the time we got back to the car it was already 7:30pm. The original plan was to drive to Ardabil, but this would have been another 4 hours. We were too exhausted and we didn’t want our driver to have to drive so long (+in the dark), so we got off at Ahar and left our Catalonian friend Martí and the driver to go back to Tabriz. We found a hotel and quickly realised that Ahar is not a city that’s on most tourist itineraries: the hotel manager speaks no English whatsoever and the check-in forms one has to fill in are also entirely in Farsi.

    To finish the day, we went for a meal that turned out to maybe have been the cheapest meal of our entire world trip: two beer (non-alcoholic AND with pineapple and lemon taste, respectively = no beer) and two falafel sandwiches for about 1.33 EUR. Cheapest birthday meal ever 😉
    Read more

  • Day180

    Lazy day in Tabriz :-)

    April 6 in Iran

    We did not anticipate much action on this Friday in Tabriz but were positively surprised that the UNESCO World Heritage Bazaar was up and running. After roaming through it, we made our way to the newer and supposedly hipper suburbs where we went for lunch, coffee, and dinner - what a feast! :-) Even though the restaurant called Barcode (lunch, dinner) was a more chic restaurant, the waiters barely spoke English and Google Translate could have done a better job as well (see picture :-)). But we got nice food and that’s the main point.

    It was more difficult to get back into the city center than anticipated: the subway was already closed when we got there at 19:57... but we asked a helpful young man at the station who directed us to the bus station where we hopped on a random one but got lucky and were dropped off next to our hotel’s street.

    After driving in a car for parts of every day in the last 4 days, it was nice just to chill and read our books.

    Tomorrow we will likely have a longer journey ahead as we will hire a driver to go around the north and along the Aras river valley to the East.
    Read more

  • Day12

    Fleisch

    August 31, 2017 in Iran

    zuerst habe ich g fragt of ich fotografieren darf, dann schüchtern losgelegt. Dann brach das Eis, ich solle näher herkommen und genauer fotografieren.

    Nach 2 h kam der Metzger in die Teestube und meinte es geht jetzt mit Schaafen weiter und ich solle kommen, es wird gleich abgestochen.

  • Day12

    on the Top

    August 31, 2017 in Iran

    Michelle hat mit Darius den Gipfel in halber Zeit erreicht, jedoch um den Preis, dass beide scheisse aussahen und fix und foxy waren.
    Ich war in der Teestube und war dann noch privat bei einer armen Familie eingeladen. Und wieder: Sofort wurde Essen gekocht, Tee gemacht, und die ganze Verwandtschaft kam vorbei. Zwischenzeitlich strahlten mich über 30 Augenpaare an. Toll

  • Day2

    This morning we went out to Kandovan, marketed as Iran's Cappadocia. Our hostel organised a lovely driver who made random stops to show us apricots drying in the sun, a thousand year old tree that onced housed a man, a ghost village next door to Kandovan that had the hill fall in on it 200 years ago and to meet his friend who offered tea, samples of his wares and much appreciation that we were from Australia.
    But I really should start from the beginning...

    Being a Friday, the morning was very quiet with everyone at mosque. We started the day getting a small glimpse of our street for the next couple of days. It's not far from the Bazaar which we'll explore tomorrow as well as the Blue Mosque and museums.
    Our driver arrived pretty quickly and despite claiming poor English, immediately proved himself wrong! He told us little tit bits along the way and made stops for photos he thought we'd be interested in. The first was a quick u-turn on the highway when he noticed some men putting apricots out to dry. It was a spectacular sight, this orange gold fruit glowing along the sides of a quiet alley. Tom was given a handful of the fresh fruit which we munched on in the car afterwards... they go down as the best apricots either of us has ever tasted. Subtly sweet and almost fragrant but not pungent. I couldn't resist taking a shot of the rapturous look on Tom's face as he bit into one. Our driver pointed out the orchards along the road which in true European style (well in my experience) were without fences.

    Our next stop, involved our driver stopping in the middle of the road (Persian roads and driving deserve their very own blog post!) at the foot of a tree which he proceeded to inform us was a thousand years old. There was a statue at the base of a man who lived in the hollow trunk for 50 years and when he died, the villagers sealed it shut. He then gave us a handful of green plums that were tart and delicious.

    The next stop we could easily have missed if he hadn't stopped for us. Just before Kandovan is a smaller village built into the rock in the same way. But 200 years ago, the hill collapsed on it so it is now abandoned but we were able to go exploring the remaining open caves which helped make sense of what we later saw in Kandovan. The cave homes still had all the benches, nooks and shelves carved out so you could easily see how they'd have been lived in once upon a time. They were very low, even I had to dip my head to enter and walk around.

    When I emerged from the last cave home I explored, I was going to catch up to Tom who had climbed up to a more in tact part but I got distracted by a herd a goats that were being moved through by their shepherds who were putting some in the caves, I assume to shelter from the heat. By the time I went to head up the hill, our driver was saying it was time to move on so I'll let Tom's photos and stories fill you in on that!

    Which really brings us to Kandovan - the troglodyte village of manmade cliff dwellings which are still lived in. The village is hard to describe, covering a rocky hillside, crawling with tourists and with no straight lines, it is like no other place I've been. I'll let the photos below do it for me. It's a small village, apparently at the last census there were less than 700 people belonging to around 150 families. The place is now set up for tourism with many of them offering a 'free entry to cliff home', but when you walk in, you find they've turned their main living area into a shop selling tat. Though no real pressure or active spruiking which seems to be an Iranian thing.
    The highlight for me was when our driver introduced us to his friend who ran a shop down near the riverbed - he sat us down, talked to Tom wanting to know where we were from, how we were liking Iran, etc. He brought out tea and started giving us samples, the area is famous for honey and he calmly assured us that a teaspoon a day at breakfast would mean we were never sick! The sour preserved red damson plums were tangy and lovely but the yellow were too sour for me. The almonds and walnuts were juicy, straight out of their shells. Tom bought some pistachios in the end - twice the size of any I've seen before.

    In the dry riverbed at the base of the hill, people had set up picnics - Iranians seem to take picnicking seriously, there are burners and shades and rugs. And by the time we left, it was clear many more were going to set up as there was a steady stream of cars heading out there.
    For the afternoon, I took a siesta while Tom headed off to hunt lunch and find a haircut/shave. I'll let him tell you about mourning his beard and put the photos from the afternoon up in a new post.
    Read more

  • Day4

    A walking tour of Tabriz

    July 9, 2017 in Iran

    Yesterday afternoon after Tom's beard massacre and my recharge, we headed to a park in town that Tom's new Tabrizi friend from our flight had told him about. Tom will tell you more of that I'm sure, I was so jet lagged on the Tehran > Tabriz flight I only half paid attention and nodded politely every now and then.
    As with the other parks we've seen it's well utilised, full of picnics and lounging. Though unlike the City Park in Tehran there was no sad zoo in the centre. This one had lots of fountains and a hill. The park had a pond in which you could peddle large plastic swans about or take a short joyride in a speed boat - it was really very odd!

    After we'd wandered round a bit, Tom had the bright idea to walk up a nearby hill to a lookout. In the heat it really made me hate the multiple layers I'm having to wear. I told Tom to push ahead because I just couldn't keep up - in Iran to meet the dress code I'm in jeans, long sleeved top, tunic and head scarf. Even though it's cotton and breathing and roomy enough for air movement... it's hot. The scarf traps the hot air against my head and face, the jeans would be fine in heat with a tshirt but everything else it does feel suffocating. It makes sense of the slower walking pace I've noticed amongst the women!
    The views were pretty spectacular once I got to the top... so I will grudgingly say it was worth it!
    After that it was a quiet night grabbing some dinner and gratefully falling into bed.

    Today was spent on a walking tour round Tabriz. We started by trying to see the cartoon museum which our first attempt lead us to the strangest little museum in the rear basement of the same building. It had been set up for a man who had created over a thousand models of Iranian food - it was seriously weird. For anyone who has seen the Instagram account @thriftstoreart - it was the type of stuff that would belong there.

    Unfortunately the cartoon museum was closed, they were having an annual caricature competition which Tom was hoping would include some choice Trump depictions but it was not to be.

    We walked from there to the Constitutional Museum which commemorate the revolution in 1906 (when Tabriz was the capital of Iran). The museum is housed in the mansion where the revolution was plotted. It was fascinating to me the way the revolution which introduced the first democratic elections and limited the royal influence was still very heartily celebrated. I realise with the current regime there's a common enemy in the Shah, but it still felt at odds. This contradiction is something I keep noticing in Iran - the historical and cultural openness to ideas and expression against the stories we hear from the outside, particularly the ostensibly white Western political sphere.
    From there we wandered the streets to the bazaar, it's the largest covered Bazaar in the world and it was easy to see how you could get lost in there. One thing that struck me was the lack of pressure to buy. There were no screaming spruikers and we were often ignored even the few times we were interested in buying something.

    After the Bazaar, we made our way to the Poet's Tomb. Trust Iran to generate their poets the way others do prime ministers or religious figures! And from there it was a short walk to Blue Mosque which lost its blue tiling in an earthquake.
    And then it was the Azerbaijan museum. This area of Iran proudly calls itself East Azerbaijan, yet there's also a heavy Turkish influence, with many growing up speaking turkish. Overlay this against the already rich cultural tapestry of East meets West, it feels like I'm in Europe, Nepal, India, Turkey and the Middle East all at once.

    The last stop of the day was at the University's Architecture Department building in an old Tabrizi mansion - its in reasonable disrepair so I'm assuming (hoping) it is being used as a live project!
    Read more

  • Day45

    Tabriz

    October 17, 2016 in Iran

    Als wir durch den chaotischen Verkehr dieser Stadt fahren, bauen wir tatsächlich einfach unser Zelt in einem städtischen Park auf...und haben ein gutes Gefühl dabei. Diesbzgl. scheint sich unsere Komfortzone schon erweitert zu haben, noch vor ein paar Woche hätte ich mir das nicht vorstellen können. Danach besichtigen wir den Bazar und wollen zur blauen Moschee...dann beginnt der Zauber des Irans und die unvergleichliche Gastfreundschaft. Wir schauen etwas unwissend auf den Stadtplan, sofort werden wir angesprochen, ob man uns helfen kann. Ein junger Mann, Behzad, bietet uns in perfektem Englisch an, uns hinzuführen. Toller Service! Als die Moschee leider schon zu hat, werden wir zu ihm und seiner Frau nach Hause zum Essen eingeladen. Ein Abend mit tollen Gesprächen... Weil es doch recht kalt ist, will er uns nicht im Zelt schlafen lassen und besteht darauf bei ihm zu übernachten und uns wie zu Hause zu fühlen. Unglaublich, so was passiert wirklich...Read more

  • Day2215

    Mit dem Schneepflug...

    October 5, 2017 in Iran

    ... auf der Durchreise. Start Erzurum 17 Grad, Ankunft Tabriz 0 Grad. Wenigstens hats ordentlich gschneit.

You might also know this place by the following names:

East Azerbaijan, آذربایجان شرقی, Aust-Aserbajdsjan, Øst-Aserbajdsjan

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now