Iran
Ostān-e Qazvīn

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    • Day80

      Per Anhalter durch die iranische Galaxis

      June 23 in Iran ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

      Charpeh - Qazvin
      62 km / 658 hm
      Aktuelle Höhe: 1.320 hm
      Gesamtstrecke: 5.776 km
      Gesamt-Hm: 43.415 hm
      Tag 80

      Die Nacht in der Baumschule ist kürzer als gedacht, denn wir werden bis kurz vor Mitternacht noch mit Çay und Eis auf Trab gehalten 🍢🫖😅. Gestärkt treten wir unser Mammutprogramm für heute an - wir müssen um nach Teheran zu gelangen, erneut das Gebirge zwischen Küste und Landesinnere überqueren. Bis zur Mittagspause haben wir schon einen guten Teil der Wegstrecke weggearbeitet. Die Landachaft ist dabei gesäumt mit Bergen voller Olivenbäume (Hauptanbaugebiet im Iran) 🫒 und kargen Felsen. Am Nachmittag schaltet die Sonne zwei Gänge hoch und knallt das Thermometer hoch auf 33 Grad im Schatten. Gewürzt wird unser Ritt mit Gegenwind, sehr wenigen Wasserstellen, insgesamt 1700hm und einem schleichenden Platten bei Dan im Vorderreifen, der alle 5km seine Zuneigung zollt. Als wir nach 600hm eine Pause machen, um unseren Schweiß wieder in die Trinkflaschen zu füllen, bermerken wir einen LKW mit leerer Ladefläche. Cheaten - jetzt oder nie! 😅 🤫Nach 15 Minuten mit Händen, Füßen und Translater-App, sitzen wir mit unseren Eseln hinten auf der Pritsche und genießen das Vorbeiziehen der Landschaft 🙌 - die Schlaglochmassage gabs umsonst dazu 💺. An der Gipfelstadt ziehen wir die Reißleine und lassen unser Anhalterdasein hinter uns. Als es dem Abend entgegen geht, schlürfen wir noch über den Markt in Qavzin und fühlen uns wie die Bürgermeister der Stadt, als wir Stand für Stand begrüßt werden und immer wieder kleine Obst- und Gemüsegeschenke entgegen nehmen dürfen 🥰. Als wir uns aus dem Trubel verziehen, finden wir an der Stadtgrenze eine ruhige Streuobstwiese, wo wir heute unseren Seelenfrieden finden.🌳🌳🌳Read more

      Traveler

      ❤️

      6/23/22Reply
      Traveler

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      6/23/22Reply
      Traveler

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      6/23/22Reply
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    • Day95

      Crossing the mountains to Qazvin

      December 2, 2017 in Iran ⋅ ⛅ 1 °C

      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!
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    • Day8

      An extra day in Alamut

      July 13, 2017 in Iran ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      We decided to spend an extra day in Alamut when it turned out the incredible guide we'd hired for the Castles also organised what he called a Lost in Paradise experience - time in a village and a homestay at the other end of the valley.
      Unfortunately Tom was sick but I got to enjoy a couple hour hike in the mountains around the village - walking up from the nut and fruit trees at the bottom of the valley to the arid areas at the top. It was beautiful walking through the orchards and we were lucky enough to bump into some people who were picking apricots so we're invited to join in, then enjoy the haul under the trees.
      Old landslides were evident along the route, at best this meant paths that skimmed the top of what was essentially a cliff edge, at worst there were homes you could still peer into, though morbid seeing bones in there that haven't been retrieved.
      It was a quiet day, nothing big or notable happened but I really enjoyed it, again I was struck by the generosity and hospitality of the Iranian culture. Each village we walked through came with offers to come and sit for chai, women wanting to show me their handicrafts and men wanting to welcome me to Iran.
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      Angela Marshall

      Love the saffron coloured waistcoat.

      7/14/17Reply
      Angela Marshall

      Such a clean, immaculately swept area beneath the clothesline.

      7/14/17Reply
       
    • Day164

      Alamut Valley

      March 29, 2019 in Iran ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

      Gleich nach dem Frühstück sind wir heute in das iranische Gebirge aufgebrochen. Genauer gesagt sind wir mit unserem Fahrer Javid in das Alamut Valley gefahren. Es ging über verschneite Hügel, steile Serpentinen und frisch entstandene Flussläufe immer weiter in dieses einzigartige Tal. Eine Wanderung ging zu einem Wasserfall, die andere bescherte uns einen atemberaubenden Blick auf einen der höchsten Berge Irans, dem Alam-Kuh.Read more

    • Day163

      Sightseeing Qazvin

      March 28, 2019 in Iran ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

      In Qazvin waren wir vormittags auf einem Basar. Es war bis jetzt der authentischste, es gab von Schmuck bis lebendige Tiere alles was das Herz begehrt. Sogar bunt angemalte Kücken. Niemand der Verkäufer wollte uns irgendetwas andrehen und wir konnten ungestört durch die Gassen schlendern. Zufällig sind wir auch wieder in einer Moschee gelandet, die gibt es ja hier wie Sand am Meer. Dann ging es weiter zu einem alten Palast der zu einem Kaligraphiemuseum umfunktioniert wurde. Leider hat es auch hier zu regnen angefangen. Deswegen sind wir schon früher als geplant zu unserem Host zurückgefahren.Read more

      Gertraud M

      Bin immer wieder begeistert von euren tollen Fotos 😍!

      3/28/19Reply
       
    • Day7

      Gaza Khan Hotel in Alamut Valley

      August 26, 2017 in Iran ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

      ok, aber grenzwertig, doch für 14€ das Zimmer mit Frühstück ok.

      Die Betten hier sind anders als in Europa, hier gibt es nur ein Brett mit einer Decke drauf. Das kann über die Zeit der Dunkelheit ganz schön hart werden.Read more

      Traveler

      Da waren aber tolle Heimwerker an basteln. 😂😂

      8/26/17Reply
      Traveler

      Alle Achtung ;-))

      8/27/17Reply
       
    • Day7

      In the steps of the Assassins

      July 12, 2017 in Iran ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      We travelled down to Qazvin by bus, the network here is so efficient and there are so many of them that we haven't needed to book in advance, merely show up and find our way on to a bus. Similar to the buses I caught when I was in Myanmar - the VIP buses have large seats like a business class domestic flight and more legroom than I know what to do with!
      Yet again, the drive took us through spectacular landscapes and scenery. I can see why Iran makes a good location for filming.
      After sorting our hotel and dropping our bags, we went for a wander into the bazaar for lunch, finding a great version of the local cuisine qimeh naser - a beautiful lamb stew, served inside a mound of rice covered in sliced pistachios, orange rind and barberries. Insanely tasty and jewel-like to look at.
      Walking through the bazaar later, we were leapt upon by a carpet dealer who was making his way home for lunch. We were soon gathered up by his energy, as he proudly proclaimed us as his third son and third daughter (having two of each already). Sharrom was lovely, very sharp having taught himself English and is enamoured with foreigners. At one point he called his eldest son who is a doctor in Hong Kong and put us on the phone with him. His son sounded bemused but not surprised saying his father had been inciting foreigners home at every opportunity. "He is very friendly" was the understated description. We passed a pleasant afternoon in Sharrom's apartment being plied with yet more food, tea, fruit and being shown his carpets (the most expensive of which were hidden under cheaper versions on the floor.
      We showed him pictures of Mum and Pete who he then claimed as his brother and sister. And when he returned to his shop, we walked back with him and discovered the restored caravanserais. There is a distinct jump in wealth here, is noticed the proliferation of Western brand name cars, cleaner/shinier apartment buildings, fewer black shrouded women and more trendy/hipster outfits. It was no surprise when we were told this is a retreat area for wealthy Tehran-ites to get away for the weekend. I mention this because the caravanserais demonstrated this beautifully, sensitively restored with gorgeous shops showcasing local designers and makers. It restored my faith in local handicrafts which I thought might have disappeared given the cheap Chinese, Taiwanese, Pakistani, etc products in the bazaars.

      Today we'd organised with a local guide to go out to Alamut Valley to see the Assassins Castles. The landscape was monumental, the valley is in the Albers Mountains which are dry and rock encrusted with deeply green spring fed valleys. We visited two castles, the first was a relatively easy 10min walk while the second involved climbing the side of a hill on rock stairs that kept winding their way up. The Castles were part of a network of roughly 50 that were built in the valley in the 12th Century for the Ismaili followers of Hasan-e Sabbah. The sect he lead and the castles have formed the basis of many myths over the centuries and movies/video games today (Creed of Assassins and Prince of Persia).

      Stories of Hasan-e Sabbah's time here and the mercenary organisation he ran are numerous, some more sumpathetic than others. At best, he headed an Ismaili sect that championed a free thinking, pro-science Islamic tradition. At worst, he used hashish to bolster his mercenaries courage and foster visions of secret gardens full of maidens that would await them for following orders to murder or kidnap political and religious leaders of the day. The use of hashish gave the mercenaries the popular name of 'hashish-yun' which is the origin of the term assassin.

      Despite heavy fortifications, elaborate cistern systems and food reserves which meant the castles could survive years-long sieges (17 years being the longest recorded), the Mongols managed to capture them using 'diplomatic trickery'. To avoid future difficulty, the Mongols went on to destroy much of the castles and their cistern systems leaving only bits of rubble, foundations and ruined walls today.

      Standing in the ruins of each of the castles, you could easily imagine the strategic advantages of their lines of sight. The landscape necessitates a single entry/exit point focussing all defence manoeuvres. And the height of each within the valley means they could see for miles.

      Like other parts of Northern Iran, domestic tourism seems to account for the bulk of visitors. Being closer to Tehran, we have seen a few more Western/European tourists but it's only a handful even here. Some may not feel the bits of ruins justify the effort to get here but I hope in an effort to drive tourism they don't succumb to creating reenactment versions or easily reachable car parks. I don't think we'd have understood the reality of these fortresses without walking the route ourselves... no matter how intensive it can be, especially in full heat. Mind you, I say that well aware that we had a warm but crisp day so the shade provided proper relief from the sun. In full heat, our guide said it the climb to the top is 'hell'.

      Please excuse some of these photos - the intensity of the light meant metering and exposure were topping out and I was reliant on the histogram to check exposure as the camera metering was struggling. I'll get better control once I can process the images from the Nikon...
      And photo spamming starts now
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      Angela Marshall

      What an astonishing, monumental landscape - Caspar David Friedrichs indeed! And how astonishing to be clambering around surrounded by history and topography that is truly legendary.

      7/14/17Reply
      Angela Marshall

      The Mongol invaders didn't leave much behind! Was this Genghis Khan's armies or have there been other invasions from the east?

      7/14/17Reply
      Hannah Krijnen

      Hulagu Khan - grandson to Ghengis. Carrying on the family's tradition

      7/14/17Reply
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    • Day183

      Visiting Qazvin

      April 9, 2018 in Iran ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

      Originally, our plans for today were different: we intended to go hiking in the supposedly beautiful hotspot of the Alamut valley. We decided differently - here is why and what we did instead :-)

      We arrived awefully late yesterday (23:30) and had the first bad experience with Iranian bus travel: the bus was quite expensive (more than 2x what we expected...), the driver smoked inside the bus AND stopped about 4 times during the 6 hour journey to smoke some more. Then they objected to us leaving the bus to pee while they smoked. And the best part: the bus did not stop in Qazvin bus terminal but somewhere along the northern highway... it was really a shame. Luckily, we had experienced far better service and hospitality so far in Iran that we brush this aside as a one time thing.

      After hearing from other travellers and reading the tourist bible called Lonely Planet that going into the Alamut valley costs about 30 USD one way and takes 2.5 hours we were quite discouraged. Another day in the car for most of the day, only getting out for a couple of short stops and maybe a 2-3 hour hike? No thanks! We have great mountains that are accessible in Germany/Austria and we will do so once we get home :-)

      Thus, we visited Qazvin, a booming town 2.5 hours northwest of Tehran. We liked the old church and the park where men held chess competitions. But we especially fell in love with the old restored caravanserai: where camels 🐫 and their drivers loaded and unloaded goods for transport along the ancient Silk Road there was now a fine building with coffee shops and art and design shops. Very nice to spend the day. We also met Ali, a theology student and had interesting discussions about Islam and religion in general. The best thing was that he accompanied us to the neighboring mosque 🕌 and helped to decipher the kufiq script - see annotated picture.

      We finished the afternoon off with yoga (first Anna on her own, then Anna teaching Bertram) and had nice dinner nearby.

      Tomorrow, we will move to Karaj and meet Iranian friends from an earlier part of the trip.
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    • Day124

      Qazvin

      May 4, 2018 in Iran ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      A glance to Qazvin Bazaar early morning - waiting lady. Everyone was telling me: don't drop anything in this city, don't bend on the streets, and better to wear double underwear made of steel😂 Do you know the story?Read more

    • Day27

      Unterwegs mit dunklen Gestalten

      April 14, 2019 in Iran ⋅ 🌙 9 °C

      Spontan haben wir beschlossen, noch heute nach Rasht zu reisen. An der Sammeltaxi-Station gibt es eine merkwürdige Diskussion zwischen unserem Guide Youssef und den Fahrern, die sich zu acht um uns scharen. Youssef sieht danach besorgt aus. Wir auch. Grüße aus einem rappelvollem TaxiRead more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Ostān-e Qazvīn, Ostan-e Qazvin, اُستانِ قَزوين

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