Iran – 10 reasons why

Mosk in Isphahan

Reason 1: Iran is complex

Elâ and I went to Iran for different reasons. For Elâ it was a way of discovering more of the Orient as she already knows a lot about Turkish culture. I wanted to see the country where two good friends have their roots and I think as film lovers we both were sensitive to the complex Iranian politics, history and culture.

Making friends in Teheran

Reason 2: Its people

We strongly advise you not to go to Teheran in the summer. The city is teeming hot and the air pollution is bad. However that was exactly when we first set foot in Iran. Because of international sanctions we couldn’t withdraw money from ATMs there and had to travel with all the Cash we needed for 3 weeks. Also it was difficult to exchange money and apparently the rates were better on the “black market” (on the street) as in official offices. Despite little issues like these we were lucky to meet some nice people like this guy (I can’t remember his name…), who translated most parts of a comedy we watched together in a cinema.

A trendy café in Teheran

Reason 3: Iran is coming

Even though politics are bad and Trump wants to isolate Iran from the rest of the world, we discovered some very trendy and seemingly “western” places throughout our journey. This is the first café/restaurant where we had supper in Teheran. We didn’t find many places like that. Another was a pub on a hill in Shiraz with a beautiful view over the city.

Garden in Kashan

Reason 4: Iran’s gardens

This garden and other parks we visited were the most refreshing places during our trip. We enjoyed the shade of the trees and the water fountains, where you could dip your feet in.

Isphahan’s central square

Reason 5: Isphahan

Isphahan is beautiful. The central square is a bit what the Piazza San Marco is to Venice: magnificent and of course very touristy. We spent a couple of days there. I would like to go back in the winter because the river was dry and I would like to see it again once the big metro construction work will be finished.

Fahrad, our guide in Persepolis

Reason 6: For Fahrad

I’ve rarely met someone who was able to make the best out of a hot day out in the desert aboard a car without AC and a broken rear mirror… We met Fahrad in the pink mosk of Shiraz. He was hanging out there and a lady who gave us a tour of the mosk said he would make a good guide for an excursion to nearby Persepolis. We followed her advice and Fahrad picked us up early next morning. On the way to Persepolis we sang songs. Fahrad sang one by Hafez, the famous poet of Shiraz, and I sang one of my childhood in french. Elâ didn’t want to sing. After visiting the ruins we shared a water melon under a tree. Now six months later I still chat with Fahrad on Whatsapp. Our conversations usually don’t go further as “Salam, how r u?” but its nice to keep in touch. If you plan a visit in Persepolis I will gladly give you his number 😉

Bridge in Isphahan

Reason 7: Iranian architecture

Iran is full of history and you don’t need to go back to antiquity like Persepolis to be mesmerised. One of our big surprises was the city of Yazd. It’s situated in the desert and reminded us of films like Aladin or other oriental fairy tales. 

Where are you from?

Reason 8: Iranian hospitality

Even though we were not super enthusiastic about the food in restaurants, hotels and on the street people are very friendly to foreigners.

Street art in Teheran

Reason 9: Iranian art

Here’s one sample of contemporary street art. During our trip we saw mostly older art. 

In a mosk

Reason 10: To connect!

Iran still seems like a remote country. We were happy to get in and also happy to get out after three weeks. I think its important that tourists go there, talk about the situation of its people. Maybe it will help open up this beautiful and rich country to the rest of the world.

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