Iran 667 1000 Michael

The start is unfortunately somewhat confusing. I am guided to different queues and my passport is inspected several times and passed around. The frontier officials are friendly and give me also tips to travel route. At the exit, taxi drivers and money changers bump into me like vultures. Until I got a reasonable exchange rate I must negotiate long. 1USD equals 32,650 Rials. The Iranians speak of 3,265 Toman. Because you won’t get anything under 1,000 Toman they speak often only of 1 Toman if they mean 1,000 Toman. In contrast to Uzbekistan, however, there are at least reasonable notes of up to 1,000,000 rial regarding to the exchange rate.

In my subsequent shared taxi also sits Saman a young soldier, who has just finished his service. Already after 15 minutes in the taxi he announces “I love you” I can explain that only with his very limited English vocabulary. He also had problems with using the Google Translator. I greatly appreciate his company up to Rasht. He brings me to the best hotel at the place in the assumption I would look for something like that. But at 130USD per night I don’t need to know the offered discount and moved on to Qazvin.

My accommodation in Qazvin is shabby and that I’m forced to leave my passport at the hotel in Iran resist me deeply. Also to get a SIM card is more complex than necessary and after few highlights (Chehel Sotun Palace, Bad Museum of Ghajar) I leave Qazvin annoyed towards Hamadan.

Opposite to my accomodation in Qazvin, At Winers place the Amaday Hostel I feel very comfortable and stay 2 days. The conversations with her, Urscha and Andrey an elderly couple from Slovenia are very nice. When Winer made the compliment that she thinks that I am very wise I feel flattered myself but also somehow old. My excursion with Andrew a backpacker from Australia makes my second day also interesting. At the Ganjnameh waterfall we reject the Schischa Angbot. The guys look so suspiciously relaxed that the risk is too big for us.

We are usually also addressed regularly by people that are happy about our visit and we are welcomed almost continuously. This continues also in my next station Teheran. The friendliness of the Iranians is in deep contrast to the propaganda against the USA, Saudi Arabia and Israel. The look of these stupid posters is repulsive to me and that they are tolerated makes it harder for me to belive the kindness of the Iranians. However, it’s an Azerbaijani immigrant who compares Iran and Germany because both are Aryans. To be positively confronted with the darkest chapters of German history is not a nice experience. My new travel group with Rose from Finland, Eeke from the Netherlands, Tom from Australia and Antti from Finland distracted me again soon. We had a lot of fun together and I am particularly grateful to the boys for the fact that they released my thoughts about sights and transport. As highlights, I can name the Darband Gorge, the Golestan Palace, an art museum, the Bazar and the former US Embassy. Especially the return from the Darband Gorge was special. Our unofficial taxi driver had an urgent need to entertain us well and turned the music so loud that I had to help myself with earplugs. Also the art exhibition of the Iranian lions needs getting used to. The title “Lion and Man”, “Lion and Sword”, “Striped Lion” burn in the head and the “Lion and Pipe” is the bottom. It was really just a pipe and a lion missing explanations. After that I really had enough of sightseeing and enjoyed the last evening on the roof of the hostel with the other backpackers. I overslept most of my flight. In the car of my father, I got the last bad news of the journey. While I was away our cat had to be euthanized, that it was raining the first week at home was then secondary. An ending like in the bad movie and for the first time I am not a bit happy to be back home.


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