Definitely the Iranian capital
is not the most beautiful one in the world, on the opposite
it could seem one of the ugliest: traffic and pollution are
the main ingredients of this twelve million inhabitants city. In
Santiago, B. Aires, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dakar I've never had problems
breathing, but in Teheran I got my throat inflamed.
In the city it's quite tough orienting, since there's
no centre but just long large streets run along by "dangerous
unfenced dirty deep spooky" channels. Crossing the streets,
if you'll be able to jump the channel probably you'll knocked down
by some crazy driver.
After having discouraged you enough visiting Teheran,
I can report you some its positive features: first of all the Elburz
mountains are the background of the city that you'll enjoy from
every its corner. Moreover it's very representative of the Iranian
development (or undevelopment according to the point of view), thus,
it's the place freest from the most severe Islamic restrictions;
you can write a email or buy something particular that you don't
find elsewhere in Iran. Besides it's very near to some ski slopes
you can enjoy in a daytrip.
I had no problems walking alone through the town in
the evening, as , anyway, everywhere else in Iran. Frankly here
I had a funny, and
somehow scaring, meeting with a public bus driver whose behaviour
I wholly misunderstood since I was just arrived in Iran and I wasn't
enough trustful of the people: read the funny story about it!
In short Teheran
isn't worth a dedicated long divert to visit it, nevertheless, since
surely you'll pass by it, don't miss a glance!
I went to Hamadan mainly
to visit the Alý Sadr caves
(100 km northward). Hamadan is not a tourist
highlight since there are no very interesting attractions. Nevertheless
I advice you to visit it: first of all for the caves that are very
nice and I found out funny the trip in the darkness with the pedal
boat; anyway it is something different than the mosques with the
minarets that you'll found in any corner elsewhere in Iran. Even
more charming than the caves I found the landscape on the way. It's
a 100 km ride in a desert with some snowed spots on a tiny minibus
(in February), where I experienced the severity of the islamic rules
(read the funny story).
Further more Hamdan belongs to the west part of Iran that
is so different from the rest of the country: the environment is
greener and the temperature is definitely colder. The town is more
lively but also colourless. The cultural level seems higher and
more open-minded compared to the other towns I've visited, in fact
I've met several English speaker, moreover the girls seem less shy
or scared to communicate.
In short it's another face of Iran, a piece of the puzzle
of this country to be completed in your mind.
PS: unfortunately I found
someone who, unsuccessfully,
tried to swindle me (read about the tips)
Anywhere you gonna go in
Iran, don't miss Esfahan!!!
I've spent the most interesting and enjoying 5 days I've ever spent
travelling. First of all the town is so beautiful: in particular
its huge square (the third one biggest in the world), the five km
bazaar that skirts it, the awesome mosques, the bridges..
the inhabitants are so hospitable: I were in a cab when a man invited
me in his house for dinner (and I went, obviously), another one
stopped me in the street offering me a breakfast, two guys, eager
to speak to a foreign, invited me in their houses for a tea with
their family, other guys I met in the square invited me to a lunch
with their friends..
It has been simply
Besides I was surprised by the kind of traveller I met
here. In fact Esfahan, thanks to his geographical position, unlike
Teheran, is an obliged crossing point for everybody travelling from
Turkey to Pakistan (or viceversa). Consequently I met people who
were travelling for months from Asia to Europe around the world.
I remember a small cute Japanese girl who had been travelling for
4 months alone in Egypt, Siria, Israel, Turkey, Iran, heading eastward,
or an English girl biking alone from India through the Iranian desert,
heading back to England. So interesting people whose meeting made
my stay in Esfhan worthwhile.
Thanks to Micheal (an Austrian
guy) for his company in Esfahan
Bam is a
kind of big oasis at the bottom of one of the two iranian desert.
The highlight is the arg-e-Bam (the old town of Bam), a formed citadel
built just by mud on the border between the oasis and the desert.
Now it's a kinda of big labyrinth where I spent hours just hanging
out through the narrow streets. From the top of the tower set at
the centre of the citadel you can enjoy the view of the desert northward
and of the palm trees southward. You can drink a tea in the tea
house inside the citadel and meet Iranian people eager to speak
citadel, Bam is a nice town to be visited, where I met very nice
people and hanged out with other travellers exchanging travelogues.
the opposite, one spooky experience regarding Bam has been to reach
it by a night bus trip from Shiraz..uhm..awful. I promise you, just
the African bus trips in Mali has been worse!
to Gabriel and Clara (two Spanish travellers) for
their company during our adventures in Bam and Bandar-e-Abbass