Getting to know Iran

I didn‘t drop or fall off my bike till the day before I entered Iran. After a couple of days riding gravel and dirt roads over Armenian mountains, my bike was up for a wash. There was a high pressure cleaning place with a coin slot. As I wanted to put my bike on the main stand I slipped on the wet grids. Oh well! It wasn‘t the last time my buddy kissed the floor.

I slept in a cheap Guesthouse right near the gates. After doing a coffee supply run for the Armenian borderguards in the morning I crossed the river to Iran. As I didn‘t have/want a carnet de passage, a mandatory custom document for vehicles, I asked an Iranian guy for help beforehand. It worked out in the the end, but I waited for seven hours at the custom declarations and it cost me dollars, many dollars! At least I had company, as a polish rider had been waiting since 3 days. We learnt the Farsi numbers, drank some funny fruit juices and as soon as I got my documents, which I couldn‘t read, I headed towards Tabriz. It was a 3 hour ride and the sun was already low. There was hardly any traffic until I headed into the capital of the Iranian Azerbaijani; it was dark, I was tired, I didn‘t know where to sleep or eat, couldn‘t speak or read the language (except for the numbers), had no Rials and these people here drive like absolute maniacs!!! I managed to find, which seemed like, the last available hotel room in the city for 500.000 rials, about 12$. I never felt so exhausted and foreign in my life.

After I arrived in Iran mentally, travelling was so easy. The Iranian People just want to give you the best time. They‘re kind, helpful, curious, open and very hospitable; they invite you for tea, food, ice cream, to their home or to their weddings.

I met Jafar and his family about an hour outside Esfahan, as I was drinking another one of these fruit juices with huge fruit pieces out of a can. They wanted to invite me for lunch, but couldn‘t find the restaurant. So we ate an ice cream and headed to their house just outside Esfahan, a very beautiful and peaceful city. They were absolutely amazing people; giving me food, tasty tea, a huge living room to rest and sleep; they washed my clothes, recharged my sim card and called Jafar‘s brother, a tourist guide, who showed me Esfahan on his motorbike the next day. I visited a street gathering as it was a religious holiday and was circled by lots of friendly faces trying to comunicate with me. They ask you the same questions in Farsi over and over again and wait till you maybe understand, when they speak just a bit slower. I mostly answered in Swiss German. A good way to chat is to throw names of football players at them. They love football everywhere. I met some incredible musicians as well. „This is our gift to you“, they said to me after playing and singing folk songs in the back of a sawblade shop. The shop owner showed me his old european machines and brought me to the neighboor for another motorbike wash, after I dumped it in a salt lake in the Maranjab desert. But that‘s another story.

I didn‘t spend one dollar in these 3 days. They wouldn‘t accept anything. They just gave me more presents (a book and a carpet) and sent me on my way. It was time to move on, as my turkmenian 5 day transit visa was dated and I was still in the centre of this huge and beautiful country.

Visited in May 2017

watch films from my travels here.

5 thoughts on “Getting to know Iran”

  1. I have felt transported to these lands through your inspiring ramblings. So vibrant , exciting and thought provoking. What a brave and challenging journey. It will always be with you.
    I look forward to each instalment.
    Thank you for allowing me to experience these amazing places through your spirited globetrotting.


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