iran during ramadan and a diplomatic nuclear crisis - what a week!
Despite evident concern of friends and family that Iran would not be safe to visit, to the contrary we found that Iran was an easy place to travel and the people the most friendly and welcoming of all places we’ve been.
With only ten days, our visit was limited to four of Iran’s cities: Tehran, Yazd, Shiraz and Esfahan, flying inexpensively between them using Iran Air, where each flight set us back no more than $30 each. Yazd and Shiraz were not connected by air and so we took the most comfortable bus trip of our journey to date. The bus was so new that the plastic wrapping had not come off the seats. One passenger informed us that the bus had been delivered from the factory the previous day. There is nothing like the arrival of a big, new bus to warm a traveller’s heart as you are contemplating what might lie ahead on a six hour trip.
The ancient Persian city of Persepolis, vindictively destroyed by Alexander the Great, was a highlight. As were the soft serve ice creams. There is no connection between the two.
The only real challenge that we faced was finding food. As Ramadan started the day we arrived, many food establishments were closed for most of the day, and we were limited to eating lunch at restaurants in mid range hotels. Kate’s blog picks up this theme.
Accommodation in Iran was generally comfortable and good value for money in the range that we were in.
While we were there, the French foreign minister made some inflammatory remarks about the possibility of war with Iran which sent state media into a frenzy. But our lasting impression of Iran will be the hospitality and willingness of the Iranian people to meet and greet us and offer us spontaneous assistance.
Cosmetic surgery, anyone?