Iran, Australia · 117 Days · 6 Moments · March 2017

Hitching through Persia

10 July 2017

Tehran is a bustling city surrounded by beautiful snow capped mountains all year-round, with numerous hiking trails in spring and summer & heavy snow for skiing and snowboarding in winter. If you can, go south also & you will find a small group of islands off the coast that you can paraglide, swim & chill out on the beaches. Little did I know from the group of boys I was staying with on Hormuz, wearing a bikini was still in fact highly illegal. So only do so if you dare, but the island is not controlled by police, so you will be fine - as I was. Camping is very common in Iran and you will often find families camping literally anywhere & everywhere. Parks are often good places to pitch a tent as they have good lighting , toilets and close to shops. Public showers exist (men's & womens) where you can pay a small fee for a hot shower.
Before entering Iran, I had no knowledge on the country, culture or government. I will be the first to admit two things. 1- I had not previously heard anything good about Iran from the western media 2- I thought that women were segregated from men & treated very badly, controlled by husbands, unable to speak, not able to work, drive or receive education. My world changed. At first I thought it was quite strange, almost scary that my taxi driver had purchased me a sandwich because I didn't have food on me. I then couldn't comprehend why he completely halved my fair because he knew I didn't have a lot of Irani money. I swore he was going to murder me & sell my kidneys on the black market when he personally parked his taxi & walked me inside the bus station. He began conversing with the men behind the counter & organise my ticket, which which he refused money for. Then, he personally took me to the bus that I would be catching & made sure the driver knew. This was the beginning.
Money money money ! NĂºmero uno tip for those entering Iran - take cash. Preferably pounds or US dollars. While the people of Iran love foreigners, I got the feeling the government doesn't. Maybe this was due to the intense feeling that lingers through the air at the Visa on arrival point, or the fact that your bank card won't work. VISA, AMEX, MasterCard - priceless. Literally.

28 March 2017

Art is controlled by the government. It is illegal to sell art if not given permission by the government. You can often find street art all over the country, unknown if this is controlled by government or created by hopefuls as an outbreak from conformity.

23 March 2017

If you do not love architecture in the form of buildings bridges and mosques - you will ! All over Iran numerous mosques are available to visit and are glowing with beauty. The fine details in tiling and colours catch the eye and leave you breathless. Tours are available at some sites, they offer information on the building of the mosque and the history behind it. Quite often you will find a story in which is related closely to the families & gods of Islam. Common colour themes that represent health, purity and love. If you can, I highly recommend - Nasir Old Mosque, Shiraz - Imamzadah Saleh Mosque, Tehran - Tehran nature bridge at sunset - Khajou Bridge, Esfahan (commonly written Isfahan) - Shahe Cheragh shrine, Shiraz

16 March 2017

Keep in mind that Iran is probably safer than your own country. Hitching is a way of life, especially if you don't have a car. Of course there are buses, that run frequently, are in fantastic condition & cost a reasonable amount of money approx 500,000 R or $20AUD. The buses run daily from all over the country, connecting the major cities Tehran all the way south to Shiraz. If you get offered a ride with locals. As I did, on countless occasions, use your intuition and make a decision. I hitch hiked over 600km in total with friends and solo. The major cities have trains available, standard metro & clean. Easy to get around to see tourist sites.