Iran -Englisch-

Türkei-Iran-Aserbaidschan-Georgien-Armenien-Kasachstan-Mongolei-Russland

Continuation of 08.Turkey

به ایران خوش آمدید

Welcome to Iran

30.03.19   123.582 km  Day 250

38.496918, 44.320437                   Kapitöy Border Gate

The day started quite funny, we stood directly at the border and were therefore also the first car. Thomas said something was wrong here. We are the only ones and he doesn't see anyone far and wide. Expectant and full of energy and drive, we moved the car half the night to make it "suitable" for the Turkish and Iranian border, we went armed with our passports to the only visible guard and said, we want to go over to Iran now. Again the Google translator became necessary and we noticed that we got up 2 hours too early, because we had made a total mistake in the time zones. We now have 4 different times, clock in the car, GPS, mobile phone, tablet. Now comes the unreal, in Iran it takes half an hour, not whole hours as usual. Never heard before that there is such a thing.

Ok, get back in the car and twiddle your thumbs.

After 2,5h the first people from the Iranian side came over, while nobody moved on the Turkish side.

I cut short, we had 3 stops, passport, something else and customs, nobody looked into the car. But we had to wait about 20 minutes each time until they had started up their PC, so that actually the Turkish control lasted over an hour, although nothing was done, except to finally say, we can drive.

Directly after the Turkish gate we stood in front of the Iranian gate. But so unluckily built that we even had to manoeuvre to be able to drive in (the Turks rebuilt their border buildings and placed them directly in front of the Iranian gate, but not in such a way that one can continue driving directly, but is forced to manoeuvre).

After our internet research the Horrotrip was actually about to start. Horror trip in the form of language barriers, 1000 points of approach, uncoordinated and hundreds of tugboats. We found nothing of all this, but once again the exact opposite. After Thomas had maneuvered the car relatively laboriously into the small yard, we both had to get out and an English speaking border official looked superficially into the car. Parallel, while Thomas showed the car, I was emphatically asked into the first one, we call it a building (it was more a shed), in which I was guided from counter to counter. After my formalities were done, I was allowed to go back to the car, where Thomas was still chatting comfortably with the border guards. Now he was also allowed to take care of the formalities inside. No questions were asked, one was already curious, what we want here, but not like in the USA, where one must disclose e.g. still his fortune. Actually only look into the passport, stamp in, finished. Jerry's papers were also looked at here for a change.

Afterwards our car stood so that a queue formed behind us, the yard is too small, only one car comes in. Now we had entered the country, now it was the car's turn. Here we were asked, again in English, to take the Carnet de Passage to the next counter in the same building.

Here we got the first stamp and the responsible person pressed the carnet into the hand of a young man and he started to walk through several stations with it. In the meantime 2 officers with the young man and the carnet came to the car, looked for the vehicle number and again superficially into the car. Another 5 minutes later the young man stood with us again, didn't want any money, but we gave him a Bakschisch, gave us the carnet back, said "ready", pressed the docket with the 1000 stamps into our hands, which we had to hand in again at the gate to the exit. The only negative was that we were approached 3 times because of money exchange, but we refused, because we wanted to do this in a bank later.

Approximately after 45 min the gate opened and we were in Iran. Here it was now a bit tumultuous, because that is also the eye of the needle, for all who want to go to Turkey. It was heavily parked, very many people, many tugboats, children and we had really trouble to work through it.

Since Jery was already sitting in the car for 4 hours, our next request was to take a pee break and we stopped after a few kilometres. And while we were still walking the dog, the first Iranian already stopped and said how great he thinks it is that we visit the country, invited him to dinner and offered us a place to sleep.

I anticipate the day briefly, we still had several contacts and everyone invited us to eat and stay overnight. But what we are still trying to refuse at the moment, because we need our rest, the whole thing was easy, but still really exhausting.

Oh, and now the hammer, see photo, I now have to wait for the complete time, in which I am in this country on the

After approx. 40 min by car, on a relatively good road (we had looked for a very small border crossing in the mountains), we reached Khoy, the first bigger city and immediately went on the search where we can change money and buy a SIM card. Sounds simple. But it is not. Because one cannot recognize, what kind of business one has before itself. Here everything is in Farsi. The road traffic is also extremely chaotic again, similar to the one in Istanbul. But here it is even more aggravating, in contrast to Istanbul, that every few 100 m extremely high speed reduction bollards are on the road, some of which are not announced.

After we found the first bank (not visible from the outside) after a 45 minute search, I went in to change money. Inside at least 15 counters, very many people, across each other. I asked one of the staff if I can change money here, or just in exchange offices. First he said no, then he phoned, then it worked, I was supposed to take a seat, behind me, next to me at the same counter, very close to others, who also brought their concerns to hearing. Incisive I was top topic, "Almani", all smile, grin, rivers of speeches in Persian, my Google translator cannot yet without Internet. Finally I got for 300 USD a thick bag full of money and no voucher.

Note 1: EC cards and credit cards do not work here for us because of the embargo, so that we had to bring our complete previously calculated money in cash and then have to exchange here.

Note 2: the currency is Rial, but you pay in Toman (factor 10 less), you have to convert it internally again, which is not easy with these huge numbers anyway, I have just 40 million Rial=300 USD here.

Since the banker of the English was only conditionally powerful, he called his friend, who could speak English perfectly, explained everything to me again, with his number gave, we should have still questions or problems. It's incredible, but the whole action took 1.5h, I know all the bankers now and I was the highlight of the day. When I asked if many tourists came here, I found out that I was one of the first.

Then we had a 6 in the lottery. Because now we had to restore the internet readiness. When I asked where there was an Irancellshop here, the banker went with me from the bank to the shop next door. Called his friend to translate again. Although the Internet here is super cheap, 20GB for 8 €, but after entering my personal data into the computer, copy of the passport, fingerprints, it took about 1.5h until I had the unlocked SIM card (Irancell).

And another invitation to eat and sleep from the owners of the shop.

Thomas, who was waiting with Jerry in the car, had already had contact with the police twice in the meantime. Once regarding parking, however, after courageous objection of the banker, who came extra, was tolerated, while all others who parked there got a parking ticket. The second time he stood smoking in front of the Auo, which is not usual here. But also this was tolerated, Touribonus. He didn't even have to turn them off. And the biggest attraction here is Jerry, all who pass the car stop, knock on the window, point at him, our husky mixture is probably not so well known here.

During the three hours that changed the money and the purchase of the SIM card lasted, there was always a small crowd at our car and when I came back, Thomas was totally exhausted and we decided to drive to the park googled in advance, where we can officially spend the night. And here we recover from the beautiful and really good, but also very exhausting experience. And so much in advance, we are now 8h here, the country is warm, we feel very safe, the people are curious, friendly and totally happy when you say hello (salaam) in Persian. It is very exhausting for us, even here, where we now stand in a quiet side street, away in a park, people constantly come and watch. We don't find peace. Promistatus. That can be quite annoying.

Nevertheless, Khoy is a small town, no different than at home, only more chaotic, Muslim, lively.

Now that we have settled down a bit, we are really happy to have embarked on this adventure, to visit Iran and are oh really curious about the next days. Hey, guys, we're in Persia and we're broadening our horizons a lot right now.   

 

38°33'51.0"N 44°58'46.3"E

38.564176, 44.979514

300 euros exchanged for 42 million rials. Funny: I give 3 notes and get a plastic bag full of money. As it turned out in the meantime, this will be enough for a whole month, including refueling. After one week our average consumption per day is 10€ and there is everything in it, 2 x SIM cards with 40 GB, 3 x full tanks, food, going to eat, entry, toll, a carton of cigarettes.

Not visible from the outside, that was our mobile shop. For us, all business looks the same from the outside and we have to puzzle over what's inside. Larger supermarkets, as we know them, have never existed before. But we were told, occasionally, in bigger cities we will see one (but we have already driven through some bigger cities and have not found one).

Khoy, our first impressions. Strange, chaotic, mixed up, traffic horrible, you have to get used to it and find it here. 


31.03.19   123.582 km  Tag 251

Since the weather is still bad and we finally want it to be warm and dry and sunny again, this morning we decided to drive south and leave the sights lying here on the left side (on the way back we come here again and take a closer look). It was a very rainy day and we drove as far as we could south. The driving here is very exhausting, again and again bollards and roundabouts, which are very chaotic for us. Because of the bad weather, we didn't see much of the landscape. Instead of getting warmer it got colder during the trip. And we already had the first snowfall, then we reached the City Park in Saggez, we were under water. We looked for a remote corner, retired relatively exhausted. And while we talked in the car about what our first impressions of Iran were and also came down a bit, an ordeal of the same kind began. First knocking on the car, parkkeeper asked us emphatically, this beautiful lonely back place, where you could almost not see us and instead park with him directly at the cottage, All attempts by Thomas to explain that this is ok for us failed and we had to resettle. And now the loneliness was over. Because only our car was in the headlight, visible for everyone. Now they came again from all sides, looked for contact to us, took photos of the car, put their children in front of the car and took photos. Obligatory there was again a tea ceremony in the house. The groundskeeper called all his friends, who all came and wanted a photo. The Google translator was running hot. After half an hour we sealed ourselves off exhausted and exhausted in the car. But that wasn't it yet.

 

The next knock was probably a guardian of morals, because now Thomas had to explain that we are married, then everything was ok, with a satisfied smile he left us. Another half hour later, meanwhile it was already 22 o'clock, it knocked again and now it was the police who told us that they were looking after us and that they thought it great that we were in their country. After we were already in bed and almost asleep, we still heard the people around the car outside. Around 1 o'clock there was another knock. And three young Iranians invited us to come, because it is so wet here and not nice, they would be happy if we stayed overnight with them. But since we were already in sleep mode, we refused, although it was difficult, because they seemed to have come here by car because word got around that we were standing here.

As you can read now, Iranians are hospitable, cordial, curious, you are welcome everywhere.  

 

36°14'00.7"N 46°16'09.6"E

36.233520, 46.269320

Picture 1: this is what the shops look like at the moment, front in the front Cola, chips in rough quantities and tens of varieties, and inside you can also find cheese, sausage, butter, bread, but very spartan and hardly any selection. 
Picture 2: simply zoom in, here the banana boxes are also reused (looks relatively overloaded                 
Picture 3: you often see that, many, many flags (you also often see many big photos of Oberhaupt)

01.04.19   123.956 km  Tag 252

 

When we woke up in the morning, we were invited right back for tea. If there were about 10 people who wanted to see us last night, there were twice as many today, a huge crowd of people stood in front of the car and waited for us to get out. We had no chance, we were invited for tea again and everybody wanted to take a picture with his mobile phone. But now we have a full water tank again, because we also got fresh water there. We are still in the Kurdish part of Iran. Now we had to make a decision, there are two ways to Kermanscheh. And since the weather was still bad, it should rain the whole day, we decided to take the better road and not across the mountains. As we learned later, this was a golden decision. Because exactly there was today a heavy earthquake, according to the media strength 6.8 and in addition still another strong flooding. We didn't really notice it, but we were only 120km away from the epicentre. But as the pictures show, our chosen route wasn't without it, we mostly drove at an altitude of 2000m and there it didn't rain, but snowed extremely hard. It went like this the whole day. We saw a lot of sliding trucks and cars, several accidents, but on the one hand we have chains in the car, if it would have got worse, on the other hand we have very good tires and came so well up and down the mountains. Thomas had a lot of fun, it was an adventure for him to cope with these weather conditions.

I have to say, he did well, we never slipped once (except my heart, which slipped a few floors down). There were some minor problems here and there, but this was due to the fact that many cars with very bad treads are on the tires and overestimate each other and start to slip and block everything standing across.

The day passed very quickly in this way, as we had to fight our way through these masses of snow with great concentration. Oh well, for Jerry it was really bad, because the snow was half a meter high and he almost sank into it and of course he couldn't find a tree.

In the afternoon we knew that we would not reach our destination Kermanscheh in the light and decided to spend the night in a park in Hamedan. And 20km before Hamedan Thomas drove to a gas station, like every day, we always want to keep the tank as full as possible, because it's not so easy to fill up, on the one hand there isn't diesel at every gas station, on the other hand it's always a little adventure, because you have to deal with the gas station attendant. The price is individual for us, because we couldn't get a fuel card.

A full tank of fuel costs us here 6$, sometimes only 4$, depending on the negotiation.

The refuelling was done very fast and now we started. As I said, it was already about 17h, it was a bit dawning and now everyone who was at the gas station was pouring towards us and wanted to invite us to stay overnight. We had 6 invitations within seconds. And they even argued with each other about who was allowed to take us with them. So that we first withdrew back into the car until the situation had cleared up again. At the end the gas station attendant was the one who set heaven and hell in motion and organized someone who speaks English and so we decided to get involved. Now we had to wait, because we were supposed to be picked up, which took about 45 minutes, because they came here from Hamedan to pick us up. The gas station attendant was radiant and totally happy, embraced Thomas constantly. As far as I'm concerned, more about that later, I'm treated more differentiated than a woman.

Then the car came, not one came to pick us up, but the whole family sat in the car to receive us. After the usual "Welcome" we drove behind them. We were assured that our car could stand very well in front of the house. Thomas fought his way behind them, the snow was really high everywhere, even on the streets, the city of Hamedan was overwhelmed with these masses of snow. Everywhere the cars still slid around and slipped into the streets, it was adventurous. The bollards were especially hard to see through the snow, and there were hundreds of them again, some of them we took with us very rough. There are no lowered cars here, they couldn't drive a meter here. We were really lucky, the place where we parked was very good, also for Jerry. And we were asked into the house, into a nice flat and invited to dinner by a teacher couple, both of whose children and niece spoke English. Our first opportunity to finally exchange ideas, since the language barrier had been lifted, we got a lot of input about Iran. It was a very nice evening.

 

Now it got a bit uncomfortable for a second when we wanted to go to sleep, because they insisted that we stay in a room that had been vacated. But we refused because we didn't want to leave the dog and the car alone overnight. This was quickly accepted, but we had to come for breakfast in the morning and spend the day there, because there was a party with guests and we were cordially invited. We went back into the car, nobody knocked anymore, we could really sleep through.

 

34°45'54.6"N 48°31'07.6"E

34.765170, 48.518790

Early in the morning, 9 o'clock in Saggez, City Park, everybody wanted to take a picture with us and there were more and more

Pure snow chaos.  It was really borderline and we saw a lot of accidents and cars that couldn't cope with the conditions anymore.

1 and 2: Accidents

Dinner with our hosts in Hamedan. As we learned later, they usually eat oh at the table, they did it just for us in the original, local way this time. We learned a lot about Iran that evening and our luck was that Sama (in the picture on the left) could speak perfect English and so there was a lively conversation.


02.04.19   124.330 km  Tag 253

After an exuberant breakfast we said goodbye to our host. Now it became exciting, we got away from the spot, because the snow was frozen over night and partly 30cm high lay also on the road.

After 2-3 times back and forth jerking, we stood again on the road and we drove further south. Within one hour there was no more snow, no more mountains, now everything was flatter, we had 15 degrees and sun. Finally we have this rainy season, one week behind us. And already the mood in the car rises, we are more positive again. And when we reach our destination, Isfahan, tonight, we are already relatively in the middle of Iran. Again a few words about Iran. It's warm, it's totally different than we expected and due to the different culture sometimes a bit exhausting (we don't want to make a mistake here either), but we are very open and cordial.

The trip to Isfahan was wonderful. The first 300km was a great road with little traffic and we rolled there, could enjoy the changing landscape, we had a little party in the car.

The 2nd half of the way the road was again very difficult to get used to with many potholes. For Isfahan we had found out three possibilities to spend the night.

1. outside the city a park on the outskirts, is for free, disadvantage, it is far away from the sightseeing (Park Fadak Garden)

(32.733792, 51.698475)

2. a hostel, relatively close to the sights, 10€ for a parking place in the courtyard,(Amir Kabir Hostel).

(32.663755, 51.669576)

3. a hotel parking lot directly between the 3 main attractions, all within 10 minutes walking distance and guarded, for 22€. (Abbasi Hotel)

(32.652679, 51.671446)

We decided to use the hotel parking lot. And that turned out to be absolutely right. Because we visit the whole thing once in the evening with lighting and on the following day we enjoy it again in peace. Furthermore we had grilled chicken with chips, it was super tasty and we found the stall by simply following the smell in the narrow alleys. This city fascinates us, you can feel the long history, 1001 nights, everything is clean and very tidy.

 

32°39'09.6"N 51°40'17.2"E

32.652679, 51.671446

From Khoy to Isfahan we did not see any magnificent mosques, that was also the Kurdish part of Iran. And since Isfahan there is a monstrous mosque in every village.

Isfahan is a city in central Iran known for its Persian architecture. The spacious Imam Square (Naqsch-e-Dschahān Square) is home to the 17th century Imam Mosque, whose dome and minarets are covered with mosaic tiles and calligraphy. The Ālī-Qāpū palace was originally built for Shah Abbas and completed in the late 16th century. It has a music room and a veranda overlooking the fountains of Imam Square. The Sheikh-Lotfollāh Mosque is known for its elaborately designed tile patterns.

Early Qajar School and Chaharbagh Street The Chaharbagh School, also known as the Soltani School and the Madrassahi School, is the last magnificent Safawid monument in Isfahan that taught and taught religious scholars during the reign of the last King of Safawid, Shah Sultan Hussein, from 1116 to 1126 AD. The school with four gardens, which according to many scholars, both school and mosque, has an area of 8500 square meters on the east side of Chaharbagh Street. Today the Imam Sadiq School of Theology is called

Isfahan at night is dreamlike beautiful. You feel 1001 nights. One smells oriental smells, it is another world. But miraculous wondershön.

The Khajoo Bridge is a landmark of Isfahan. Built in 1650 at the request of the Safavid Shah Abbas II on the foundation of an older Timurid bridge, it has since been used as a transition between two parts of the city, the Zayandeh Rud River. According to an inscription, it was restored in 1873. Lock gates are attached to the arches under the bridge, which can be closed if necessary and raise the water level by about two metres. This is the case when the water level falls too low and is used to irrigate the upstream gardens. One of these gardens is the Sa'ādatātābād, the "Garden of Happiness". The lower part of the bridge is accessible to pedestrians and is a popular place to stay with steps leading to the water. In the middle of the bridge there is an octagonal building with a viewing platform from which the Shah and his entourage followed the competitions on the water. The historical bridge is very beautiful to look at, even at night when it is illuminated.

We were really lucky, actually there hasn't been any water in the river for years. But due to the many rainfalls lately, we were told that it hardly rains, everywhere is high water and there are also roads washed away, the river had water again.  

Of all the palaces with Safa and the cultural hats that were built next to Chaharbagh, only the palaces of the eight paradises remain. This magnificent manor house, once again called the most beautiful palace in the world, was built in 1080 AH and in the time of Safavid Shah Suleiman near the nightingale garden. This two-storey building with beautiful vaulted ceilings and ornate decorations has paved the way for one of the brilliant examples of Safavid era architecture. All travellers and tourists visiting Isfahan who have managed to enter the Palace of Eight Paradises have called it the best buildings in the world. One of them described the palace of the Eight Paradise as "... more frightening than the most luxurious palaces in European countries". The great garden in which the villa is located is part of the great garden of the world, built by Shah Isma'il I, and during his successors, especially Shah Abbas I, it was divided into several parts. This magnificent palace was from the beginning called the "Eight Paradise Villa" "eight to eight" and "eight in heaven".  Palace building: The central part of the palace is built in four phases and its veranda faces north. The roof over the four-storey building is covered with glamorous gypsum yogharnas.

 The rooms on the first floor in the four corners of the villa are glued and painted. On the second floor, the property adds a series of verandas and chambers, arches and windows to its beauty. This floor is divided into corridors and chambers, each with a special decoration. In some water ponds and in some wall heaters. The walls also cover many mirrors. All the ceilings of the palace are also covered with beautiful mosaics, and the corridors and slums surround the beautiful and harmonious rounds. The decorations of the villa during the Safavid period were so magnificent and artistic that no one would ever have dreamed of their admiration. What is important in this villa is a connection between spaces and their different parts. This connection has made the 8th Paradise of the Isfahan Villa more diverse and versatile than unity, uniqueness and decoration.  Unfortunately there are no traces of woodcarvings and crystal frames and crystal cups and fine coloured glass springs today, because there were many changes in the times after the Safavids, especially in the Qajar period. These changes are so great that some tourists have thought of them since the Qajar era. At the end of the Qajar era, the Mansion of Eight Paradises was privately owned and robbed of precious and precious jewels of the Safavid period, so that today it has all the splendor and charm of the palace and banana trees and the white and red jasper flowers on the edge. With all the influences, says André Godard, who has been responsible for archaeology in Iran for years: "...the palace of eight paradises with a section open on all sides, with four pergola houses on the ground of eight paradises in its four corners Nevertheless, the original and short combination of grace of the past has been preserved


03.04.19   124.820 km  Tag 254

As already mentioned above, the morning consisted again of "strolling" through the sights, yesterday's positive impression was also reflected during the day. The sun and the warmth did the rest for a perfect day. We miss what (do we really miss it?), since we are in Iran, we have not seen any buses spitting out hundreds of Asians anymore. Around noon short council of war: stay today again or drive on? That was really difficult, because Isfahan has done it to us and is worth a trip. But since the visa is limited and we still have many such beautiful impressions in front of us, we decided to drive further south, in the direction of Shiraz (but we reserved the right to pass here again on the way back). The remaining 500km we reeled off like nothing and we reach Persepolis at 17.30 o'clock, which is 50 km before Shiraz. Here all hell broke loose. Although Persepolis closes in 30 min, there were still thousands of people here. What a luck that I can be the first one tomorrow, now that we spend the night here on the parking lot (for 2€), when it opens at 8 o'clock to visit the ruins of the ancient capital Persepolis. While we write this here (22 o'clock), first a very strong thunderstorm pulled over us, followed by a hail, as we have never experienced it before. Thomas jumped up and covered the windshield and got back into the car completely soaked. 

 

Addendum: nothing broke. After about 15 minutes everything was over. 

 

29°56'10.1"N 52°53'07.2"E

29.936142, 52.885335

The Shah Mosque, or New Abbasi Mosque, Royal Mosque or Imam Mosque, stands on the south side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square and was built during the Safavid dynasty. It is considered one of the masterpieces of Persian architecture in Islamic times. The mosque is together with the Naghsh-e Jahan Square UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction began in 1611 and the magnificence is mainly due to the beauty of the seven colored mosaic tiles and the calligraphic inscriptions. The mosque is depicted on the back of the Iranian 20,000 rial banknote. 

The Naghsh-e Jahan Square is 510x160 m large and near Beijing's Tiananmen Square is the largest and at the same time one of the most beautiful places in the world (and that's how I felt, I suddenly didn't just want to take pictures anymore, but just stay and be amazed). In Safawid times it was not only used for parades, but also for polo games and other entertaining events. 

xxx

Impressions of the shops in the bazaar at Naghsh-e Jahan Square. What really impresses is that here really beautiful craftsmanship is sold and not cheap trash for tourists. 

People at Naghsh-e Jahan Square

Right after Isfahan the desert begins. Very fascinating for us, just 24 hours ago we were standing in the 30cm high snow and now we have 25°C and T-shirt is announced (so for Thomas, not for me, dress code, long sleeves, long trousers and headscarf)


04.04.19   125.314 km  Tag 255

 

At 8 in the morning I set off to visit Persepolis. The pictures speak for themselves. You can see everything in about an hour, you don't have to walk forever. When I came back to the car around 9.30h, I was amazed. The parking lot is about as big as 4 football fields and we parked in the back (quieter) part and around our car already the first Iranians sat, several groups. They had put blankets on the floor and picnicked there.

Today we continued in the direction of Shiraz. Originally we wanted to visit some things here, but the traffic here was incredible, so that we only photographed the Karim Khan citadel, to drive to it was a nightmare in itself, and then we left the city again. After Istanbul this city has been the most difficult we had to cope with by car so far. Oh yes, on the way there we stumbled across the first real supermarket in Iran. So of course, we went straight in and stocked up. First I felt like I was in a land of milk and honey after such a long time without a supermarket. Ok, the cooling counter was very manageable, actually mainly different forms of cream cheese, natural yoghurt, milk. Just as I was stretching out my hand for a cream cheese, an Iranian woman who had an employee of the supermarket in tow approached me. She wanted to know what I was looking for and how I could help. All right, the cream cheese I had chosen on suspicion failed, everything I touched was replaced by something that seemed to be of better quality. I couldn't read prices, everything was excellent, but not readable for me. All the other customers in this shop forgot their own purchases while I was present, watched me and smiled, 2 approached me but couldn't speak English. Unfortunately there are no fruits and vegetables here, only packaged things. In addition there was a butcher who was just about to cut up something big and a bar where whole chickens were lying. Then I had a full shopping cart and paid the equivalent of 10€ for it.Our original plan to drive to the Persian Gulf, from here about 400km, but there were the temperature predictions between 35 and 40°C , we have discarded. Instead we turned towards Kerman into the desert. There the temperatures are between 20 and 30°C.

And we already had enough coasts on our travels, we are more interested in the desert Lut.

The trip was pleasant. The more we came into the desert, the more the traffic decreased and we were the first time since we are in Iran a little more unobserved and had some time for us. We parked in the middle of the salt lake (see photo), which had the consequence that we stood now very calmly, we were visited only twice. We arrived there very early, around 16h and could finally spend some time sitting in front of the car.

There we also stayed overnight

 

29°13'46.7"N 54°06'06.1"E

29.229626, 54.101693

it is already very impressive to come into contact with this 2000 year old culture. One can only recommend to watch it very early in the morning, as this place is extremely well visited.

The ancient Persian royal seat of Persepolis was one of the capitals of the ancient Persian Empire under the Achaemenids and was founded in 520 BC by Darius in southern Iran.

About 200 years after its foundation, 330 BC, Persepolis was burned down by Alexander the Great and most of the ruins of the former royal city were buried under rubble and ashes. Allegedly the Persian king offered him all the treasures of the city to save them, but Alexander the Great refused.

The citadel was built in 1766/67. Karim Khan invited the best architects and artists of his time and acquired the best materials from other cities and abroad for the construction of the building, which was quickly erected.

The citadel of Karim Khan is located in the northeast of the Iranian city of Shiraz. It was built during the Zand Dynasty as part of a larger complex and served as a residential and military base for the eponymous ruler Karim Khan.

here it is worthwhile to enlarge the picture. A whole shop full of melons

the worst thing we've seen in a long time. Like in Istanbul and it's almost a miracle that we don't have a dent, we felt as if there were no rules here. Driving outside the big cities is not a problem, except that you have to pay attention to the road surface.

Picture 1: you can see this more often here, but we couldn't see if the gas is boring oil.

Picture 2: this is how the buildings look, not as pompous as we thought they would be

our overnight place, a salt lake east of Fasa


05.04.Today it goes over Kerman directly into the desert Lut. Thomas absolutely wants to go there. We were lucky that it was a little cloudy, but not raining and therefore only 25°C. We also reached the desert, see picture below, nothing more happened today. Tomorrow we drive another 100 km to the city of Bam. And a little right and left of it into the desert. Since we are at present 400 km before Pakistan and Afghanistan, we feel this already a little bit, we decided to look at the largest clay brick buildings of the world in Bam and then we go east in Iran direction Yazd, Tehran, Tabriz from Iran over the Armenian border again out. Back to Tabriz from here it's 2.200 km (Lena, as far as from Frankfurt to you, ;-))

To the desert Lut: normally it becomes here 50°C during the day and 30°C at night. I'm really lucky that we only have 25°C at the moment. Is this now due to the confusion of the climate, recently it rained here, which is not normal or am I just lucky?19   125.600 km  Tag 256

29°42'12.0"N 57°37'42.4"E

29.703329, 57.628436

hiding in the desert isn't always that easy. Now we had a nice place, were almost invisible, but even here it didn't take long and they drove off the road to visit us, but this time it was a bit unpleasant (we are now 400 km before Pakistan/ Afghanistan and you can feel that). The clothes/ the outward appearance already look Pakistani and the last visitor was very unpleasant. That's why we decided to drive on to the next bigger rest area, where we are stuck between trucks.

 

Picture 1: Do you know where to go?

Picture 2: the first impressions of the Lut desert, one of the driest points on earth.


 

06.04.19   126.060 km  Tag 257

 

 Today we drive towards Bam, our southernmost point in Iran. After that there is a bigger city and you are at the border to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The drive there was impressive, the landscape changed, the first palm trees appeared. The temperatures increased suddenly from 20 to 35°C. But that wasn't really planned, because we had googled via wetter.com that it should only be mid 20 degrees here and 35°C at the coast. That's why we decided to go this way. Wetter.com persistently claimed that it should be 20°C here. No, it's now 36°C and since I'm not as loosely dressed as usual in the heat, but rather very packed, it's not exactly bearable for me. Thomas is standing next to me in a T-shirt and is happy about the nice weather, Jerry actually gets along quite well with it, but I sweat and don't really feel well.

If you look at it from home and say, well, then I have to wear a headscarf for 14 days and cover my skin, it sounds feasible, but in reality it's exhausting, I say, very unpleasant.

We reached Bam, a beautiful desert city. After Isfahan the city that we like the most (even if very hot, in summer up to 50°C) and stumbled over an impressive mosque where the doors were open. Thomas stopped abruptly and said, "We'll have a look now. We asked passing passers-by if it was possible for me to go to this mosque as a woman. And while someone wanted to lead me in, Thomas approached another young man, his name is Mohammed and asked him to lead me through the mosque because he wanted to stay with the car. Rest, see picture below.

On the parking lot, where coaches parked, we also stayed overnight, because for the first time in a long time we were a little bit for ourselves and needed that. 

From Wiki: On 26 December 2003 at 1:56 UTC (5:26 local time) the citadel and a large part of the city of Bam were devastated by an earthquake. Its magnitude was 6.6 on the moment magnitude scale. 70 percent of the modern city of Bam was destroyed. Officially, 30,000 people died as a result of the earthquake, according to independent investigations there were over 43,000 dead and 30,000 injured. The United States sent salvage troops and medical supplies.

really fascinating, but no fun at 36°C. you are in the process of restoring everything, but what will take another 15 years, it is the largest clay brick city in the world, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mohammed also showed me areas that are not accessible for normal tourists. Thomas simply asked him on the street if he could show us the mosque and the citadel and the adjoining city of clay bricks, he left everything there and asked for 5 minutes to change and showed me everything there is to see in Bam. He speaks broken English so that we could communicate. Thomas wanted to give him Rial several times, but he refused it and said again and again "welcome to Iran, in my country". after about 3h he brought us to a quiet bus station, where we can finally relax a bit. We stand under palm trees in the shade and wait until it gets cooler. 

From Wiki : The Arg-e Bam ( Persian : ارگ بم ) is the largest clay brick building in the world. It is located in Bam , a town in the province of Kerman in the southeast of Iran . It is listed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage "Bam and its Cultural Landscape". The origin of this huge citadel on the Silk Road goes back to the Achaemenid Empire (6th to 4th century BC) and even beyond. The heyday of the citadel was from the seventh to the eleventh century, at the crossroads of important trade routes and known for the production of silk and cotton dresses.

Picture 1: the melon costs as much as half a tank filling, although it was bought by a native (Mohammed, who showed us the city today)

Picture 2: I love melons, perfect at 36°C in Bam (desert Lut)

 

Mosque in Bam, I was allowed to visit them, but unfortunately no photos inside. Mohammed showed me everything inside

Impressions of the desert city Bam, from here it is still 400 km to Pakistan/ Afghanistan

this is Mohammed, who really inspired us. First he leaves everything standing and lying to show me the mosque and the citadel of Bam, then he takes us to a quiet bus parking where we could stand in the shade (35°C at the moment). The next morning he brought us breakfast, it was partout not possible to return the favor.


07.04.19   126.178 km  Tag 258

 

Today we slept a little longer and last night we sat longer in front of the car for the first time and enjoyed the warmth that became bearable in the evening, a light wind did the rest. It was a wonderful evening. And since we also had time to think about the country more intensively, we would like to write something about it.

When we decided to go to Turkey / Iran (we want to travel a little bit along the Silk Road), everyone said "are you crazy, you can't do that, it's dangerous, you'll be kidnapped" and and and and (these statements also came about Turkey, where we stayed 3.5 weeks). In both countries we were treated with courtesy, consideration, helpfulness, people who give, help and expect no return. Thomas tried again and again to give Bakschisch, or what to pay, it was so far always vehemently rejected, e.g. our heating was repaired, 3 people worked one day on it and we could and were not allowed to pay anything, with the filling of the gas bottle we had a problem, it was immediately telephoned, driven back and forth and not loosely left, until everything ran again, one we were invited so far each day to the meal, what we also so approx. 20 times since we have been on the road, noticed, we were invited for countless teas, it was never possible for us to pay for it somehow, we partly refuelled for free (good, it costs almost nothing here), when we asked for something, they always left everything standing and lying, took us there, drove us there, accompanied us, sometimes for several hours, showed us everything and expected no return. Also we never had to wait, as is usual in Germany.

Even in the tourist areas, where we always stay for a short time when we visit something, no begging, no rip-off, nothing like that. Altogether we have been begged 3 times by very old people. Our only negative experience we had so far on this trip was the story with the Kurds and this demonstration, which had nothing to do with us, we just had to drive through, it wasn't for us. And the driving through was very unpleasant, because everything else was so nice before, we had to digest it first. We talk a lot about it and simply don't understand why we say from Europe we report so negatively about Turkey and Iran, why we gave such a negative impression. Here it is neither dangerous, nor is one cheated in any way, rather the opposite. In European countries, e.g. Greece, Spain, Italy etc. one is rather ripped off, the people are not so helpful, the people are not as welcoming as here and I am not talking about Germany now. Those of us who visited Turkey and Iran and who really did spend a lot of time in these two countries feel much safer here than in our European area. Of course we took great care not to express ourselves politically, but seriously, do you think that Chinese, Russian and American politics are so much better? Do you think that everything is always right in Germany?

Every country has strengths and weaknesses. Of course we don't like some political things, but with all the hatred, with all the negativity, you forget the people who live here and who are really different. Turkey is a really beautiful, warm and cheap holiday country and Iran with the drawbacks that as a woman you are confronted with certain restrictions that are culturally determined, but you still feel very comfortable and safe here. If these two countries were not so far away from us, we would definitely prefer them to our "normal" holiday countries.

Why is such a negative picture created when we have a public television for which we also pay a lot of money, which is actually there for opinions about the media should not be falsified. But in the German media it only matters if someone has been shot, happens in Germany and Europe every day, but nobody writes how obliging, how helpful everyone is here. It really annoys us that the media coverage in Germany always only refers to negative things and over a certain period of time, over years, completely distorts the perception. Even if we now have one or the other friend less, it was a real concern for us to express this here in such a way (why friend less? Because we already had many discussions about Morocco and we had the same experience there. And after that we often encountered an unspeakable intolerance). One should take the trouble to get one's own impression by visiting a country and not to listen after saying an opinion in the head, because one can give so his mustard to something without having sound knowledge.

Since many countries are politically different than the ones we grew up with, we have got used to put the country and the people who live there in the foreground, to express ourselves politically in no way or take a stand, but for us the people who are worth to be visited count. 

This not only corresponds to our opinion, but we have also read countless travel reports from other travellers in the same way, in which our opinion expressed here is reflected in theirs.

Back to the travelogue:

After we were in Kerman, Gondab-e Jabaliye (Gondab or Rock Dome, also known as Gabri Dome, is rectangular and consists of three floors, which are crowned by a flat, inside empty dome. It was perhaps a Zoroastrian building), we are now on our way to Yazd. Which is still 350km from here today.

 

 

31°54'03.5"N 54°22'13.0"E

31.900980, 54.370270

Die Wüste Lut (persisch Kavir-e Lut) liegt im Südosten des Iran. Inmitten der Provinzen Südkhorasan, Sistan-Baluchestan und Kerman gelegen, gilt sie als einer der am wenigsten erforschten Orte des Landes. Hier gibt es neben 700 Meter hohen Sanddünen auch

The desert Lut (Persian Kavir-e Lut) lies in the southeast of Iran. Situated in the middle of the provinces of South Khorasan, Sistan-Baluchestan and Kerman, it is considered to be one of the least explored places in the country. Besides 700 meter high sand dunes there are also some of the largest yardangs in the world - these are eroded, huge bumps that rise out of the desert. The Lut Desert covers an area of 166,000 km² and is one of the largest deserts in the country. Southwest of it lies the Zagros Mountains and to the north is the Kavir Desert. In the desert Lut one of the highest temperatures on earth was measured with a temperature of more than 70° C once. Therefore a journey should be well thought out - water is hardly to be found here.

Desert impressions out of the car (Desert Lut)

one of the countless sightseeings in Kerman, on our trip you can stop and take pictures all the time. Iran really has a lot to offer.

The Jablilla dome, also called the Gobain dome, is the only stone building in Kerman that was built during the Sassanid period and before Islam. This tourist attraction lights up and shines at night above the city.

The inscriptions in this building contain the inscription of the mosque Abder Ashkan Rabbar. This inscription is one of the oldest inscriptions related to the monument to a mosque in the highlands of the northern town of Rababadi, Aberdeen in Ashkan, in the town of Baft. The inscription was made on a piece of natural stone and made into the Kufi line.

Susanne nascht Datteln, which Mohammed gave us yesterday. Very very sweet, but tasty

                       3X2=6

Yes the first

compatriots,

countrymen

or like-minded

it turned out to be a beautiful evening.

Exchange of experiences

was at the very top.

 


08.04.19   126.744 km  Tag 259

 Rest day in Yazd

So far we have spent in our 10 days Iran for everything 140 €. And we were not economical, have driven 3,200 km, have gone a lot to eat,  

Laundry washing in the hotel worked, it took 24 hours, then two thick bags with clean, dry laundry came back for the equivalent of 7€. Finally we have everything clean again and don't have to search any further where we could wash.

Today on our parking lot in Yazd in front of the hotel another German family with three small children joined us with an ancient, converted fire truck. Immediately a lively conversation developed, first before dinner and then until late into the night in front of the car. Unfortunately our way will be probably won't cross again, since they're taking the route via Turkmenistan, Tajikistan. 

31°54'03.5"N 54°22'13.0"E

31.900980, 54.370270

the Amir Chakhmaq Complex, unfortunately only photographed by day, in the dark it is beautifully illuminated

the Friday Mosque and again the Amir Chakhmaq Complex

the different mosaics in and around the mosques are very impressive

Impressions of the beautiful desert town Yazd, which we liked very much and which is worth a trip


09.04.19   126.744 km  Day 260

There were two choices today,  

 

1. 1-2 more nights in the desert, not far from here,

Second direction Tehran. 

We pointed out Sama whom we met when we were invited to dinner with her family in Hamedan, whether she has time on Wednesday to show us Tehran and have dinner with us. To Tehran it is about 700 km from here through the Kabir desert. On the way there there are still further sightseeings, e.g. in Kashan and in the pilgrim city Ghom. We assume that we will reach Tehran tomorrow afternoon. The desert is only postponed, we still have some ahead of us, e.g. the desert Gobi. The journey from Yazd to Kashan today is completely different from our outward journey to the south. While we mainly drive through mountains there, the road now leads completely straight through a desert, in the background you can see the snow-covered mountain ranges. Around 18h we reached Kashan and had a wonderful evening in a small park on the outskirts of the city. Also Kashan has impressive mosques, but today we have to visit more, we enjoy a warm, quiet evening at 25°C, comfortable for three in front of the car. We are also looking forward to tomorrow like little children, because I asked Sama not to show us the touristic Tehran, but her personal Tehran. And we are looking forward to inviting her to dinner as a thank you for her help. If someone had told us that we would come to Tehran at some point to visit the city with a friend... we would never have expected that in our lives and would have declared him crazy. Now we see it from a different perspective and have a huge anticipation. 

°55'50.8"N 51°21'54.5"E

33.930770, 51.365150

Yazd - our 2-day pit stop, fun by the side, here was washing day announced, 2 big bags full for 7€ in the Silk Road Hotel. The overnight stay here didn't cost anything, so they meet the Overlander again and again (see right in the picture).

Impressions of a well passable road through the Lut desert

an old abandoned caravanserai on the road. These used to be the overnight accommodation points of the camel caravans. We have seen a lot of them in the last weeks, because we always walk the route of the Silk Road.


10.04.19   127.177 km  Tag 261   in Teheran

that we'd visit Tehran, we'd laugh at him and say no way. Around noon we reached Tehran and tried to reach the address given by Sama. This turned out to be very difficult because there were a lot of narrow streets, we had to manoeuvre sometimes, the streets were sometimes not wider than the car. Sometime we got a parking place in the shade and Sama came to the car. The joy of reunion was huge, Sama showed me her apartment and we went to Tehran and showed me her personal Tehran on foot. Now I let the 9 million city of Tehran work on me, we visited a bazaar, I felt like I was back in another time, in 1001 night. We restricted the visit to a mosque, for which I had to dress for the first time in an extra room and had to wrap a large white cloth over my entire body. We walked for hours through the north of Tehran, looked at shops, let the people work on us, it is very crowded, often you have to squeeze yourself between crowds of people. Sama told me a lot about life in Iran and Tehran. It showed that she likes to live in Iran, Finally we went to a restaurant for dinner and because I was curious, I was allowed to try all the soups that were just cooked, We ate lamb kebab with saffron rice. Around 18h we were back at the car and Thomas had a surprise for me.

First of all I have to say that the original plan was to go via Tabriz to Armenia, then further to Georgia to Russia, which has the consequence that Azerbaijan will probably not be visited afterwards, because Azerbaijan and Armenia are actually at war, because the Autonomous Republic Nachitschewan /Bergkarabach , has declared itself independent, what is supported by Armenia, not by Azerbaijan. It is currently not possible to come from Armenia to Azerbaijan, and people who were previously in Armenia will not be admitted to Azerbaijan.

Back to the surprise: actually we didn't want to go to Azerbaijan either, because according to the internet there is a very high corruption of the street police and these visa stories for all the small countries, which we now have in front of us everything is very complicated and we actually decided to leave the country out. While I was strolling comfortably in Tehran, Thomas googled our upcoming itinerary on the internet and found out that since 1.1.2019 it is possible to apply online for an eVisa which allows you to stay in the country for 45 days without having to register daily. Yes, there is a similar thing that you always have to register wherever you are. And that's where he actually applied for these online visas without further ado. Normally it takes 3 days, but he used the opportunity to get it in three hours (cost 20€ extra). And now he sat in front of the PC and waited for the answer if the visas would be approved. As it was getting dark already and we didn't want to stand directly in the street, we decided to drive to a parking lot 2km further from here, where you can also stand at night according to IOVerlander. The parking lot had a fantastic view of Tehran. We stood quite apart, enjoyed the evening and the visa was approved. Sama was informed that she would get us a printout, which we would pick up the following morning, she promised us that too. Am I thrilled to be going to Azerbaijan tomorrow? I don't know.

Practically seen, new route: Azerbaijan, Baku, the capital, then over to Tbilisi, Georgia and from there another turn to Armenia. Then again via Georgia to Russia and Kazakhstan. These three countries are quite small countries, which were crossed in 2-3 days, but we want to take some time and take a closer look.

And just as we were about to go to sleep, the parkkeeper came and told us that we were not allowed to park here overnight. I'll make it short, there was a 30min discussion with several phone calls and after Thomas had made it clear to him that he can't drive a car in the dark (little white lie), we agreed that we'll continue tomorrow when it gets light (lucky). And so I went to bed with the thought, do I really want to go to Azerbaijan?

 

35°48'25.8"N 51°25'01.0"E

35.807173, 51.416953

parked for the night

35°48'51.9"N 51°23'54.6"E

 

35.814428, 51.398507

35 km more comfortable driving...still Thomas doesn't know what to expect...then hell broke in on him. Driving in Teheran/ Istanbul, there is nothing worse!

Tehran during the day, below the same thing then at night from our actual overnight place

my visit to a mosque in Tehran, here you have to wrap yourself as a woman in a separate room beforehand. The inner courtyard was very large, I had the impression that people do not only come to pray, but spend time there, sit together, talk, or read. Taking pictures was not possible.

Traffic Jam in Teheran

Impression of the streets Tehran, very busy and pedestrians do not have it easy here. Cars don't think they are pedestrians, you have to throw yourself in between and hope to arrive on the other side.

this is my friend Sama, she had taken the time to show me her Tehran, also to see on the table the soups we were allowed to test.

our dinner in a Tehran restaurant, lamb kebab with saffron rice. Although a very good restaurant costs the portion, which was really not small converted into 4€.

what should darf´s be?

Impressions from my visit to Tehran and the bazaar which I will never forget. 1001 night greets, incomparable smells of spices, teas, dried fruits and flowers.

Tehran by night, it lies in a valley. The size of the city becomes very clear in the dark by the sea of lights.

 


11.04.19   127.469 km  Tag 262     

As agreed the evening before, we got up at 5 o'clock, left the parking lot, parked about 500m in front of the entrance of the parking lot on the street and went back to sleep. Around 9 o'clock Sama had already sent a whatsapp that she had the printouts of our eVisa ready. Since Thomas absolutely refused to drive through these narrow streets with our car again, we stopped a taxi, I jumped in, drove to Sama to pick up the Evisa, while the taxi driver waited for me and then brought me back. Hurray, I'm still alive, because the taxi drivers drive here like executioners, the fun cost 1.50€, the action took half an hour. Happy that we have the visa, we set off towards the border, we wanted to get as close as possible to the border today and then leave Iran tomorrow towards Azerbaijan.

After we managed to work our way out of Tehran for about 1 hour, we drove through a very winding mountain range. Then the landscape changed, it became suddenly flat and green. Rice fields as far as the eye can see. In the run-up we had googled out three overnight accommodations, which lie at the Caspian Sea, on the way to the border, for one we wanted to decide. Right the first one, let's say a kind of camping site, turned out to be good, very big, with a lot of space, we were able to stand very secluded. So we had a relatively lonely corner. It didn't cost us anything to enter, because he waved us through when he realized where we came from. After we had put our feet in the Caspian Sea, we made ourselves comfortable in front of the car, enjoyed the afternoon, philosophized a lot about the Iran visit, which is coming to an end tomorrow. We could even, because we stood so apart and allow music

the Caspian Sea has a green-brownish appearance on the Iranian side (but this also has to do with the fact that a lot of water and mud flows from the rivers due to the heavy rainfalls of the past days. Further up in Azerbaijan the Caspian Sea was deep blue again.

our usual custom, when we discover a new sea, we have to put our feet in it (the spiders, the Romans)

Beach at the Caspian Sea, strongly visited by locals (with us they are called locals) until late evening. From the temperatures in the days before 35°C we have now arrived at 20°C again. Today is Friday, thus in Iran the Sunday

Melons within reach


12.04.19   127.874 km  Tag 263                  Today border crossing to Azerbaijan

 after a quiet, beautiful night at the Caspian Sea, although, she wasn't so quiet at all, because around 3h the police knocked. Here was the language barrier again. We only heard that the policeman said that we could be robbed. But we were very sleepy and said, everything is ok, we are safe here. After 5min back and forth they let us go and we could go on sleeping. Around tomorrow we noticed what the policemen actually wanted from us. Because at our little farewell party last night we had actually forgotten to close the passenger window because we listened to music through the open window, which was open all night. But the doors were locked so that nothing could have been stolen from us. The policemen probably wanted to draw our attention to the fact that we had forgotten to close a window.

We made our way towards Astara, today was the border crossing from Iran to Azerbaijan. Up to the border there were now still 70km, for which we should need actually only 70 minutes. We needed however whole 2 hours, which was because of the fact that we stopped again and again and tried to convert our Rial into food. In addition, the landscape had changed extremely, everything was green all at once. Rice fields, yes really rice fields in Iran and our first, which we saw in our life. Many cattle walking along the road, standing on the road. After the 14 days of heat and dust, this time had something pleasant. And around 13h we stood at the border.

 

short stop before the border, trying to implement our last rial. We asked for cigarettes and then two people went out to get the stuff for us, more and more curious people became curious and there was a giant palaver plus tea again.

our first rice fields in our life, here we did not expect them at all and were very surprised. About 100km after Teheran towards Azerbaijan the area suddenly became flat and green. Further back lies the Caspian Sea

We describe the procedure here exactly for other travelers.

38.442632, 48.875501                Astara Border

 

 In advance, the border crossing, until we were completely through and in Azerbaijan has taken 4h. On the Iranian side it was still very chaotic again. Also the roads in this area were in a very bad condition. After entry, directly on the right side the tank level was checked, how much diesel is still in the tank. We had about 100l, but our tank size was only 100l, so we could agree on 70l diesel in the tank. But Thomas had to go right into the first office and paid 16€ (2.3 Mio Rial), we got a green receipt and while Thomas was still paying the diesel price, a guard came from the left building and took the Carnet de Passage and typed something into the computer, stamped it, and gave it to us again, without tearing off the part of the carnet that remains in the country and gave us a white note with some data on it. Then we were sent on, shown which house to go to, a house with a big antenna on the roof. Due to the many trucks and exorbitant potholes everywhere, it was not so easy to get to the house. Then Thomas went, as described in the Internet, completely to the back through to the last counter, where also the ATM stands and gave the Carnet. Now he had to wait a quarter of an hour and watched how three officers sitting there insulted each other, who now had to take care of him (afterwards we noticed that they were waiting for him to instruct the smuggler standing next to him. But Thomas remained persistent. But so did the smuggler).

After about 15 minutes one of the three officers took pity on him and came to the car with Thomas, compared the chassis number and the license plate with the information in the carnet. But then he found out that we have a Jerry with us. Now the papers of the dog were demanded. And now it was about the dog for another 10 minutes. One leafed through the dog papers countless times (nobody can read or understand them here) and nobody had heard anything about microchips. Since the situation became more and more unpleasant, because they were looking for something and we didn't know what and they couldn't read the papers, Thomas unceremoniously took off Jerry's collar, showed him the badge of the German dog tax and now they were really happy, shone all over their face and it went back to the customs building. Back to the back counter. The Carnet was now registered by hand in a thick book, stamped again. And now the officer gave the carnet to the smuggler, who went a few steps aside with Thomas and now wanted a fee for the stamp. Thomas explained to him that this stamp cost nothing, left it there and went back to the car.

Now we were allowed to drive towards the exit gate, where once again everything was clogged by trucks and we had to drive backwards completely and forward via another sideway. Visually it looked like an abandoned industrial building, with potholes in which an elephant could have bathed. Now we had three pieces of paper, a green one for the petrol, a white one and the carnet was not torn off yet, but stamped. When they saw us coming, they waved us into the driveway and suggested that we go into the building, which attracted the displeasure of a truck driver who was now standing behind us. Thomas wanted to let him pass, but was not allowed to. In the driver's cabin of the truck there were several clouds of smoke above the driver's head and he cursed uninterruptedly. The clouds of smoke also became really dark, because although we thought we had done everything now, we stood there for half an hour, the truck driver had to wait that long. We would have liked to make room for him, but we couldn't. Shortly before the barrier Thomas went into the first building, gave the green and white note and the carnet. Now we were asked again correctly, what we have done here in the country. After about 15 minutes we thought again, we made it, Thomas still said, I want to have an exit stamp in the passport and asked explicitly for it. Thereupon we were sent 10m further forward to another counter, we went in there with the passports. Again everything was entered into the computer, where we were, when we were there, what else, we don't know. Thomas wanted the stamp, and we were again 5m further expelled after another 15 min. The truck driver still standing behind us ran amok. On what the officials pointed him extremely right. And finally we got our stamp, that was the police. But who now thinks, stamp in, drive on, think. Again an endless questioning, where why, why and where we were exactly. Also in the computer the places were entered and inquiries were made, what we could perceive. At some point he stamped and now we were through. We thought.

Because directly at the barrier we were stopped again, had to show the identity cards. The car was checked again superficially. And NOW we were through.

On the side of Iran this was a pure paper war and apart from looking superficially into the car, it was nothing. Now we had to cross the river and were in Azerbaijan. We were the only ones, except trucks. We drove very slowly into the border area. 

 

 Part 2 of the day/border crossing Azerbaijan in the next block 

just enlarge it, this is the Iranian border crossing to Azerbaijan

 

Iran - Resumee

here a few final words about Iran. It's really totally different than you think from home. It is interesting, it has an incredible number of sights, in our eyes the country is much safer than Germany, the people are one of the most courteous, polite, nice people we have met on our travels so far. A large part of them speak really good English. The roads are in good condition. You can spend the night anywhere you want (if you find a vacancy, in the upper part, in the lower part of the desert it is no problem anymore). You also get everything like at home. As a woman you have to make a compromise because of the clothing regulations, but you get used to it. Concerning diesel we had no problems, be it quality (we have Euro 5 engine) and we always got diesel at the gas stations, we just took care to refuel early, mostly about 40 or 50 liters.

Washing laundry is not easy, we had to look for a hotel, where we gave the laundry and paid for 2 large bags 7€.

At every gas station there are toilets and some showers.

The driving in cities is to be enjoyed with caution, here everyone drives as he wants. Crossing a street as a pedestrian means suicide, cars don't brake and instead scold.

During my taxi ride I feared for my life because of the driving style.

To get the visa was easy, went within 4 days, is valid 3 months and depending on the negotiation 30, 60 or 90 days stay in the country. We opted for a double visa to get in and out twice (75 p.P.).

Crossing the border, child's play, not as bad as you read on the internet, only disadvantage, here you need a Carnet de Passage.

And funny, here there is a HALF hour time difference, so 2.5 hours later than in Germany.

A full tank (120l) for 5€ and food and drink, food is so cheap that we didn't spend more than 10€ per day, if at all.

We got for 300€ in April 2019 the equivalent of 40 Mio Rial. That corresponds to 4 million Toman. You get Rial, all prices are written out in Toman (factor 10 less) and then you pay in Rial.

In the lower part of Iran that consists of desert it is very hot, in the upper part that consists partly of mountains it is cool, the country has brought us into most different climatic regions, we had temperatures between 0 and 36 degrees and heights up to 2800 m.

We met a handful of Germans in Iran, like-minded people, about half of them travelled the country to see the sights, like us, the other half was here, because you can live here almost for free. Because these people use the Taarof, which is lived here, i.e. the locals give you everything, pay everything for you, because you are a guest.

We are totally fascinated by this country and the people, we are so positively surprised by the reality and will surely come back again sometime, this is 1001 nights, this is Persia and you can really feel it.