Late spring in Tehran

Never thought we’d enjoyed Tehran this much. When we first arrived nearly two weeks ago, the city was enveloped in smog. Now, we return to the city before we catch our flight home and the temperatures are low to mid twenties with clear blue skies!

Due to a change of plans, we had a couple of days in Tehran. The nearby Alborz mountains beckoned enticingly! Caught the metro to Tajrish in the upmarket part of Tehran, and made our way to the foot of Tochal. After a walk to the Telecabin, up we went on the 7.5km gondola ride to the 7th station. At 3900+m high, this is where the world’s fourth highest ski fields lie. This place is popular with ski enthusiasts, although a ski instructor that I met on the metro earlier says Tochal is too easy for her; according to her the best nearest to Tehran is Shemshak, with black slopes, in case you’re interested. Apart from skiers, there were hikers who started their 5-6 hour climb from Darband all the way to Tochal.

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Why on earth did we think it was a good idea to come up here when neither of us were going to ski nor were we dressed warm enough?! At first the snow-covered mountain was pleasant with generous sunlight. Then mist came and the rumbles of thunder soon translated into sleets and some snow. After almost freezing ourselves to death we finally descended.

And while the weather was turning bad at the top of Tochal, the rest of Tehran was enjoying better weather than before we ascended. So glad to come back down to earth to blue skies. Tucked into comforting warm bowls of ash-e-reshte near the Telecabin. Lingered at the hilltops to enjoy the rare clear view of Tehran and chatting with new friends.

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Tehran, on a clear day

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Tehran, as far as the eye can see. 10 times the population of Kuala Lumpur.

Spent the rest of the day wandering in the bazaars and gorging on cherries, grapes and plums. Stocking up on more dates.

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And as night fell, we went to Gandhi Avenue to soak up modern yuppie Tehran life.

Not much time in Tehran to do anything else except visit a couple of museums and Golestan Palace, the symbol of opulence from the Qajar era. Frankly the latter is just too gaudy for my liking. Sun only sets after 8 so it’s perfect to just hang out in the parks and chat with friendly locals. Despite the chaos of Tehran and its 15 million population, there’re just so many parks and greenery, with people out to enjoy the good weather.

We left Tehran at a comfortable 19 degrees c. Heading back via Dubai. The weather forecast says it will be 39 degrees there!

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