A love letter to Iran

Iran Picasa3

I have been wanting to go Iran for some time now. And when I told people that I was going, mostly the reaction is bewilderment, often followed by “Is it safe?” or “Isn’t it dangerous?” If only I had a dollar for each time I get this response!

Iran. A country whose history intersected with some of the most ancient and glorious civilisations. The birthplace of one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. Today it is an educated nation where youth literacy rate is 98%, with boys and girls both equally literate. A peaceful country today. A place for Persian architecture and history lovers – Isfahan‘s city centre drips with beauty and atmosphere at every corner. A country with four seasons. The landscape ranging from dry deserts to snow-capped mountains. There are still many places to see in Iran and one can easily travel for 6-8 weeks there – if only I have the time! Put aside the political rhetorics, go explore for yourself.

For me, the greatest experience of this trip is the warmth and friendliness of its people.

So is it safe? Is it dangerous? My posts are self-explanatory.

On our last day, we had a long conversation in the park. He was old enough to remember the days before the Revolution. His parting words to us were “God willing, you will come to Iran again.”

I sure hope to.

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4 thoughts on “A love letter to Iran

  1. Jared Seah

    What an amazing trip!

    The closest I sat foot to “Middle East” is Istanbul – which is not the same 😦

    You are one adventurous traveller!!!

    Hat’s off,
    SMOL

    Reply
      1. jem

        actually, istanbul is fantastic. currently my favourite city in the world. i like it so much that i’ve switched to turkish air for my bi-monthly europe-singapore runs, and i try to spend a day or two in transit everytime. Just this year alone, I’ve been 4 times and am looking forward to my next transit stop there.

        there are several cities that can make a claim to be THE WORLD’S capital. London, New York, Rome, etc. In my opinion, Istanbul has the strongest claim and it looks the part as well (and this is coming from someone who loves NYC). fantastic archeology, kickass museums to rival Rome/Athens, spectacular SF/Vancouver/Edinburgh type setting.

        Iran is also fine but a bit too buttoned up for me. I had a very similar itinerary to yours in 1997 when I went, except I also took in the holy city Mashdad, the incredible (and now ruined) Bam, and the very snowy Tabriz-Black Sea region.

        Iran and Turkey (especially eastern Turkey) have a lot in common actually.

      2. plumerainbow Post author

        I’m not doubting turkey is fantastic just that I haven’t been. In fact I’m thinking of flying turkish air for my next trip in that direction but arrival time at ultimate destination is bad (and as i’m writing this, it just dawn on me that I could loiter in the airport till daylight).

        Can’t imagine why you felt Iran is buttoned up – i felt the total opposite notwithstanding the enforced dress code (which has varying degree of laxness) and lack of alcohol. I can’t speak to holy cities like Qom or Mashhad though since i didn’t have a chance to go. Separately, if I were to go east Iran in future, would consider going overland to/from Turkey, Armenia and Iraq if situation permits. Maybe starting from Greece/Egypt all the way eastwards or vice versa. I’m still dreaming of that epic ancient civilisation trail.

        I know that “favourite city” of the world feeling though. My first one was Dubrovnik, long time ago.

        Enough talk of holidays. Till the next one.

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