Our member Skyring recently travelled to an intriguing part of the world that very few get the opportunity to experience first-hand. Having been inspired by the stories of Bruce, a Persian carpet salesman, our member visited the Middle Eastern country of Iran.
The thought of participating on a tour through a “difficult” country, led by someone who really knew his stuff was too much for us. We signed up for the short tour, six days out of the full nineteen. I had a convention in Athens following, and we could combine the two.
Getting a visa for Iran was not the simplest of processes, nor was the cost insignificant. Further, travelling to Iran removes one’s eligibility for the USA Visa Waiver Program. Nonetheless, it seems that the trip was well and truly worth the experience!
Following a favourable printing error on our member’s boarding pass, and a long flight via the Qatar Airways hub of Doha, our member arrived in Tehran.
Tehran is a big city. About twice the size of Sydney, with several more millions in the surrounding areas. The airport is quite a long way out of town, and I was all eyes as we drove in.
Staying in the heart of downtown Tehran, our member was well-placed to admire the city from their eleventh floor hotel room. The Milad tower dominates the city skyline, with mountains in the background.
Soon it was time to start sampling the local food. Our member didn’t need to look far, finding a great selection of specialties just across the road from the hotel.
Just across the road was the most delightful corner store. Patisserie, confectioner, health food shop rolled into one, with smiling young men to serve out the goodies. There were racks and racks of interesting local candies, shelves full of scrumptious looking pastries, big colourful cakes, tubs of nuts and all manner of good things. I bought some dried apricots there that were the size of peaches, perfectly moist and tasty. We have been sadly shortchanged in the matter of dried fruit in Australia. I very much prefer the Persian version.
As the tour of Iran got underway, our member visited mosques, mountains, and even the world’s largest undercover market. But perhaps the highlight of the tour was a visit to the Persian Carpet Museum. The tour was led by Bruce, the carpet salesman from Australia. This was the man that inspired our member to travel there in the first place, and he really did know his carpets.
Today he’s leading us on a tour of the Carpet Museum, which just happens to be a stone’s throw from our hotel. For me, this is a highlight of the tour. Bruce likes to talk about carpets, I like to listen, and here are some of the best Persian carpets in the world.
After Tehran, many more adventures awaited. The next stop was Tabriz. Getting there required a visit to an airport “straight out of the Sixites” where a Boeing 707 was even spotted taking off!
This trip report is extremely well-written, and features some incredible photography to match! View this unique trip report HERE.