Iran 98    - Teheran

Small town Bazargán a few metres behing the border is a nice surprise. Level of living and cleaness is much better than on turkish side. Toaletes are clean and tiled. You can exchange USD to rials there. Official course was around 2300 rial per USD, on black market 5500 rials. We tested first meal in local restaurant. Chicken saslicks were good but unfortunatelly for some of us it was a last normal meal for a few days ahead. Second night in bus was more "boring" then first one. After Tabriz good highway to Teheran starts. As a wall between us and Caspian sea Elborz mountains appeares. After After 48 hour bus ride we went out on Teheran west bus station. It is brand new, clean, with shops and waiting places. Only womens weared in black "czadors" reminds that we are not in Europe. We're attraction for locals. Forigners are rare here. Everybody wants help us without any fee as it is usual elsewhere. Only taxidrivers are "liberilazed"...

Just few metres from bus station is Azadi monument, famous Teheran construction a-lá Arch in Paris. From the top there is fabulous view through city buildings to 4000 m high Elborz mountains. Same day we took a "Lux" bus to 414 km far Esfahan. In 2 USD ticket includes even refreshments in air-con bus. "Ordinary" bus cost less than one dolar! Third night in bus was "tiring".

Esfahan supposed to be the most beautifull town in Iran (I prefer Shiraz) with fabulous mosques. A must is Emmam square in the middle with very well known mosques and king's palace. There are nice parks and gardens too. Persian people love gardens, fontanes and pools. It is not known that this is the largest non-arabic nation in the Middle East. Iranians are educated, love verses and poets are national heroes.

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© 1999 Roman Garba