Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Travel review to Iran by a European citizen

Leo is a Dutch citizen (from Holland). He sent me an email searching for a friend in Iran. I asked him to write a review on his trip to Iran and he gently sent me below paragraphs:

Despite chronic negative articles in western press I decided to make a journey to Iran.
As an individual traveller (back-packer) I visited beautiful places like Shiraz and Isfahan and travelled by direct train from Tehran to Damascus in Syria in October 2008.
Iran bombarded me with positive and very long-lasting impressions.
I enjoyed the hospitality, helpfulness and modesty of the Iranian people.
The way people worship in mosks in Shiraz and enjoy relaxing in shady parks impressed me very much.
The quiet courtyards of madrasehs in Isfahan are a heaven in busy bazaar life.
On Friday I observed the people of Isfahan peacefully and highly socially picknicking in the parks along Zayandeh River and at night drinking tea near the beautiful illuminated ancient bridges.
I discovered a country of warm and fascinating people and a country not yet spoiled by mass-tourism.
I experienced the Iranian culture to be markedly different to the Arabian culture.
I observed a country with tradition on the one hand and an extremely high density of sophisticated mobile-phones on the other hand, and steps to a surprising level of modernity.
Iran fascinated me in such a way that I am looking forward to visiting it again as soon as possible.

Leo van Houten

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sa'd Abad Palace

The Sadabad Palace is a palace built by the Pahlavi dynasty of Iran in the Shemiran area of Tehran.
The complex was first inhabited by Qajar monarchs and royal family in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah lived there in the 1920s. And his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi moved there in the 1970s.

After the Iranian Revolution, the complex became a museum. However, the current presidential palace is located adjacent to the Sa'd Abad compound.

Many cultural programs are taking held in this complex like exhibitions, concerts and ceremonies.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yazd, the ancient city of Iran

Yazd is called the bride of desert. the helarious desert sights in this ancient city with a huge cultural and traditional attractions, make Yazd one of the most recommended cities in Iran to visit. Cultural, historical and eco tourism are main reasons for visiting Yazd city. Yazd is also called "the second ancient and historic city in the world" in the wikipedia.

The city has a 3000 year long history, dating back to the time of the Median empire, when it was known as Ysatis (or Issatis). The present city name, however, may have been derived from Yazdegerd I, a Sassanid ruler. The city was definitely a Zoroastrian centre during Sassanid times. After the Islamic conquest of Persia, many Zoroastrians fled to Yazd from neighbouring provinces. The city remained Zoroastrian even after the conquest by paying a levy, and only gradually did Islam come to be the dominant religion in the city.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

pictures from Tehran

I call tehran BBC sometimes! but it stands for "Big Boring City" this is not because it's not beautiful, but just for two main reasons: traffic jam, week entertainment facilities specially nights. but, you can find it much more interesting than most of cities in the world, if you like to see strange and wiered things sometimes! keep on reading my blog you will find things:

first take a look at traffic. see how a beautiful rainy/snowy day can be ruined by such traffic:

Where can you see a five story building with only 2 meters width? only in Tehran! look at the black stone covered building:

Oh my god! this one was fantastic. it was awesome, I got 10 years younger with this scene. Argentina Square, near our office in the 2007's winter. the statue in the middle of square had freezed and the spout was making the scene more beautiful. the weather was as cold as hell, 15 degree centigrades below zero:

The parliment of Tehran, Baharestan avenue. we call it Majlis:

an old fashioned and stylish old designed building in modern Tehran:

size does matter! take a look:

They are selling their cars, in Abdulabad:

That's all for now, but I got tons of these pictures. some reminds me sweet memories, some make me laugh and some make me bored. that's simply life, isn't it?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Visiting Iran?

Just a year ago, I found a new friend on the webbed world, thanks to this Iran travel Blog. She was Italian and was planning to visit Iran. Though we couldn’t arrange a meeting, but when she finished visiting Iran, she was so impressed with what she has seen in Iran, she wrote me some lines about her trip to Iran and I asked her for a permission to publish them here on my blog. So here it comes, just as a testimonial of a foreigner, westerner and European tourist, visiting Iran:

Dear Emad,
I am very sorry if I haven’t replied before, but I left for Iran on Dec 27th during the night and I read your mail only 5 minutes ago. At the moment I am in Shiraz, and we are finishing our tour of Iran, which included Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd and Shiraz, Persepolis. What I have seen so far in your country is absolutely above any expectations; Isfahan and Persepolis are wonderful dreams!
Tomorrow we are coming back to Tehran only for a few hours: we are getting to Laleh Hotel at about 5 pm, but being such a short notice, I understand it can be difficult to arrange something ; unfortunately we are leaving on Saturday morning to go back home.
I have read many things about Iran, and seen films and read about history, but seeing the real thing has been really a beautiful surprise; but apart from the beauties Iran has to offer, what impressed me most is the people: I think I have been together with the nicest people on earth!
I am sorry I got to know only now that your wife studies Italian, I could have brought something nice and interesting to her; by the way, if she thinks I can do something for her or send her anything she may need, let me know.
By the way I will try to phone you as soon as I arrive at the hotel tomorrow.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Iran Water Dance - Tehran, Azadegan Aqua Park

I, by myself, never forget the water kind entertainments I experience in different tourism destinations. For example Wild Wadi water park and Dream land in Dubai, Afa Mousa in Kuala Lampour and the water dance in Singapore - Sentosa Island.
In Tehran we definitely see the lack of such entertainment facilities, but sometimes we have more problems in introducing and advertising these places. one of these places which has stuck unknown, even for most of Tehran citizens is Azadegan Water Park, in the south of Tehran, Afsarieh region, near Basij Expressway. Tehran Municipality owns the 12 acre Aqua Park of Azadegan and has established this park around a decade ago, but there are still many people who don't know about it. Azadegan Aqua park, hosts an average of 15,000 people per month, but it was estimated before that more than 1.5 million people from Tehran would use the park’s entertainment, cultural and sports facilities every year, which should caused more visits during the same time. The park admits women also in a separated schedule from men every week.
near the Aqua park there is a water dance show there are few pictures from the water dance which I've saved before, from Mehr News Agency website:

Friday, February 01, 2008

Skiing in Iran

I know many European people love skiing! in Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden etc Ski is the main hobby in winter time. with having this in mind, Northern Iran's climate would be a huge attraction for European Tourists in winters. (Just look what Tom has said in his post about Skiing in Iran). we have 4 main ski resorts in Iran, near Tehran: Dizin, Tochal, Shemshak and Ab'ali. I know there much more fields around the country, but regretfully I don't have enough information.
Dizin is the longest ski resort in Iran and among the 30 highest ski resorts worldwide. because of the altitude, which is 11,800 ft, the ski season in Dizin lasts longer than European ski resorts.
Regarding the accommodation facilities, Dizin has got two hotels, 19 cottages and 5 restaurants. These nice hotels, cheap and beautiful villas and private apartments around the Dizin ski resort accommodate thousands of people every year.

Tochal ski resort is another good sample, which you are able to ski for more than 7 months a year. Tochal has the longest cable grip (Gondola lift also called Tele-Cabin).
Tochal tele cabin has 7 stations and is one of the longest and most scenic in the world regarding wikipedia's list. A modern 5 star ski hotel hosts the skiers at the end of the lift.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gorgan - Golestan Province

Gorgan is the name of a city, as the capital of Golestan province and an ancient region in south east of the Caspian Sea which is also called Khazar Sea. Actually Caspian is the largest lake in the world, so it is commonly called Sea. Gorgan in northern Iran enjoying mild climate has a lot for tourists especially eco-tourism lovers. With the most beautiful waterfalls, great jungle sights and unbelievable green mountains covered with fog more than half of the year. I have been in Gorgan several times for visit, business and tourism. Regardless Gorgan’s great potential for tourism, there are few number of hotels in the city meeting international standards, same problem in other cities of Iran. The most known ones are Nahar Khoran and Azin Hotel, both 4 stars hotels.

More Geographical information:
It is situated along a small tributary of a body of water called the black river (Siah Ab), 37 km far from the Caspian Sea. Gorgan was formerly called Astarabad. The neighbors of the province are Northern Khorasan, Semnan and Mazandaran provinces and also Turkmenistan country. The city is approximately 400 km far from Tehran, with more than 250.000 citizens. The plains of Gorgan (Dasht e Gorgan) are nearly 1700 Square Km and located in the north of the city which creates a spectacular nature. Regarding the climate in Gorgan you have to notice several factors like Alborz mountain, areas height, powerful local winds and at last sea neighbor.

Handicrafts and History:
because of the Turkmen people located in north of the province, Kilims are the most distinguished handicrafts of the region. Also rugs, Jajims and carpets from Turkmen are notable handicrafts. See other Persian Handicrafts also.Having more than 6000 years old civilization, passing historical ups and downs, possessing a creative culture, Gorgan has attained a very high status in Iran's splendid history and civilization and culture.

Nahar khoran road and forests - Ziarat Village a very beautiful village next to gorgan, where the Nahar Khoran road continues - 1000 maze road (Hezar Pich) - Golestan National park - Jahan Nama - Gonbad Kavoos Tower - Agh Ghala Bridge