Curiosities & Oddities

Inside Iran, land of contrasts


Dear Reader,

I traveled to Iran because I wanted to see if the conflictive view most people get from the outside is accurate or real. As it pleasantly turned out, in many ways it is not. Iran is a conflicted place, a misunderstood destination, a cradle of culture, a million things all at once. Iran is a country where contrasting understandings of the world live side by side every day and everywhere. One of the countries I longed to visit since infancy happened to be another jewel on the globe’s map and probably the safest country in the region.

Iran is a huge, it occupies1.6m sq. km. even though Mercator’s projection distorts our perception of its vast surface. Its borders reach the same latitude as Athens and the southern boundary falls on the edge of the Tropic of Cancer. It is six times the size of Britain and three times that of France. Iran is really big.

Tehran is the first city I visited and I can heartily say that it is not only the capital of Iran but a capital of contradictions.

tehran_iran_ayatollah_stanito

The ever-present Ayatollah image. 

Well, sit down, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy this fantastic journey with me 🙂

We’re landing in Tehran and the first impression I get is ssssilence…
The Imam Khomeini Intl. Airport is the second quietest airport I’ve ever been to, second only to the Pyongyang Sunan Intl. Airport in North Korea. And again, like in Pyongyang, our luggage was already there waiting for us.

tehran_iran_arriving_stanito

If you come to Iran and Tehran especially, you’ll soon realise that the city poses to you only one danger: traffic.

tehran_iran_traffic_stanito

Traffic in Tehran is both scary and amusing. Just keep your eyes open and you’ll be fine..

Dear Reader, by traffic I mean every possible vehicle transiting on roads, sidewalks, out of a store and in the middle of the bazaars little alleys.

Tehran is a lively peculiar city. On the one hand Iranians are notorious for their friendliness and hospitality, their unrestrained kindness, their love for culture and luxury, their passion for ornamentation of their art and their sense of amour propre, yet their restrictions and sensitivities are widely displayed.

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From people, to food, to gardens, every corner shows all the polite formality of their language with its inbuilt metaphors and phrases and its simple rules of syntax.

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Here we will see that just as the stylised expressions of the language provide a stable environment where the most within which the most passionate and antithetical emotions are set free, so the enclosed and carefully structured Pardis (the origin of our ‘paradise’), provides a setting in which a wide variety of spiritual and secular activities take place in the same space.

So much to say that every angle deserves an independent article on Travel with Stanito.

So stay tuned, dear Reader, our trip in Iran will be the most pleasant yet shocking surprise for you…

 

 

 

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6 replies »

  1. We would love to visit Iran. The photos of glorious and historical places….one day we’ll get there! Love this post…has me daydreaming about taking the children and showing them that lovely part of the world, too.

    • Thank you Natalie 🙂
      Iran is safe enough to travel with kids if you’re interested. One of the safest countries in the region. Probably you should only avoid certain borders, but other than that you should totally go.

    • Hi Stephanie 😀 thank you for posting this!
      Oh traffic… I will post the article entirely on traffic with videos, just to give an idea of how crazy it is.

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