Friday, September 19, 2014

Tehran (26.08.2014 - 28.08.2014)

In Tehran our big mission was to apply for the Turkmenistan transit visa. By the time we showed up the first morning the embassy was closed. On the second morning we got up earlier and could deliver our application form, letter of intent and pictures. Pick up will be in Mashhad, if they grant it...

We also had to find a laundry (everything written in Farsi doesn't help) and exchange money. Because of the sanctions Iran is cut off from the international banking system. So we had to bring all the money in cash, credit or debit cards don't work here!

After the official business was done we visited Darband in the north of Tehran. Heaps of restaurant line a little river/ravine up the hill. There is also a chairlift up the mountain, sadly it closed 30 minutes prior to our arrival.

At the bazar Genti bought 2 meters of Abercrombie & Fitch labels. Actually it was a gift, the shop owner insisted on it. Not the first time people refused our money. Being a foreign tourist has its perks here :D

Next was the former Shah residence, the Golestan Palace. One of the halls was covered entirely in mirrors and you could gaze (no photo!) at the many gifts he received.

In the evening we managed to meet with a local couple over Couchsurfing. We swapped stories and got a bit of an insight into the everyday life. Under the new president the Moral Police had been reduced and a lot of the once strict rules are ignored more and more. Women started not wearing their head scar in the car anymore, wear (excessive) make-up and just barely cover the bun at the back of the head. You can also see scarfs in all kind of colors. I don't think the Iman had bright pink scarfs in mind ;)

Murals at the Golestan Palace