We’ve been looking forward to this trip for ages and finally we go: we’re flying to Tehran!
As if the Schiphol people are making fun, our IranAir plane has its gate right next to a flight of El Al! But, luckily there’s nothing that can stop us, and within an hour of six after a smooth flight we land at Iman Khomeini Airport in Tehran. Leaving some administrative actions behind us, and we enter the county with a valid visa and an Iranian health insurance. We’re in!!
It’s night and it takes some time and hussle before we reach the airport, se we don’t do much the night. But next day: we’re ready to explore the city! It’s Friday so the city is quiet, good for us to explore it. We find out how the metro works (just like in Holland with a chipcard) and we visit some of the city’s highlights: the former USA embassy, Golestan Palace, grand bazaar of Tehran. In the afternoon we will meet Emil, a local guy we’ve met through Couchsurfing. He and a friend will pick us up and we go the opening of an art exhibition and we have dinner in a very nice place that serves other things but kebab.
Next day, as advised by Emil, we take the metro and taxi to the North of Tehran. We want to go on the Telecabin. Unfortunately, once we reach it, it seems closed. So, we take a taxi back to the metro station and wander round through the bazaar and a fabulously blue tiled mosque. After this we decide to be advanturous and we take the metro all the way to the South to pay a visit to the holy shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini. Regardless how you think of the man, his shrine is worth a visit. The building is megalomanously big, but interesting anough very open to visitors and accomodating places to chill. There are parts of the big room where men (and women seperately) just lay on the carpets enjoying the cooler temperature. The complex also hosts restaurants and shops, so we ate pizza here before going back.
At night we meet with Emil again. He takes us for a walk over the nicely designed wooden pedestrian Tabiat Bridge from where we reach a kind of food court where we sit down for dinner. We can’t make the night too late sonce we have a flight at 6am next morning, so around 22h we kiss Emil goodbye. It feels sad to leave him since he took such good care of use. Luckily we’ll meet again, but we didn’t know yet!