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Travel Guide To Iran

Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Iran – Friendliness, Culture, Modernity: So Far Away From The Clichés!

The Shah Mosque - Maydan-e Imam or Imam Square in Esfahan

The Shah Mosque – Maydan-e Imam or Imam Square in Esfahan

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

We spent two weeks in Iran in April 2014, and covered the cultural heartland of Iran: Shiraz, Isfahan, Na’In, Yazd, Kashan, Qom & last but not least Teheran. Due to the lack of time, we did not travel the north of the country, nor did we go to the deserts. Continue Reading →

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Budget Guide To Iran

Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Iran – Easy To Travel On A Budget!

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Type Of Travel

This was a short trip (2 weeks), with a “flashpacking” to mid-range standard of travel.

As far as hotels are concerned, we chose rather budget guesthouses and hostels, except in Shiraz and Qom, where we splurged a little and enjoyed good mid-range hotels. Otherwise, we were not pinching pennies. Several times we chartered taxis, even for longer trips. This added up, but it was a confortable, relaxing trip. Continue Reading →

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Meeting The Locals in Iran

In Teheran, IranIranian friends in Vienna had arranged a meeting with Sasha and Mahse, a young couple who lives outside of Teheran, making a living by selling compost they produce and giving yoga lessons. Together we visited the National Jewel Museum where the many foreign tourists truly stunned them. They were not aware that tourism had arrived back in Iran. It was a great day that ended with a superb dinner in the home of Sasha’s sister. Sasha and Mahse both studied in India and definitely represent the very secular Iran. We truly hope to meet them again. Continue Reading →

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Skiing In Teheran

Iran-186Our visit to the royal summer palace brought us to the very north of Teheran, so close to the nearby Alborz Mountain Range. So why not check out the skiing area? From the last subway stop at Tajrish Square it is short cab ride to the Tochal Telecabin, which brings you to the fourth highest ski field in the world. The cabins are tiny, but were obviously designed for 6 persons. The ticket up to Station 5 was not cheap, but what the heck. Only skiers were allowed to go even further up. Continue Reading →

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Teheran’s Many Museums

Golestān Palace or Kakheh Golestan in Teheran, Teheran, Iran

Golestān Palace or Kakheh Golestan in Teheran, Teheran, Iran

Of all the great museums the National Jewel Museum certainly is the Number 1 and that term does not do it justice. We wandered through the semi-dark rooms with our mouths wide open. The beauty of the stones and jewelry was captivating. We felt we could not leave and had to look again and again, crowns, thrones, globes – all studded with huge gems, giant pearls, others so small it was hard to imagine how they could be fitted on a string. Continue Reading →

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Teheran’s Messy Center

View from Teheran at night from the Milad Tower or Teheran Tower, Teheran, Iran

View from Teheran at night from the Milad Tower or Teheran Tower, Teheran, Iran

The trip from Qom to Teheran was swift, it is only one hour by train or bus. Quickly we learned our first lesson, it was a big mistake to stay in the very center, close to the many museums and tourist attractions. Traffic is abysmal, pollution nauseating, it is noisy, crossing the road a suicidal affair and the cab ride from the bus station to the hotel is a nightmare. Continue Reading →

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Qom – Iran’s (Second) Vatican

The Fatima Masumeh Shrine in Qom, for Shia Muslims the second most sacred city in Iran after Mashhad - The golden dome lies right above the mausoleum, Qom, Iran

The Fatima Masumeh Shrine in Qom, for Shia Muslims the second most sacred city in Iran after Mashhad – The golden dome lies right above the mausoleum, Qom, Iran

The shrine of Fatima, sister of the 8th Iman, makes Qom the second holiest city in Iran, after Mashhad. This is conservative territory. All our Iranian friends were surprised when they we heard we were going there. This is where Khomeni lived and where the revolution against the Shah began. But we were too curious to leave out such a place and never regretted our decision, we would even claim it was a highlight of our trip. The shrine is huge with lots of different impressive buildings, stunning architecture. Inside pilgrims were milling around, men, women, families. Many of the walls are almost blindingly bright, small pieces of mirror form geometrical mosaics. All we could think off was how long it took to cover such vast spaces with tiny little pieces of glass, besides the word was flawless. Continue Reading →

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Islamic Dress Code

Iran-106All the female tourists we talked to had worried about what to wear in Iran. Quite easy actually: baggy pants, a shirt that cover your hips and bum, very little cleavage, short scarf – otherwise most of it is wrapped around your neck and drives you crazy, especially in the heat. You are set, not matter where, in rural areas or in urban areas! Continue Reading →

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Abyaneh – Under The Rain

Iran-171In every travel guide and in most hotels we would see breathtaking posters of a hillside village, red adobe houses on a hillside surrounded by greenery – Abyaneh. A must-see we figured and together with two travelers from New Zealand, we headed off in the early morning from Kashan. Continue Reading →

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