Iran – From the Turkish border to the streets of Tabriz

Entering Iran, all should have been relatively easy from what we were told before if you have all the paper work together; especially the Carnet de passage. So all good to go on our side, but sometimes bureaucracy steps in with new hurdles. First thing we were told: “Your engine is too large – big problem”. Hm, what can be too large at a 4,2l, 6 cylinder diesel engine? So are they after some money? Others managed to get into Iran with the same type of car before, so what is this now? Managing the one or other language barrier, it turned out that our car is to new (2016) and new cars with more than 2,5l engines are not allowed in Iran anymore. So finally, after lot of pictures taken, we got an approval from Teheran and were able to enter the country. What a start…

Ones in, it got much better. Starting the first days with some culture at the Armenian border, visiting some old churches. First St. Thaddaeus, which we had completey for us alone and then St. Stephanos, which we had to share with a group, but still nice.

From here we decided that it is time now to have a deeper dive into the culture in Iran and explore the streets of Tabriz. Surely worth the time, especially the famous bazar of Tabriz, but also our first mosque.

A wonderful experience, an invitation behind the scenes. We met a gentleman who invited us to his families business. Just opening a small door from the main bazar, we entered into a different world. Here they were colouring wool and silk for the carpet production. Tough work in a smelly environment, but absolutely appreciated that we got a chance to explore also this world.

Leaving the bazar afterwards and heading back to our car, we got the next lesson in Iranian hospitality. Meeting Mr. Ali and Rheza on the street and got engaged in a short conversation, just to find ourselves sitting minutes later in Ali’s shop drinking tea and talking about Iran, what our plans are and a lot of other stuff.

All would have been said on this, if there would not be a special thing and a wonderful idea. Ali asks travellers to visit his shop and write some nice words in a book. After all the years he has already a collection of 9+ books. As we find, a wonderful idea, great opportunity to chat and also to read all the different languages. So Ali, if you read this, please keep this up and continue what you started!

With all these wonderful impressions and exciting first days, we are now looking forward for the coming days in Iran.