On May 2, 2022 when I arrived at the Immigration desk at the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport with my United States of America passport and the Electronic Visa document that was issued in Bangkok by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran (after patiently waiting six weeks for the approval of the thirty-day visa from the Ministry in Tehran), I am escorted to a separate area where another Immigration officer scribbles information and makes copies of everything. He then hands me a form printed (with questions?) in Arabic script that I assume is in Farsi and points me to a nearby desk where another officer is on the phone. He never looks up.
Tehran (pop 8.7 million)
Iran (pop 84 million)
May 3 (and May 31, 2022)
The Iran guidebooks list dozens of museums, monuments, mosques, and architectural wonders. Like other major cities, it would take a year to visit only some of them.
I decided on a brief visit to Tehran. (Perhaps a longer stay next year when I travel to the north of Iran?)
After my arrival I anticipate jetlag, long rides across the city, traffic choked streets. (I didn’t anticipate “insane” driving!)
On the afternoon of my arrival, I choose to visit a small palace with an adjoining park to see royal architecture and to meet local people.
Isfahan (pop1.9 million)
May 7, 2022
“Are you a married couple?” I asked the attractive young man and woman as they took photos of themselves on the lawn outside the Golestan Palace in Teheran.
They smiled and responded. “No.”
“Are you engaged to be married?” I asked again since they seemed so delighted to be with each other. ”No.”
“We are brother and sister.”
Brother and Sister!
May 15, 2022
“Jan, you are a hunter!”
So spoke Majdi, my guide in Iran.
Hadji observes that Jan “hunts” for an opportunity to take a special landscape photograph. He is impressed as I comfortably engage with strangers and then easily pose with them.
I am never conscious of being a hunter.
Am I enterprising or patient or lucky?
On a lakeside in the mountains, it is just my luck that someone left the radio playing in his parked car.
Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province
May 8, 2022
In the hills above this small town, the restful grounds and gardens of the guesthouse are just a bit colorful, but they are inspiring. Sergio proclaims, “Let’s stay a week!”
Our delightful young hostess and her mother serve a delicious breakfast made completely from home grown produce.
After breakfast we all travel into the mountains and hike along the rim of a gorge to a noisy waterfall.