By Andrew Murtha, SYI Facebook Group Member
I am in Dubai after just having completed visiting Iran for the last four weeks. The first thing that really stands out is, not me. Which is different after everyone looking at me like I was an alien in Iran. The reason for this obviously is Dubai is such a big tourist spot that the locals stand out more than the visitors. The second thing that stands out is this place is a big expensive playground for adults, families and rich people and so far shows no sign of the culture and history that Iran has.
The big things that stands out for me is there are millions of visitors coming to Dubai every year and I bet only a very small percentage continue on to Iran.
This is a real shame. When I first booked my tickets to Iran I was a bit nervous about not liking it. Once I started researching what I could do there I got excited and when I was flying north over the country towards Tehran a month ago I started freaking out that if I didn’t like it I was stuck there for the next four weeks.
This feeling disappeared pretty quickly once I was reunited with my lovely girl who had been here for six weeks already. She had taken care of everything and before I knew it was too busy seeing and experiencing amazing new things and didn’t even have time to think about whether I would like it or not.
Funnily, when I researched (back in October) what I wanted to do I don’t think there was anything in Tehran that made the list so this was a real surprise when I found myself having so much fun here. Of course it makes a difference when you have great people to hang out with and show you around and so I want to thank Ash’s family and friends for making me feel welcome and taking the time to hang out and/or show me around your beautiful city and neighbouring surrounds.
My main stops, points of interest and cities included Shiraz, Isfahan, Hasanabad, Karshan, Dizin, Motel Ghoo, Kelardasht, Darband and of course Tehran. My favourite though was Persepolis and I would love to go back there and spend more time.
Over the course of four weeks I easily tripled the number of photos and videos I have on my phone. Luckily I recently upgraded to an iPhone 10 so had plenty of space. The raw and rugged beauty of this country is breath taking. The driving is completely insane and cannot believe I didn’t see a single accident.
The queues for many things is much like the driving. If you want to advance you need to push your way through.
The people are welcoming and friendly although as I mentioned at the beginning look at you like an alien because they clearly don’t see too many visitors. Hopefully this gets to change in the future as a lot of Iranians need practice with their English (although in saying that it was better than my Farsi ￼😁).
This would have to rate as my most favourite all-round holiday. It was without a doubt my most surprising holiday, the people, scenery, landscape, different seasons experienced (going from high 20’s to -8), culture and food were out of this world.
There is still so much I didn’t knock off my list so I’ll be back. What would be nice is for those living in Iran can please OUT the people you see littering on the side of the roads. It really detracts from the beauty of your country. Don’t let them get away with spoiling it.
Over the four weeks I spent a lot of time documenting my travels and posting these on Instagram and Facebook in the hope of changing people’s perception of this majestic country. Don’t believe everything you read about Iran. Most of it is untrue and is targeted at the government and not the people. It is a place you really have to see for yourself.
For foreigners travelling here, if you don’t know anyone definitely get yourself a local guide and join the group “see you in Iran”. This is a great source of information.
I also met a person who runs a business specialising in trips to Iran for foreigners so feel free to message me and I can put you in contact.
Read more in See You in Iran facebook group