Iran: a country of propaganda

(March 2016)

Four friends from different corners of Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Gran Canaria… A weird bunch. All our friends and families asked if we were sure of making a trip to Iran. The truth is that the propaganda has damaged the image of this beautiful country. No, not everything you’ve been told is true, and yet not everything is perfect. Do you know a country that is politically impeccable? If your answer is yes, then you are probably kidding yourself.

Only ten days to search some of the Iranian habits, streets, peculiarities and we’ve come back, all of us, with the feeling that we needed more time:

  1. Two days in Tehran in the middle of No Ruz celebrations (Persian New Year) which occurs in the spring equinox.
  2. Kashan, a stop on our route, we didn’t have time to see Bagh-e Fin gardens.
  3. Two days in the marvellous city of Esfahan.
  4. Yazd, a city of sun-dried bricks perfect for a movie set.
  5. A night in Bafq desert.
  6. Persepolis and Naqsh-e Rostam, ruins and doors to the mountains.
  7. Shiraz, a city of poets.

The best of the trip was to meet Iranians, discover little corners, get prejudices aside, doing a trip “as you go” (we only knew the route but not where to stay, what to eat or visit…) and be constantly surprised.

The “worst” was the heat sometimes, the latrine toilets and some of the travel book suggestions.

We expected a grey, dark and sad country; however, we found a happy and colourful one, an educated, open minded and curious society. it is true that we went during the biggest celebration of Iran, but everyone was in the streets, camping, having a picnic in the parks. Oh, those wonderful green areas in the middle of the cities that bring joy and laughter. Tourists are welcomed by the Iranians and both sides have the opportunity to honestly ask and everyone is willing to help you just for a small conversation or a photo.

Today is me writing, Sara, and I can say that I felt safe, the veil and the long sleeves can be a pain if you are not used to but I would wear it another 30 days (that’s the tourist visa period) just to enjoy again the little places, the people and to be able to understand a little of the culture. The route was the usual and we didn’t leave the tourist path, and that is what we would like to do next time. We hope those 30 days (fewer days is also doable) come soon.

All the photos and videos of Iran are in the Gallery and the rest in our section of Iran.

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