The last part about our trip to Iran, the last and the longest one. About the food, places of interest and some remarkable facts about Iran and Iranians.
Dress-code (for ladies)
Probably, the most exciting subject for those who thinks of going to Iran. Dress-code for women exists, that’s true. However, it is not so strict as many of us imagine. Quran demands some level of modesty from both men and women. Hijab – a scarf that covers head and shoulders and therefore prevents women from direct gazes – is a symbol of privacy, modesty and morality. Keep in mind that wearing a hijab is required by law. Therefore, make sure you have any scarf to cover your head from the moment you get off a plane. It was quite amusing when all women, who were sitting with their hair open in the plane, at the same time put on a scarf when disembarking.
- Until the very last moment we were doubting if we had to apply for a visa in advance in Berlin or not. We decided against it. In fact, to get a visa on arrival was very easy. Our flight landed in Tehran at 2 o’clock at night and we didn’t have to wait in a line. We submitted our documents to a visa counter (a filled out form and passports, no photo) and were told to wait.
Iran… A trip over Silvester to Iran. Why not? Let’s start by dispelling some popular myths.
– Unsafe? (this question was asked by 95% of my friends)
– Not true, according to a risk map Iran is even safer than my homeland. Don’t mix Iran with its neighbour country similar in sound – Iraq. Besides, according to our own feelings, Iran is safe enough, safe as any other country: it means, you should watch your belongings and not yawn around. Though, traffic is hectic.
– Not so interesting…
– Nonsence! Iran is a part of former ancient Persia, culture that is more than 3000 years old. Persians and Iranians definitely have a lot to reveal. Frankly speaking, we were surprised and fascinated…
– I can’t go there, I have to wear hidjab the whole time…
– Partly true, but don’t confuse hijab (a scarf that leaves a lot of hair open) and chador (a mantle covering your whole body and a head). Chador is required only when you want to the mosques where the service is ongoing.
– I don’t speak Farsi and they don’t speak English. This will be extremely difficult to explain what you want!
– They speak bad English, indeed. But Iranians are very hospitable, healpful and customer oriented. Couple English words, a lot of signs and active gesticulation – you will find your way through Iran.
– We are dating and not married. I heard that iranians will look strangely at us when we ask for a double suite.
– Perhaps, they have second thoughts in their heads, but no one has said something against our request to stay in one room overnight.
-They don’t celebrate Silvester as they do it in Europe!
-True. They have a New year party in March. But even in the end of December you can find some fireworks and garlands to create suitable mood. A possibility to start a firework on a rooftop of one of the traditional houses is priceless.
Rich culture, fascinating mosques and historical places, pleasant temperatures, absence of tourist crowds (and touristic prices as a result), delicious food, hospitable and welcoming people, very acceptable prices (especially in the low-season), good transport connections between the cities, purity of goods and products … All this makes Iran a very attractive and not yet widely discovered travel destination.
…to be continued in more detail.