View from hotel roof over Yazd, an ancient city in the desert, at sunset
a cluster of badgirs, ancient air-conditioning systems. They catch any circulating breezes and pass the air over cool water to cool it down
View of main street in Yazd ‘new town'; like all other roads in Iran, chaos reigns!
Courtyard of hotel we stayed in in Yazd; wonderful place to relax and escape the afternoon heat
Bit of a long story, suggest reading the blog! Essentially this is Christine giving a short presentation on Christianity during a conference on religious saviours being held in our hotel in Yazd. An unusual experience!
Covered tunnels in Yazd old town – great for keeping the sun off
Looking towards the mountains in the desert just outside of Yazd
Ah the humble teapot, essential to all Iranian homes and picnic sets
Naff photo by the globe outside the Natural History museum in Esfahan. Had to be done!
Iranian bicycle; love the panniers and the mechanical brakes (no cables involved!)
View of Imam Khomeini mosque in Esfahan (and some workmen who must have been very hot!)
View of Imam Khomeini Sq, the second largest square in the world (ok actually its a rectangle) after Tianamen square
Colourful inlaid steps in Ali Qapu palace, Esfahan
Wonderful fountains in Imam Khomeini square. Much to our delight, it seems quite ok to paddle, very pleasant on a hot day.
Watch out, here comes Batman! We saw more burqas in Esfahan than anywhere else so far; probably visitors from Saudi Arabia we think.
The biggest icecream in the world?!
Pete at his happiest!
Si-O-Seh bridge in Esfahan. Absolutely lovely in the evening, when people sit in the arches relaxing and maybe playing music. The river is also low enough to allow people to wade across easily rather than walking across the bridge – very pleasant!
More badgirs in Yazd, reflecting the sunset
Ayatollahs Khomeini (on the left, the founder of the revolution, now dead) and Khameini (the current supreme leader of Iran). Their stern faces are everywhere. Almsot everybody we spoke to expressed a dislike of their status and power.
Making friends in Esfahan
Ian contemplates buying a rug in Tehran, while we look on. A great experience.
They need tiny fire engines in the Grand Bazaar in Tehran, to get around the alleyways that cover over 10 sq km.
Friendly old man who invited us into his shop for a seat in the shade while we ate our lunch of falafel sandwiches. Typical example of Iranian hospitality.
Children playing in the fountains in Esfahan.
Being filmed while on a chairlift in Northern Tehran.
View of the megalopolis that is Tehran. For once it wasn’t too smoggy. Over 17 million people live in this city, which extends further than the eye can see.
Hotel courtyard in Yazd.
The mountains in the north of Tehran. Great to visit to escape the heat and the smog of the city.
Typical daybed in an Iranian cafe, but in a stream!
Dried fruits on display in mountains in northern Tehran
Looking up to street level from the bottom of a ‘qanat’ – underground water channels on which much of Iran relies for its water supply. Lovely and cool down there!
Getting a lift into Tehran.
Biggest roadkill we have seen so far!
Despite being almost 100km from Tehran, the smog was terrible
Iranians love to camp, and will do so anywhere!
Bridge destroyed in Iran-Iraq war
Sunrise – and we are already cycling! Better this way than trying to cycle in the afternoon heat.
Misty valleys at dawn.
We were invited for tea with the Iranian Red Crescent, who provide ambulance and paramedic services for the many road accidents on Iranian roads.
New game – how much can you fit in a Paykan pick-up before it keels over?! quite alot apparently!
From a distance this looked like a moving haystack! Poor donkey, but at least it could snack as it went along.
Christine being ‘adopted’ by local women in a park in Bostanabad. They were far more open and forward with Christine than with the men.
Helping a broken-down car to restart! Good karma for in case we ever break down!
peddalloing in El Goli park, Tabriz. Just before they got told off for going too fast!
Stove holder in the troglodyte village of Kandovan, near Tabriz.
Iranians sure know how to party! This is known as ‘Islamic beer’.
A cute donkey in Kandovan
Warding off evil spirits by burning a type of herb. This acts as a form of employment for, for example, adults with learning disabilities; people give money for a waft of the smoke.
Christine and Pete with Sahar and Sina, children of the kind family that put us up for the night in Marand
The whole family, including spiderman!
Dancing for our dinner…much to the amusement of the family and an assortment of friends and neighbours who came round to observe! Check out the videos on Christine’s facebook page!
Christine at a ladies-only party. Great opportunity to see what life is really like for women in Iran. No headscarves, but they are hastily donned if a man walks in.
Dizzi – a type of lamb casserole popular in Iran
Accommodation for the night at the Iranian Red Crescent – we were glad there were no accidents that night or we may have been turfed off of our comfortable beds!
The kind Red Crescent guys that put us up for the night in Ev Oghli.
Christine in her Iranian cycling gear. Note it was 40c in the shade when that was taken – sweaty!
Rose petals for sale in a mountain village near Tabriz
Yes, that says 47c. Hot!
In these sorts of temperatures, definitely best to do as the rest of Iran does and have a siesta.
It was busy in Kandovan, so people decided to park in the river. As you do.
Martyrs from the Iran-Iraq war; every town has pictures of the men from that town who died.
Can’t beat a good old bit of propaganda. Victory in what exactly?
One of many victims that we saw of the reckless driving in Iran.
Just some of the money that we got at the border; $600 translated into a whole bag’s worth!
Noah’s ark is reputed to have come to rest on the top of Mount Ararat which is near here, but we weren’t convinced that this would be a worthwhile detour, especially seeing as it was uphill!
Very tasteful addition to Christine’s bike, one of her lovely birthday presents!
I found your weblog by accident while searching on Google. It was interesting. But I wanted to let you know that as an iranian, I have never been in women only party as you did :)) I don’t know where you were that you had such an experience. You seem to travel around very old villages. I hope you also saw the new modern life in city as well. Well the fancy modern apartments in north of Tehran cannot be found anywhere else in the world. I am saying that because Iran has both pictures just like many countries, this is interesting for me when I see that all the tourists would like to go to the oldest and poorest and most religious part of the country and show the world that Iranians have parties that separate women and men. Or broken bikes and etc..
Seriously I am 30 years old and traveled to most of the cities but have not seen such these thing because I always chose to go to good hotels good part of the cities and nice restaurants. Why tourists prefer not to do that?:) When they go to another country, they chose the best when they go to Iran, they choose the worst :D
I hope you see Shiraz and Tehran and also North of Iran and I am happy you enjoyed your stay there. :)
I accidentally found your weblog while searching for different stuff and really enjoyed watching your photos. As an Iranian who lives in Australia I sort of missed my country. You look so lovely just like all the British people I’ve met so far. If you intend to have a second trip to Iran, make sure you’ll visit Shiraz, known as the town of love, poetry and wine! Although you won’t be able to get the third one readily, it’s not hard to find one from some secret places! Cheers! :)
I was searching about cycling in the world then I found your blog.
I have been to 26 Asian, African and European countries by bicycle under theme: Let’s make a proper world for children. My wife was with me in 6 countries in EU.
In Continue we are planning a biking tour to go to more than 30 countries in the world to collect donations for a MS cure.
I’m Iranian and I live in Berlin. while searching for my german language course presentation about my homeland, I found your website. It’s really interesting. I’m happy you traveled to my country and you enjoyed it. I should confess that the picture of that women-only-party that Christine was invited to, made me laugh so hard. it’s really interesting for me how you guys managed to experience such things. I myself have never been in such parties. it seems truly traditional and I’m interested to know what they served. next time don’t forget to visit Shiraz and Isfahan and North of Iran if you haven’t. and tell me have you tried Persian Ice cream that has saffron and frozen cream and pistachio in it?
Hi Matin – thanks for your comment, I’m glad you like the website. In response to your questions – at the women-only party we had a lot of ‘osh’ (sp?) – a nice type of lentil soup that is apparently quite popular in the region, and lots of baklava type stuff. Haven’t tried the ice-cream that you mention, but we did try a very nice rose-flavoured ice cream. Much appreciated in the heat! We did make it to Isfahan, and to Yazd (we loved both of them, especially Isfahan), but unfortunately not to Shiraz – that will have to wait until the next visit!.
First of all, i’m Sorry if I said my bad expression. I’m not fluent in English.
I was very happy that you did travel to Iran without any fear that the rumors about Iran and Iranian people, expressed in European countries it seems.
In Iran there are also places very beautiful examples that it can not see nowhere in the world.
And I am very pleased that you liked is Iran.
I am hoping that you are always happy.
We found Iran to be the most welcoming and friendly country on our trip, it was also packed with things to see, do and buy! We very much look forward to returning in the future. Before the trip we would never have thought of Iran as a holiday destination, simply because we did not know anything about the country, however now we would actively recommend it, we only wish that people in the UK could be as welcoming to foreigners. Thank you for making the effort to comment on our site.