In the capital of Iran

In Tehran there is more to see of the women than usual in Iran. The headscarves are mostly coloured and sometimes they are pushed back so far that they almost threaten to fall off. Evan a black chador can be tight and form-fitting, or perhaps it is even colourful, and legs in jeans certainly peek out from underneath. Make-up is the rule and blonde streaks are quite hip.

Apart from that, Tehran is a juggernaut of featureless concrete buildings and hopelessly crowded streets, through which we wander mile after mile in search of little things like internet, a bookshop or even something to eat. Even the Golestan Palace is not particularly old; it is no coincidence that it looks like an Art Nouveau railway station. The Shah had seen pictures of European buildings of his time and wanted something like that for himself. Otherwise, in the National Museum we see everything that is not in the Louvre and in the Jewellery Museum incredible heaps of emeralds, diamonds, rubies in crowns, jewellery and sabres.

Nearby is also the tomb of Khomeini. The hall where pilgrims pray, chat and stroll and children play looks like an old exhibition hall that was never finished. The tomb itself is in a steel cage, with a wall of banknotes a few decimetres high accumulated around its inner edges.

A glance at an English-language Iranian newspaper reveals pure propaganda. Even the international news is always about Iran, about who said what about Iran. And e.g. the fact that the Arab Emirates think that an Iranian island in the Gulf belongs to them can only be the fault of the “Zionist regime”…

Read on

Backpacking trip Middle East and Caucasus 2008
Persepolis and Shiraz
Kashan and Qom
Climbing Damavand
Caspian Riviera