It is impossible to describe everything we experienced in Iran in a few sentences. Matthias description in “Begegnungen” gives a very good example about the interactions we enjoyed with the Iranians. We regretted that we do not speak Farsi. The numerous meetings would have been even more enjoyable. The Iranians are very helpful and truly hospitable. At no occasion their attitude towards us was joined with a hidden agenda, for example with the intention to sell something to us. When they tried to it was very obvious. They provided us with water, breakfast, fresh carrots, fruits, walnuts, pistazies, lunch, Iranian chocolate and more. They took us on a bus tour, showed us hidden palaces, drove us through the traffic-jammed roads of Teheran or introduced us to the shops a couple needs to visit before marriage in Teheran. In many cities Iranians helped us to find an appropriate hotel. To reach the hotel in Teheran we had even to follow with our bikes our guide in a taxi, through crossings and through one of the central roundabouts. Even in the Teheran Traffic, the craziest traffic I have ever experienced, we did not fear to be hit by one of the cars or motorbikes behind us. Before we left Teheran the father and brother of a new friend helped us to wrap our bikes for the flights to Mumbai. They organised all the tape and bubble-wrap needed. In a fantastic teamwork we prepared our bikes successfully for the flights in less than an hour. The packaging preserved our bikes from any transportation damage.
In addition to their enormous sense for true hospitality the Iranians are very curious. They want to learn more about other countries, other cultures, other political systems and other religions, too. The Iranians we met are very open minded and also expressed their desire to evolve the Iranian political system in a more liberal direction. They are eager to work to improve their economic situation. And they understand that free trading and good relationships with other countries are key factors to achieve that goal.
We have seen only a small part of Iran. But that part is very beautiful. In addition, Iran offers an enormous history. Some splendid monuments witness theses past. A few we have seen such as the dome from Sultanieh, the blue mosque in Tabriz or the city of Esfahan.
Whenever water is available the wide plateaus of Iran are covered with green vegetation despite the heat. Our bike thermometers measured up to 45°C. At this season most of the fields turned yellow and the grain was already harvested. Corn, grapes, appels, peaches and tomatoes were ripe, when we passed. Each of them are grown in distinct regions.
For us at least as impressive were the different types of desert Iran offers. We enjoyed twilight and the silence there. Even during sleep we learned about the differences. We will never forget one of the nights. The underground below our tent was rocky. No, we did not suffer about pointed stones. But the rock in contrast to sandy underground stored the day heat and radiate it during the whole night like a perfect heating system. We were almost boiled in the tent. In other nights, on other ground we enjoyed the warmth of our sleeping bags.
Since we spent hours on our bikes some words about the Iranian roads should not be missed. Most of the time the roads were in excellent conditions. We mostly enjoyed roads under construction on which we dared to bike despite all other traffic was excluded. By reasons I do not understand in some villages the roads resembled more a landscape with valleys and mountains than a pavement. However, this was not our major problem, it just slowed our ride a bit. In Iran thousands of tons of cargo are transported with trucks every day. The drivers were mainly very attentive towards us and kept distance when they passed. But numerous of these trucks are old, very old. They blew a warm and black cloud of exhaust over us. With its toxins it robed our breath.