29th of July 2017 (7 Mordad 1396), 35°C, clear sky and no wind. Arrived at Bandar Anzali around 6pm and, as I was unable to find a Couchsurfing host prior to my arrival, decided to try the Couchsurfing Hang Out
in order to get some local help to find a cheap place to stay. It worked out pretty well, in just five minutes I was hanging out with Mostafa, a very thoughtful public accountant that instead of taking me to some hotel, took me to his brand new house (what a wonderful people Iranians are!). Mostafa also showed me the city and offered me a tasty kebab dinner while we discussed about the economy and finance of our countries (regarding the difficulty of getting a passport, Mostafa said that there’s no problem whatsoever). After dinner we had a traditional desert by the Caspian Sea, Faloodeh, rice noodles and rose water ice cream (not my favourite).
30th of July 2017 (8 Mordad 1396), 36°C, clear sky and no wind. Had breakfast with Mostafa and left Anzali to visit Masouleh, an ancient picturesque mountain village with houses made of adobe and wood, piled up on top of each other, the yard of the building above being the roof of the building below.
To leave Masouleh I hitchhiked with Behnam and Mehran, two young and friendly guys from Rasht. We ended up spending the evening together as Mehran took me to his tea house, where I met a lot of friends that were amazed to see and talk with a foreigner (I felt a little bit like a monkey in a zoo, but I enjoyed their true interest). After, Behnam took me to dinner in a fancy restaurant called Chelo.Chish, where we had a divine shishlik Kebab (lamb). Afterwards we went to his house where we drunk homemade wine, ate chocolate and smoked “sandwiches” (yes, it’s possible to find all this in Iran as well). It was very interesting to know the mentality of these children of the Iranian high society and to realise that they too long for an happier life abroad…
31th of July 2017 (9 Mordad 1396), 33°C, cloudy and no wind. We get up at noon and went out for breakfast/lunch, another Kebab. At 3pm they dropped me at the bus terminal where I catched the next bus to Tehran (8€ for 5h and a food package with extra salty nuts and super sweet cakes).
Arrived at the bustling capital around 9pm. A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of Fatih (with whom I climbed the Kackar Mountains in Turkey), joyful 17 years old Arta, hosted me in his family’s house, where he lives with his mother and grandparents. After a quick dinner he took me downtown for a drink (tea).
I’ve to tell you that I’m tired of Couchsurfing though… This people are so friendly and welcoming that are all over me all the time, not leaving me any time alone, even going to the toilet is a challenge… I will have to alternate Couchsurfing with hostels from now on, but it is so hard to find hostels or decent guest houses at reasonable prices in here…