A few days ago, Ashkan asked if I could share a short story of theexcursion of 2015. I started thinking, but how to put the whole trip in a few words?! 4000 km in eleven days… an impossible task read more
to describe. Seven cities, all very different from each other and divided by a diverse and beautiful landscape When I think back, I must have been crazy to try and see all of Iran but it was worth every second. Ashkan told us upfront what to expect, what we’d see and how to get there. Our group of travelers (as crazy architects) made a small travel guide with some information about all our destinations.
Writing and reading about it is one thing but seeing everything in real life is a whole different story. The culture, the people, the way of life and the architecture is nothing like we know back home.It makes the experience a new and amazing one. We went with a small touring car and got the best driver we could find, an extremely nice and gentle man named Abbas who was crazy enough to drive us around for the whole 4000 km! We started in Tehran and went south passing Kashan, Abyaneh, Yazd, Meybod, Shiraz and Isfahan before going back to Tehran sometimes passing old forgotten monuments and civilizations. To describe every city can take me days so I will just tell you; they’re all beautiful cities, hav e a completely different kind of architecture, give of their own atmosphere and huge difference in culture. In general Iran is has one of the oldest and richest histories on earth, which you - as an outsider - tend to forget but when seeing it all gives you a great overview of 2500 years of life. This alone is more than enough reason to see this country.
Another reason is its inhabitants. Another reason is its inhabitants. The people that we have met in every city were extremely kind, helpful and always super curious about us. They were always wondering why we would want to see their homes, their cities and more than happy to show us around. And not to forget, they love to take a picture or selfie of you. A funny and interesting experience.But all the conversations planning and walking would have been impossible without Ashkan. As a Dutch Iranian he knows a lot about Iran, has extremely nice and helpful friends/family in Iran and most importantly; understands the language and culture. Throughout the trip he took care of all our needs. From the hotels, our transport and our food to the smallest detail of getting us some medicine.
Ashkan would take care of it, with an huge amount of passion for what he does. He made sure you enjoyed yourself and at the same time show you his Iran. Like I said, we were fortunate to meet is friends and family. Not only did the show us around but made sure we had a good ‘Iranian’ time and got a good taste of the culture and food. The trip would have been uncomplete without them! After 11 days I thought I spend a lifetime in Iran. At that time, our start in Tehran seemed like ages ago and my mind was in overload. I have seen more of Iran in 11 days then I would see in 11 years in the Netherlands. I have been treated with great architecture, culture, people and food. And DAMN I miss the food, it was the best! Ashkan gave me the chance to learn so much more about the middle-east. It’s a whole lot different from the things you read about Iran back home and is still untouched by commercial tourism, the experience is true, fresh and different because of it. So all I can say:Ashkan, thanks it was a once in a lifetime experience. I owe you!