We barely got in 3 hours of sleep after our early morning arrival from Vienna before we were on the streets of Tehran. If I didn’t know any better, Tehran is like any normal city you’d find in the Middle East (Cairo, Amman…) but a lot more pleasant. Despite some heavy traffic and a crammed metro system, the entire atmosphere is subdued, not hectic; everyone seems to be on a slower pace than its sister cities of the region.
Although in all fairness, the perfect T-shirt friendly weather helps.
The obvious is obvious: Iranians are friendly; doesn’t matter what country you’re from. They’ll treat you with respect as long as you do the same. I just wish we had more time to talk to them as we zipped through the National Museum (nothing too special except to learn about the history of the Persian civilization), breezed through the Tehran bazaar, and hopped on the underground Metro back to our hotel.
Not surprisingly the highlight of our day was getting lost in the bazaar, which out of all the ones I’ve been to (even the ones in Fes or Marrakech) has been one of the most beautiful I’ve explored. It’s busy but calm, moving at its own pace that doesn’t seem to mind the presence of foreigners.
Unlike in Morocco, where tourism has developed to such a degree that every minute is a chance at solicitation and harassment, Iranians give you the space and respect for you to move at your own pace and explore at your will. If anything, the irony is that I feel I have more “freedom” of movement here in Iran than I did in places like Egypt or Morocco.
A few more pictures of us leaving the bazaar and strolling through the streets:
and us riding the Metro…
And us having dinner at this really pretty place (but they wouldn’t tell us where):
–EDIT: Thanks to Eden’s comment below, it looks to be the Iranian Artists’ Forum in Honarmandan (Artists) Park on Iranshahr St.–
Perhaps most local Iranians would disagree with me when I say this, but I found Tehran to be quite pleasant.
– At time of posting in Tehran-Mehrabad, it was 62.6 °F – Humidity: 55% | Wind Speed: 6km/hr | Cloud Cover: few clouds