After we had to painfully say goodbye to our new friends, our (slow) journey continued from the Caspian Sea to the south. Our destination was Tehran, to visit the Turkmen embassy there, for visa purposes, but more about that later. We left the ‘fun paradise’ Rudsar and fought our way east and then further into the mountains. When we reached darkness we tried to find a quiet place, but this is not so easy in the north of Iran. As we already wrote everything is full of rice, tea, orange or other plantations and hardly a spot is unmanaged. Nevertheless we could find a small way behind an orange plantation and squeezed ourselves as unobtrusively as possible into a small parking bay. The night was unusually quiet and in the morning we had a wonderful view over the valley and the plantations. When we had just had a cosy breakfast, there was a knock at the door. Door open, three men in a car and a moped. “Hello, sir, good morning! How can we help you” was of course our first friendly reaction again. It turned out to be the village sheriff with an assistant and an interpreter. The moped driving translator was probably the only one they could get hold of in the village who spoke at least a few words of English. And so we tried again with our hands and feet to make clear who we are, where we come from and that we are absolutely harmless and wanted to leave right away. The village sheriff understood, nevertheless checked our papers and visa, but was incredibly friendly and wished us a good trip after 10 minutes of bantering with hands and feet and gave us his phone number in case we had problems somewhere. We thanked him and packed our things with destination Tehran. But less than five minutes later the moped rattled again and the translator came by with a huge bag of oranges, which he gave us. Of course we politely refused (at least three times in Iran, before actually accepting anything) and then accepted it gratefully. We were once again surprised by this incredible hospitality and courtesy! We gave him our internet address including Facebook and Instagramaccount and thanked him again. The dog was emptied again and then we wanted to start the engine, but then the translator came again and gave and a small tea and an orange plant in the pot. We didn’t even know what to say! We adopted them of course and they have been our constant companions ever since. If we stand somewhere and it rains, they can go out to play and get in again when it goes on. But with all the presents we really went on towards Tehran. Just arrived on the first asphalted road, the phone vibrates. Our translator created an Instagramaccount especially for us and liked us. He wrote that he would be sad that we were already gone, he wanted to bring us bread and honey. Martin and I almost started to cry because we could hardly believe this incredible cordiality. And still we write with Esmail! Thank you!
As you might see from our anecdotes, we took the country more and more to our hearts. And that because of its wonderful people. This cordiality with the unknown was met and this absolute honesty has blown us away. We said to ourselves that day that we wanted to accept and carry on these qualities.
Our further way led along a wonderful road full of curves (Sorry to the people behind us, that is all at least 1000, for the three hours delay). Ernst is aware of his guilt!). But the wonderful landscape was worth it. We spent the night at a lake (Valasht Lake), so blue that even in bad light and without sun it looks as if it had been photoshopped. See for yourself:
This night we were not even disturbed, but spent it in threesomeness. The next day we reached Tehran and were amazed how big this city is. After a short internet search we found out that over eight (in numbers: 8) million people live there. Beloved Berlin, you village! To navigate there with Ernst was again a nerve-racking thing, but went nevertheless somewhat smoothly. Our most important goals in Tehran: The Turkmen Embassy and once again a visit to a workshop. Because there were again things to do… But more about that in the next article.