Into Iran Leaving Turkey, we cross into Iran on the northern border. The process is surprisingly unremarkable and in less than one hour we are in the land of cheap motor biking – fuel is less than € 0,20 per liter, exactly a tenth of what we paid in Turkey. We trace the border on a dull but scenic highway in southern direction and spend the first few days at Hossein’s Guest House in Urmia, where the eponymous owner provides loads of helpful information about riding Iran.
“Some of the terrace fields are still in crop and unguided donkeys carry bundles of hay to their owner's homes...“
Leaving the city, we head towards the cave-dwelling village Kandovan. Given the petrol prices in Turkey, we did not visit the famous caverns of Cappadocia, but now this does not seem such a missed opportunity. We rent a private cave guest room for a night and rise early the next morning to explore the little alleyways, undisturbed by tourists. Some of the terrace fields are still in crop and unguided donkeys carry bundles of hay to their owner’s homes, stopping now and then to take a bite or two of the loads on their shoulders.
Amid the organic formations of sandstone and rustic flat-roofed huts I feel cave dwelling might be the right thing to do, and I start to daydream about my very own little lair up in the rock. But this doesn’t last long. As soon the hot sun rises clambering up and down the narrow lanes and stairs of this troglodyte village becomes less comfortable by the minute. We head to Tabriz to see the world’s largest covered bazaar before turning north toward the Caspian Sea.
Published on Feb 7, 2014