- Our Iran road trip is really an Escape
- Touring Iran’s countryside: Our first night Iranian village stay on Day 2 of our trip to Khorasan
- How to plan a road tour of Iran
- Iran Road Tour: Mt. Damāvand’s first sighting
- Iran road travel: Tehran to Caspian Sea trip
- Iran Caspian Trip: Journey into the clouds
- Touring Iran’s Caspian Region: Filband
- North Iran Tour: Fantastic local food
- Waking in a traditional Iranian village home
- Tour of Caspian Coast: City of Sari
- Mobster turned Moslem servant
- Camping in Iran: Alendan of Mazandaran
- Badab Soort hot springs of north Iran
- Our Iran Road Trip > Meeting a shepherd
The morning sounds in the Iranian countryside
You always wake up to noise when touring Iran’s countryside – sometimes even before dawn. But the noises are never unpleasant.
Azan ever present in Iran’s cities and villages
There’s the azan (adhan in Arabic) call to the first prayer of the day just before dawn – which I personally find to be beautiful. It’s the urgency in the voice of the moazen declaring “I give witness” to the greatness of God. That never gets old for me.
The Animal noises in the Iranian village
Then there’s the rooster, of course, the biggest ego in town next to the Iranian males’.
And there’s the ding-a-ling of the copper bells hanging from the necks of the goats leading the sheep to pastures beyond.
We had the complete symphony this morning waking up in the village of Lāsem (LAW-sem), a couple of hours northeast of Tehran. Then fell asleep again on the floor of the village “suite” we found by chance.
Touring Iran’s countryside: Waking up
I remember this morning so well because it was my first morning on our latest escape from Tehran. Everything, the air, the colors, the light pouring in is crisp and fresh because of the horrid pollution we left behind a day earlier.
It was not an entirely pleasant night. The toilet stank – which is normal when strong winds blow the odor back up the squat toilet. And the blankets and bedrolls were so dirty that we finally braved the early November cold to the car and brought in our own sleeping bags.
But the cold crisp air and brilliant sun awaiting us the next morning made up for all the unpleasantness.
Touring Iran’s countryside: The village of Lāsem- a day trip from Tehran
This is what I saw the moment I stepped out in the morning in the village of Lasem.
And this is what I saw across the street when I stepped out into the road:
And then down the road, beholding downtown Lāsem, the population more goats and sheep than people.
Touring Iran’s countryside: The unpredictability of the lodging
There was a small matter to settle before we left. Dear wife, Saeideh could not leave without expressing her dismay about the dirty linens.
“It would stay in my throat if I say nothing,” she said.
The problem with tourist lodging in Iran
The art of avoiding insulting an Iranian
So she faces the elderly proprietors from the city of Amol and first, of course, per the classic Iranian custom she asks forgiveness in advance, that no form of insult is intended by what I’m about to say, and that we are eternally grateful for your generous hospitality and that we only want to help improve your business and make things better for your future guests …
and then and only then she delivers the but …
“But in our home, like most Iranians, we try to put out the best for our guests …,” she says explaining the dirty linens.
The wife, looking down from the second-floor balcony, didn’t take it well.
But her husband – a retired builder – cut off his wife’s attempt at protest. “Be quiet and listen,” he told her.
He apologized and thanked Saeideh for her feedback. The wife stayed quiet, fuming.
We got into the tank. The engine was warm by now.
We were in for plenty of eye candy on this glorious sunny day.
This is what I saw outside of the village:
I was getting high on the crisp air and the sight of the snowcapped mountains flanking the vast incredible landscape around us.
Touring rural Iran: The thrill of facing Mt. Damāvand
Little did we know we were about to meet “the bride” of all mountains. The first sight of Mt. Damāvand was so unexpected and thrilling, I suddenly slammed on the brakes.