I don’t know how much I could tell you so far of the great love I felt growing in my heart while I was in Iran. Iran is a country you go to for its history (and I mean 2500 year old history), in which you discover true jewels of architecture and beauty, but in which you feel in love with the people you meet..
I am not speaking only of my friend Sara’s family (and she has a wonderfully big family: a family reunion with the close relatives only from her father’s side, uncles and cousins, was a gathering of at least 25 people) – who was always kind, warm, welcoming me with smiles coming from their hearts, not only their lips. But women on the streets were looking at me and smiling, in the bus a woman insisted on giving me a place to sit down, in Shiraz our guide offered to bring me a pair of shoes if mine would get broken, every time I was buying something – and it was obvious that I did not understand much of the banknotes (they had just cut some zeros, but the banknotes were still in the old currency) – people were very careful to give me the right change and let me understand that they gave me the right change.. Of course, you will also have guys that were saying things or trying to speak to me in English just because they saw I was a foreign girl, more approachable than Iranians girls in their minds. But besides that, or even including that, Iranians are a people that I saw truly eager to communicate with the outside world, to know and to welcome foreigners and to show themselves as they truly are, warm, curious, kind, beautiful people, not like the westerners generally imagine then to be.
I also loved the food, with dishes cooked for 3 or 4 hours with lemons and dry fruits, with sweets that are not very sweet, but rather flavored, with all kinds of fresh fruits, all grown in Iran, from green lemons and figs to the most ordinary (for me) fruits, cherries, apples, cucumbers (and yes, in Iran the cucumber is eaten rather like a fruit than a vegetable).
I absolutely love the Persian traditional music and I keep listening to Sedigh Sharif, Salar Aghili or Taje Esfahani..
And I love many other things about Iran. Some of them are in the pictures below, with some little explanations under them.
And others are in this other gallery, no explanation needed. Just enjoy :)