Iran Day 10: Tehran (10 Mar 11) – Back To Where We Came From

Back to Tehran

We spend most of the time driving back from Anzali to Tehran. There are 2 ways of getting back to Tehran from Anzali: one is via Rasht and Qazvin, the way we came from; and the other via the Caspian Sea coast and then turning into the mountains. We went via the latter route. The initial part of the was quite uneventful, I would expect to see the Caspian Coast as we drive along this stretch of the road. However no such luck, as we were driving nearer inland, the coast is on the opposite side, we can’t really see the coast at all. Luckily our guide was kind enough to detour into a short stopover area facing the Caspian Sea. “This is our last opportunity to take pictures of the Caspian Sea”, I thought to myself and snapping my camera profusely. After a 5 min break, we continued our way back to Tehran. Out of nowhere, our guide asked if I am still interested in buying Iranian Tea, and I said yes, so he stopped by this shop in Lahijan, where the area is famous for Iranian Tea. As we were pulling up to the shop, our guide pointed out that the mountains we see, where the tea leaves are grown, is known as the Devil’s Mountain as the area is rather windy and at night one would hear the rusting sound produced by the tree, giving the whole area an eerie feeling. After getting our tea, we resumed our journey back. The rest of the journey was rather uneventful.

Caspian Sea
Devil’s Mountains
One last look at the Caspian Sea
One last look at the Caspian Sea
One last look at the Caspian Sea

Alborz Mountain Ranges

We turned into the Alborz Mountain ranges at this coastal town called Chalus. The initial drive was quite alright (after seeing the dramatic sceneries in Alamut Valley, the rest is just don’t match up to it), until we came to this short rest point. From here I can see the whole of the mountain valley as well as this farmland at the bottom of the valley. I thought this looked like a scene in one of those cowboy movies. The view is stunting! From this point on, the journey looked interesting. Many a times, our guide wanted to over several cars in the one laned motorway, but was unsuccessful either due to cars coming from the opposite lane or the car infront of us suddenly sped up as we filtered our car to the oncoming traffic lane. However our guide managed to over many slower moving cars along the way. What amaze me more is the way the road was being paved. We traveled into the valley and then up the mountains, into the snow and into tunnels carved out from the mountain. Every turn is a surprise on this road, as it hops from mountain to mountain ensuring travelers on this road get from Chalus to Tehran. There is this part of the road that flattens out to look like we are near sea level. I am pretty sure we are on top of the mountain, as there were still snow on the ground. The whole area looks like some winter wonderland, absolutely beautiful and peaceful

Driving through Alborz Mountains
Driving through Alborz Mountains
Driving through Alborz Mountains
On the way we saw snow and some villages covered in snow
Driving through Alborz Mountains
Driving through Alborz Mountains
Driving through Alborz Mountains
Driving through Alborz Mountains
Driving through Alborz Mountains

Capital of Iran

After snaking up and down in the mountains, after 4 hours drive, we arrived in Tehran. From the peaceful road and now we are entering into the chaotic roads of Tehran. After checking into the same hotel we stayed in our first day in Iran, we decided to head out and visit some bazaars that was mentioned in Lonely Planet. Everywhere we go, there are tons of people shopping and hanging out. Most probably shopping for the Iran New Year. The streets in Tehran is bustling with life, unlike some of the towns like Kashan or Anzali. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel. On our way, we saw the metro station and took a ride on it. The metro in Tehran charged a flat rate of roughly SGD0.30 regardless the distance you ride on it.  As we entered the paid area of the station, walking towards the platform, I realised the metro station is spick and span. The train that would bring us back to our hotel pulled into the station, as we boarded the train, I saw the train looked very new and clean. The ride on the metro was very comfortable, and though this is our first time taking the metro in Tehran, the well marked dual language signs ensured that we are on the right train. As we alighted the train and exited the station, 2 locals looked at us and asked where we were from. They were rather surprised that we were in Iran as travelers. We chatted a bit and we found out that they are not from Tehran, they like us are travelers and they are in Tehran for holiday. As our hotel and theirs are at different direction, we parted our ways and headed back to our hotel to rest for the night.

Walking around downtown Tehran
I had pizza for dinner
Around Downtown Tehran
A Bus stop in Tehran
Subway in Tehran
Subway departing the station

 

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