Travel in times of cholera: Iran


It has been several days since we returned from Gijón. Dozens of articles from more than 165 bloggers already flood networks (the power of the blogosphere) about the beautiful coastal city, its activities, its gastronomy, its life, its surrounding towns (on Monday we tell you about what to see in Cudillero, a beautiful town of Asturias). Also about the big event # TBMGijón from Travel Bloggers Meetingof this year.

Perhaps in that sense, and being lucky winners of a weekend in Gijón with a Cider Route (which we will enjoy soon), we do not have much more to contribute now, but we will take the opportunity to respond to those who have asked us for part from our participation in the congress chatting about Iran.

Travel in times of cholera: Iran

Still pending the travel diary, there have been few strokes that we have already given in the blog about Iran. Especially that en route adventure, those 12 essential snapshots, or one of the articles that gives more meaning to my blogger's life in and that other monograph of.

Maybe it's because of all this, and because a forum like this (where some of those present had already been in Iran) allowed it, so I took the license to give it an different approach to my presentation ...

Those who know me know that my experience in this country was so authentic and intense that I could talk hours of his friendlier face, I'm sure you share with me. However the attempt to be more strict gives me a more bitter vision ... and that leads me to tell you my story

I left for Iran as long time ago, as part of a recovery of that essence of my first trips, which started my traveling world (now with Paula), but I don't fool anyone if I say that I carried my prejudices. I am the first who advises to start the suitcase with a “high percentage of open mind” for any destination but landed in Tehran with those questions from family and friends. The axis of evil, the most dangerous Iran ... What are you going to do there?

Considerations a traveler should have in Iran

Entering Iran is not easy. The bureaucratic procedures for visas in Spain are eternal, when not insufferable and after much fighting to get more than 15 days, I achieved mine 7 days before leaving.

The news that comes to us are biased, incomplete, barely reduced to the nuclear program, the Syrian support or the challenge to the West more typical of the former president.

The reality that I found is that of a country which, unfortunately, like many, controls a minority, the clergy, the Ayatolah which in 1979 dethroned Sha capitalism and returned one of the most evolved countries, with the best infrastructure of the moment, to an Islamic revolution.

And, nobody is wrong. Iran is not a huge desert. Iran is a very evolved territory, with great highways, great resources and an impressive Cultural and Historical Heritage. But it is also a stagnant country for more than 30 years.

Travel to Iran in these times, is to leave behind the Iran of the colors of the mid-twentieth century and return to the most conservative Islam, that of oppression of women, that of prohibitions, that of black veils and to the one who forgets his Persian identity that the Muslim world conquered

It is also that of the poverty, a place where the people and the clergy are as far away as one can imagine and even misery in certain slums of outlawed Afghan refugees.

That traveler who wishes to visit Iran must have take your precautions in the Baluchistan area which borders Pakistan, where the Persian turns its skin color to a darker complexion and even the language becomes illegible. Abductions of foreigners have been reported here in the past.

He access to information is complicated and control is total (neither social networks, nor whatsapp for a couple of weeks, they work)

Driving is impossible, and not only because of the language, but because the Persians have taken their reckless driving from their Arab neighbors

A small change? The video

While the history of Iran that I have "drawn" paints completely in black and white, you will not read in these paragraphs the words terrorism, fundamentalism and security problems. The Iranian people are a friendly, hospitable people. The freedom of movement is total for the traveler and the infinite and cheap mobility possibilities (we moved with local people in the vast majority of the way).

Changes? It is possible that it was only a partial perception of us, but history is never wrong, and new generations are already breaking the established rules. Will it be a symptom of a different future?

This video tries to show, from a very intimate and particular point of view, the vision that took me from Iran, from one of the best countries that has treated me as a traveler, and from that country that returned me, along with friend Sele, that essence for the authentic trip, the one that moves away from the imposed prototypes, and allows us to know the heart of the people around us.

There are an anecdote that I always like to tell, that the traveler is in the most sacred places in Iran (Qom. Shiraz or Masshad, for example). Where we put / put security based on eternal controls and armed police or military to the top, in Iran they are replaced by dusters. Yes, dusters. Those that we use to clean the dust and with those who gently touch your shoulder if they consider that you are violating some norm of respect. Curious not?

This is the Iran that I found ... and I have told

Isaac Martín, "Traveling in times of cholera, Iran" in the # TBMGijón