NoRooz in Iran

Tehran Travel Blog

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My friend's NoRooz table setting

I was so happy when I finally received confirmation of my Iranian visa.  it was perfect timing as I was just about to finalize my alternative travel plans when I received the positive message.  However, it was not until much later I realized that my dates would almost exactly coincide with NoRooz in Iran (Iranian New Year) which is supposedly not a good time for visitors because many businesses are closed.  This may be so, but since my plans were not to try and hit the main tourist sites, things worked out well....actually very well.

This was my second visit to Iran and I was eager to see the differences between now and my first visit in 2005  when the strong government fundamentalists were not so active.

Waiting for a taxi in Northern Tehran
  But after a very busy past 16 days of travel , I was also looking to relax a bit and take things easy visiting people I had met before.   One of the short trips I also took was within Tehran into the mountain area partially  occupied by the Darband suburb. 

It is possible to take local city transport to Darband and we started off on a private bus system which allowed men and women to sit together.  This contrasted with my first visit whereby  I took a segregated (women seated at the back) bus to travel around Tehran.  We got off in the Tajrish area and then tried to grab a cab to take us partway up to Darband.  This is when it became obvious that it was a national holiday as many people were also waiting so it took a bit of time to get our ride up the hill.

Headed to the stream area in Darband, Tehran
  In the meantime, we had time to chat with some young women also in line and one in particular who had very stylish dress and even decorated fingernails. It was obvious that the infamous "Morality Police" must also have been on holidays. 

Darband was an interesting touristy area with a pathway following up along a creek and flanked by a plethora of eateries.  These restaurants all had carpetted "pads" (some  situated right in the creek itself) for folks to sit on and enjoy their meals or waterpipe.  Despite the obvious tourist appeal to this location, it was nice to see that it was only Iranians there enjoying a relaxing time with their families.  Of course I also at a restaurant and spent quite a few hours enjoying a lovely meal of fish and then puffing on a hookah.  "I could get into this life....too bad it isn't always this relaxing in Iran."

mickeyd302 says:
I have lived so close to Iran and have never had the chance to visit there. I envy you. Some of my Iranian students have invited me to visit their homes, but the stupid situation between the US and Iran have stopped me from visiting there. I have enjoyed reading about your experience there.
Posted on: May 23, 2008
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My friends NoRooz table setting
My friend's NoRooz table setting
Waiting for a taxi in Northern Teh…
Waiting for a taxi in Northern Te…
Headed to the stream area in Darba…
Headed to the stream area in Darb…
The trail up to Darband
The trail up to Darband
Iranian snacks for sale
Iranian snacks for sale
Approaching the main scenic area i…
Approaching the main scenic area …
View of  top of mounain at Darband
View of top of mounain at Darband
View of stream and walkway up the …
View of stream and walkway up the…
View of scenic restaurant eating s…
View of scenic restaurant eating …
Restaurant waterpipes
Restaurant waterpipes
Family enjoying a nice meal by the…
Family enjoying a nice meal by th…
Sugar for tea
Sugar for tea
Me enjoying the hookah
Me enjoying the hookah
Tehran
photo by: macajam