NoRooz in Iran
Tehran Travel Blog› entry 6 of 9 › view all entries
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.
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.
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."