We are most likely in Esfahan as you read this, but all of these photos are from Tehran. I haven’t felt very comfortable pulling out my SLR here, so I’ve been using the point-shoot camera. Perhaps that feeling is irrational. Either way, all the photos I have posted here are from our little point-shoot, which makes taking indiscriminate photos incredible easy.  
It had been a while since we’d visited a museum. I was beginning to itch because of it.  So to enterain ourselves during our first full day in Tehran we decided to checkout the National Museum of Iran. It’s the perfect size for a visitor to look at the entire collection in 2-hours, meaning you’re satisfied and content when you leave rather than overwhelmed and tired. You’ll never believe how much it cost to visit the museum! It was .50 cents per adult! So Chris and I spent $1.00. Unbelievable. The museum very professionally displays its collection of bone tools, Palaeolithic lithics (stone tools), metal and clay carvings from animals to humans and grand artifacts from the famous site of Persepolis, which we’ll be visiting at the end of our trip.  I’m simply in love with the Persepolis carvings. I love the way they carved the beards, hair and turbans.…Continue Reading
The Unesco World Heritage site Takht-e-Soleiman is 42 kilometers northeast from a small town called Takab in Iran.  It was the spiritual centre of the ancient state religion called Zoroastrianism. This 1500-year old site must have been remarkable in its heyday, because the fortifying walls that still stand are very impressive.  It is truly a remarkable location with its height, the view and the lake in the middle.  The site is actually 20-meters higher than the surrounding area. The height of the site is primarily due to the deposition of lake sediment! It is still possible to walk through what use to be the Fire temple.  Back in the day, the temple contained an eternal flame which was “provided thanks to a natural volcanic gas channelled through ceramic pipes” (Iran 2008, Lonely Planet).  The site also honours the elements of wind and water.  Seeing as the site has such a…Continue Reading
Road lines are more like abstract paintings for drivers to admire. People simply do not pay any attention to them. What would be a three lane road back home becomes a five lane, or six lane road here.  This is an observation quickly made seconds after stepping into a vehicle in Iran. Following the advice of our Iran Lonely Planet travel guide, Chris and I decided to hire a taxi to take us from a city called Zanjan to an archaeological site called Takht-e-Soleiman for a couple hours and then on to a small city called Bijar. We found a driver and agreed with his cost of $50 US dollars for the trip. When we came into the mountainous part of the drive our taxi driver started cutting corners.  He would drive in the wrong lane on blind corners, on winding mountain roads that were marked with solid double lines. …Continue Reading
It sure is getting hot wearing my head scarf and the knee length “manto” (a.k.a. thin jacket). It is the law for me to wear a head scarf. I have some other ones you’ll see me modeling in future photos.  Cultural pressure and local fashion make me feel like I should wear the manto. People sure stare as us a lot with curiosity. Many people say “hello” as we walk by or they stop us on the side walk to say “Hello. How are you? Welcome to my city and to Iran. Where are you from?” They are the most friendly, curious people I’ve ever encountered. My favorite things here are the fruit shakes and the baked goods. They are both delicious. The other night to help relieve some of my culture shock I searched Chris’s computer for some up beat music. I found Michael Buble! Ah, love that guy. His voice and…Continue Reading
February 2011 Update: If you are looking for info on the visas and border crossing itself, Chris has posted about that here. We were both still sick, but nonetheless on Wednesday, June 16th we bought bus tickets from Van, Turkey to Orumiyeh, Iran. I must admit that deep inside me I was a little uncertain. The bus left Van at 9:45 am. Tired, a bit hungry (because I’m always a little hungry) and still sick, I struggled to keep my eyes open. I don’t know what it is about buses but they’re always rocking me to sleep. When I managed to keep my eyes open I saw a wonderful landscape unfolding before me. Fields turned into shrubbery-covered mountains that, for some reason, reminded me of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. Perhaps it is from photos I have seen. We got to the border at 2:00 p.m. Immediately when the bus…Continue Reading
Hey gang, Both Laura and Chris here this time. We are in an Internet cafe in a small city called Bijar. In Iran, Internet cafes are called coffeenets, even though there is no coffee in sight. Just a reminder, some popular Internet sites are blocked here, including Facebook and, apparently, Yahoo. So if you want to reach Laura, be sure to use her Gmail address (laura.dawn.beauchamp(at)gmail.com). Today we visited a site called Takht-e-Soleimon, which was the religious centre of Zoroastrianism for hundreds of years. Zorostrianism was one of the first monotheistic religions, and still has a following here in Iran, even though it is over 3,000 years old. We also climbed a nearby volcano cone, and peered into a deep caldera that was full of cliff swallows and buzzing bees. Yep, a volcano, full of bees. As if a volcano isn’t dangerous enough! We got some cool shots which we…Continue Reading
I was concerned before entering Iran that it may be rather similar to Turkey in many ways. Not that there’s anything wrong with Turkey, but after spending what amounts to over two months there, on two separate trips, Laura and I are both looking for a change. Luckily for us, Iran feels like a whole other world, and we’ve only been here 24 hours. The landscapes have been unique, like crossing the giant, salty Lake Orumiyeh. According to the Lonely Planet it has salinity levels like the Dead Sea, with the same you-can’t-sink-effects. Unfortunately, we were flying across it’s long causeway in a taxi and couldn’t test it. The house architecture is different. In Turkey almost all buildings are concrete-framed with cinder-block walls. Here, houses we’ve seen are strangely tottering affairs, made of brick (mud-brick?) and ornamented with pillars often on the second and third storeys. Infrastructure seems better too,…Continue Reading
Worldwide Traffic Sources to www.OutThereSomewhere.ca since January 1, 2010
Hi all, I figured we owed you all a proper update outlining our plans for the next little while, aside from the cryptic reference to detours and cheap flights in the last post. On April 26 we will be leaving Lanciano, heading north on a train to a town near Milan called Piacenza. Laura’s friend Christine will be living there by then, and we plan to visit with her for about 8 days before boarding a flight out of Milan for Casablanca, Morocco (!). This will be our first time in Africa and we are really excited. The Morocco plan only came about because we discovered some outrageously cheap EasyJet flights from Milan. After a bit of research, we learned just how affordable Morocco can be to travel in, and figured “why not?” After three weeks in Morocco, on May 24 we will be flying to Madrid, Spain (another really…Continue Reading
Hey everybody! Laura’s got a write-up coming about our last week or two. Me? I’ve got some photos to share. But first a few bombshells and a note on spelling. Bombshell number 1: We will be getting our visas to visit Iran within the next two days, although it’ll be a month or more before we go. After lots of research about the situation there and speaking with other travelers (as well as Turks), we’ve decided we’d be crazy not to visit this amazing and hospitable country. Stay tuned to the blog for some more information about why Iran (as a country) is not the bogeyman you hear about in your newspapers every day. Bombshell number 2: We’ve got tickets to Italy. We’ll be flying there on March 26 from Istanbul. We have plans to spend the better part of a month in Laura’s old stomping grounds of Lanciano, visiting…Continue Reading