I arrive in Tehran with the British Foreign Office advising against all but essential travel to Iran. I sure wish I had listened to the warnings. I spend 5 weeks backpacking Iran on my own. As you can see from my photos, it was a very dangerous thing to do.
I mean, why on earth would anyone want to visit a country with one of the worlds oldest civilisations?
The Iranians are expert in enjoying a cup of tea and cake in style. This may be the only country in the world where the Starbuckers among us don’t go into deep depression without their vanilla shakers. Below is a tea house in Shiraz.
There are no pubs in Iran. Can you believe that? There I am on a Friday evening, walking over a vast pink salt lake towards the sun set with friends. Not a pint in sight.
Creativity is at the heart of Persian culture. Their idolisation of architecture and art makes Iran a truly magnificent and fascinating country to travel.
Iran comes alive at night. Even the children don’t go to bed until 1am. The Persians are a sociable society and love nothing more than joining family and friends in the evenings, to wander the many parks and historic landmarks.
The best thing about Iran is of course the Iranians themselves. They have a genuine love for human beings which sits on the surface of all social interactions. Even as a stranger, you can be sure to be enveloped by this love should you visit Iran. Laughter is important to Iranians and they’ll use their fun sense of humour at every given opportunity. Iranians take great pride in their hospitality, which means the tourist is spoilt rotten in their country. They absolutely adore foreigners.
Iran has always been a must visit destination for the independent traveller and you’ll bump into many other backpackers whilst in Iran. With the recent developments of the nuclear deal a reality, a new tourism industry is ready to explode. Still think it’s crazy to travel Iran? Think again. WBG xxx
Ishbel, creator of World Bike Girl, has spent her life on bicycles, from road racing, to velodrome sprinting to cycling the world. She has pedalled across 20 countries solo and promotes commuting by bicycle. Much to the dismay of her friends, she is an avid wearer of socks and sandals.