Greener, cooler, mountainous, Iran’s west is starkly different to its east. A thousand years ago and more, warriors, traders, pilgrims, camel, artists, goods and culture criss-crossed the area between Europe and the east.
In Tabriz, we enjoyed a good old laugh with these guys, who spoke as much English as we did Persian.
Located on the Caspian sea, hiking near Rasht is very relaxing.
With clean mountain air, good hiking and abundant walnuts, Rasht is a popuar holiday spot.
Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, or Ayatollah Khomeini, is deeply respected in Iran.
A Tehran shop sells nuts.
Relief from Tehran's noise, crowds and pollution is a short distance away.
Inside a cave house, Kandovan.
In ancient Kandovan, an ancient Uber.
The village is around 800 years old. The voclanic cliff into which the people build is quite new, at around 1500 years.
Monastery of Saint Thaddeus. A church has existed in Maku since AD68. This structure is largely from 1811.
In Iran's mountainous Azerbaijan Province, ice clings to a tree.
The Monastry Of St Thaddeus is also known as the Black Church. Maku, west Iran.
Modern wares in ancient bazaar.
Persian script on a wall in Tabriz. It says "No Parking." (Actually, I have no idea what it says.)
A UNESCO World Heritage site, much of Tabriz' ancient bazaar dates from 16th century. A bazaar has exisyed here since the coming of Islam about 1300 years ago.
Bales of cotton. Tabriz is a centre of carpet weaving with deep historical roots.
Marco Polo, as usual, claims to have had a peek at Tabriz' ancient bazaar.
On a bus leaving Tehran. On almost every bus we rode, a passenger would seek us out, introduce themselves in English and offer to help us if we needed.
An old palace in down town Tehran.
One of the great silk road bazaars, in Tabriz.
A lady enjoys the afternoon sun in the mountain village of Kandovan, where homes are built into the hills and caves.
The houses are reminiscent of the so-called "fairy chimneys" of Cappadocia, Turkey.