Day 509-514 – 15.-19. June 2015

Saeed showed me the way to the bus terminal and after another 45 minutes I was on the way to Tabris.

In the bus I met Oliver, a young German traveler who started a few month ago in Thailand and made his way through Nepal and Iran and is going through Armenia and Georgia back to Germany.

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In Tabris I was picked up by my friend Faraz, who I met last year.

In the afternoon we went through the bazar and by coincidence met Oliver.

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The next day Faraz and two of his friends showed me a historical town where people build their houses into the mountains.

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When we came back to the apartment Faraz had invited another cyclist from Holland. We spend the rest of the evening making dinner and talking about our traveling.

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The next morning Faraz and I took the bus to his hometown Urmia.

Urmia is located at lake Urmia. A salt lake in the west of Iran. After in 1984 dams where build the weather level decreased and the area of the lake has diminished by about 70%.

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The next few days I stayed with Faraz family. We were always meeting friends and family, did some sightseeing, visited a mushroom factory, a zoo and where invited to a birthday party.

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One day we drove to the north and had lunch at a friends house. Afterwards we drove to the salt lake and they helped me to make my 15.000km picture.

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It was hard work and took more than 1.5 hours to scrape the numbers into the salt.

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Day 457-461 – 31. July – 4. August 2014

Day 457: The border crossing to Iran was very close so I was at the border before 10am.

After passport control and someone asking me some questions about me and my planed stay in Iran I went to customs.

I did not had to open any bag and they only wanted to see my papers for my bicycle. I gave them my bike instructions and service paper and after a few minutes of examining the paper I was free to enter Iran.

It it not possible to get any money from chash machines inside Iran, so you have to take all your money with you. In Georgia I got some US dollars and exchanged it now at the border.

I finally made it to Iran.

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I followed the river 70km to the west to the first big town in Iran.

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The road was in good condition but it was fairly narrow and there was a lot of traffice.

Because ramadan was just over and manny people have 3 days off, I saw a lot of cars with suitcases and the roof.

The first thing I noticed in Iran was the people are very friendly. Almost every car honked the horn and people waved and welcomed me. Someone even handed me a candy bar while I was cycling.

Other people stopped, offered me food or drinks and everybody wanted to take a picture. Manny of the people could speak english and wehere very happy to see an foreigner in their country.

When I stopped to dink something a older man invited me into his garden and offered me lunch.

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The landscape was nice and the wind mostly was in my favor.

I reached the town of Julfa in the evening and bought some groceries. The people where interested in my bike and again where happy to see a foreigner.

My plan was to get out of the city to find a place for the night. I continued and was stopped by some jung people. Faraz and his sister wanted to know where I come from and after a few minutes they invited me to the park. The park was just across the street and they had a picnic withe the whole family. I joined them and after a tea and water mellon they left.

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Faraz offered me to stay at his place in Tabriz when I get there. We exchanged phone numbers and he also told me I could stay in the park for the night.

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Manny people sleep in the park, especially after ramadan. I put my tent up and the people around me offered to help. Later they invited me for tea.

Day 458: The next morning after I fixed a broken spoke I cycled on.

Only a few minutes on the road a family stopped, gave me some water and fruits and invited me to their home in the town of Qazvin (150km before Teheran). One of the girls spoke german and all of them english.

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This day I also met many friendly people.

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After a very dry area I stopped at a mosque to get something to drink.

I met a guy who is a archeologist. We talked for a while and he invited me to his home. The next town was 40km ahead and we arranged a meeting point in the evening.

It was very hot in this area but the last 15 km was a nice decent to the town.

I met Amin in Marand at the meeting point and we cycled to his home. After a shower, one of his friends came and also a guy who normally lives in Denmark. They invited me for dinner in a nice traditional restaurant.

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Day 459: After a small breakfast I left Marand to go to Tabriz. Just when I left Marand a guy on a motorcycle stopped me and told me I am the 204th cyclist he met in this town. He has some connections to truck drivers and they inform him whenever they see a cyclist comming to the town. He showed me some of his pictures and gave me a list with telephone numbers of friends in different cities.

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I had to go about 80km to Tabriz. Tabriz is the 5th biggest city in Iran with about 1,5 million people.

I called Faraz, whom I met two days before and we met somewhere in the city. He lives at the eastern part of the city, so we had to go another 10km to his home. Faraz wanted to try my vehicle and so we switched bikes. At the beginning he almost fell over but after a few minutes he was getting used to it and he could not imagine how I managed to go over the mountains.

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Faraz is a university student and normal lives with 2 roommates in an apartment. Because it was summer some of his friends do not have an apartment, so they stay hat his place.

The apartment is fairly big and we stayed there with 6 or 7 people. I even had a room for myself.

I met his friends and after a shower and some talks we all took a taxi to a big mall and ate something. They all speak english and we had some nice conversation about manny different things.

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I was very tired and finally at around 3am I managed to go to bed.

Day 460: We had breakfast at around 11am and afterwords Faraz and I took a taxi and bus to the city center. I had to repair my rim. I noticed a crack in Gaziantep, Turkey and now after another 2000km it was getting very bad. I only wanted to fix it so I could get to Teheran.

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A friend of Faraz has a good bike shop and he tried to call someone to look at the rim. It was almost impossible to repair the rim, but luckily he had a fitting new rim for me. I payed 20€ for the rim, the spokes and all the work to get it done. I was very happy.

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Faraz showed me around the city. We went to a museum and some other attractions.

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We visited a friend who has a key shop and here I got the idea for my 14.000km picture.

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In the evening Faraz and his friends showed me a famous park and we had a traditional soup from Tabriz. After we came back to the apartment and some more talking it was again after 3am when I got to bed.

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Day 461: It was so nice here that I decided to stay another day. After a late breakfast Faraz and his friends helped me to create my 14.000km picture:

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I call it „Key to Persia“:

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In the afternoon two of Fraraz friends took me to their german class and after that we went to a english school where Faraz teaches english.

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I had a very nice time with all of them and I learned a lot about the country and the people.

Thank you: Afshin, Abbas, Pouyan, Yashar, Sina(the big bear), Mehdi and Faraz.

 

 

Day 457: 71,09 km  all: 13.973 km

Day 458: 62,51 km  all: 14.036 km

Day 459: 84,19 km  all: 14.120 km