So far during the time in Iran I've been on road trips east to Mashhad and north to Astaneh. Mashhad is the second biggest and a holy city in Iran. This city is a religious tourist destination. Many people from all over Iran & Middle east come to visit Imam Reza's shrine in Mashhad. My mother is originally from here and I visit my grandparents and family in Mashhad every time I am in Iran.
There are several routes leading to Mashhad and to the Caspian Sea on the north. The nature on each road is scenic and unique. The roads go through mountains, desert, and forests . I love the mountains in Iran. The Alborz mountains separates the tropical caspian sea area from the lower Tehran plateau. It reaches several hundred miles east to west and its only few tens of miles wide. You definitely see some spectacular views when crossing these mountains. They are similar to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
The tallest mountain in the Alborz Range is Mt. Damavand at 18400ft (5600meters) elevation. A lot of people hike in the Alborz mountains. Hiking in the mountains is one of my activities now, and I always been wanting to clime up to the peak of Mt. Damavand. I will make that dream come true in the near future.
In addition to the nature, It's the month of Ramadan right now. During this month Muslims don't drink or eat from sunrise to sunset. Nobody is supposed to consume food or drinks in public and restaurants and coffee shops are not serving food for lunch. I would assume restaurant industry's low season in muslim countries is during the month of Ramadan, which ends in few days and it's celebrated as Eyd e Fetr.
Astaneh Ashrafiyyeh is a town in the Gilan province by the Caspian Sea. The nature here is tropical and you see palm trees around. My parents have a get away home on the country side of Astaneh. In their little orchard here life is peaceful and pleasant. It's far from the city chaos and it's quiet. I like spend my quality time here next to the outdoor fire place and among fruit trees and rose bushes.
Yesterday we drove back from Astaneh to Tehran and tomorrow we are going to Tabriz in Azerbaijan.
Love from Alborz Mountains