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Week 8 – Hitchhiking in Iran – Part 1/1


Days 54-58, 11.4-15.4, Saturday till Wednesday

It was a normal week with school, appointments and being talked to on the metro. On day I went running in Laleh Park and I finally picked up all my things that were still in Velenjak.
For the weekend I initially wanted to go to Ardebil, because the weekend was supposed to be one day longer because of an organized trip by the school. But this trip was cancelled so I arranged a meeting with I. in Kashan. She recommended me to visit Abyaneh, a village in the mountains, as well. So I decided to make this trip my first hitchhiking experience in Iran. On Thursday I’d hitchhike to Abyaneh, spend the night in my tent and hitchhike to Kashan to visit the town with I.
To the photos

Day 59, 16.4, Thursday

Of course I started my little journey early in the morning and took only 800g of dates as food with me and 2l of water. At a quarter past 9am my hitchhiking experiment in Iran finally started. I presented the drivers my کاشان (Kashan) sign. Only minutes passed until I got a ride to Qom. Though before at least one car stopped but asked for money, because in Iran hitchhiking is not know. Only few people are aware of this kind of travelling. That’s why I always asked if it was ok, that I enter without money – three times, because otherwise they could just have been polite.
The first driver was from Tehran on the way to Arak. He left me near Qom not without taking photos on which he posed ridiculously and asked for my number. Fortunately just the day before I found a second SIM card, so I didn’t bother giving him my “new” number.
In Qom I had to wait a bit longer. First I stood next of a construction site, where people were working. The workers didn’t know what I was doing.
*”I’m hitchhiking, doing auto-stop.”
#”You want to go to Kashan by (auto)bus?”
*”No, by car.”
#”Ah, you will take a taxi.”
*”No, without money, but with cars. It’s not a problem. It’s called auto-stop.”
#”So by bus?”
*”NO GOSH DARNIT!!!”
It was very annoying. My mouth became dry from hundreds of times saying “It’s not a problem.” (moshkele nist) and at certain time I instead said “Khoshgele nist”, which means “He/She is not beautiful”. It made the workers even more confused. After half an hour, only people asking money had stopped, I went 200m further where I wasn’t disturbed any more. Not only five minutes later an old guy with a younger one the other front seat stopped; they were going to Kashan.
During the ride they drank tea, offered me some as well and the old man even knew Austria where I said to be from.
In Kashan (on my sign was written Abyaneh/Natanz) a car with three old ladies stopped, but they just told me they were going to Kashan. Although it was obviously not on my way one wanted to convince me to come with them. After 10 minutes a factory owner from Esfahan stopped. He made a detour to Abyaneh and even invited me for lunch there. After not even five hours, I arrived in Abyaneh. Of course I asked him at least three times if he really wanted me to invite and make the detour. So I didn’t care when he kind of regretted his decision having made this offer. The lunch was expensive for Iranian standards (7EUR) and he had to pay an entrance fee of 1,40EUR prior of driving into Abyaneh.
At least I could walk with new energy through Abyaneh, which was unluckyly full of teenage girls chatting very loud. I pittied the inhabitants, since the village was full of tourists who had the chance of posing in traditional dresses. Away from the tiny main road, it was still quite rural. Old women were chatting, a shepherd took care of his sheep between some houses and I was greeted friendly. Contrary to the girls nearly killed each other for a photo with me.
At 5pm I walked away to search for a place for pitching my tent. Some hundred metres off the road was a little stream that supplied green gardens with apple trees with water. Abreast the next village I found an appropriate place for my tent and laying in my sleeping bag could listen to the raindrops. The air was so clear and it was very awesome – like during my travels in summer.
To the photos of Abyaneh

Day 60, 17.4, Friday

At 6.30am I got up, the tent was dry again and the sun shone of sleepy village of Tareh. At 8am I started walking towards Kashan, the same time when I. took the bus from Esfahan. After one hour of walking, the second car passing gave me a lift to Kashan, where I. and I met half past 10am. On the way we passed the reprocessing plant of Natanz that was guarded by many anti-aircraft guns in the area.
When I. arrived when went into the city. I had forgotten my student’s ID so always should have paid the tourist price which is 10 times more. But the opposite happened. I told every cashier that I forgot my ID. In the end I could enter the Fin Garden without paying anything and in the next two museums I. could enter for free while I paid the reduced price.
Since it was Friday Kashan wasn’t busy at all. The bazaar was empty and the whole atmosphere was relaxed. We spent a great day and having spent the weekend like this, was a perfect idea.
At 6pm we drove back to Esfahan respectively Tehran.
To the photos of Kashan

During the week

Photos of Abyaneh

Photos of Kashan