15/02 au 17/02/19 – Tabriz and around 1/2

The next day, two options are available  to reach Tabriz, we choose the shortest way, 150 km of a journey in a not-so-straight line. We do not cross many people on the road, and the inhabitants of the villages crossed would rather stay inside, which is understandable given the small snowflakes that begin to fall. We meet a small group of villagers at the exit of a village, who tells us that the road ahead got cut off by the snow a little further. Welp, a good mandatory half-turn back to the fork to reach Tabriz via Vazargan (or Vazerkhan following the signs), a lesser evil that makes us avoid having to turn back to Jolfa.

It is by asking our way several kilometers further before a new bifurcation, that we will meet Karim and his brother, who invite us very nicely for tea. We find ourselves sitting on the carpets in the main room, meeting their wives, children and grandmother. Not easy to communicate because they do not speak a word of English, but we get to understand each other a little, and talk about our trip, far from a daily life that we understand less easy for them. We are even given an introduction to tapestry weaving with the loom that occupies one of the walls of the modest house, and of course we take souvenir photos, which they will be surprised to have on glossy paper a few moments later (very good idea of Loïc, this little printer)!
We leave them delighted with this first experience of Iranian hospitality, and will even be escorted by Karim to the fork to Tabriz, where we’ll arrive in the evening.
The discovery of the largest bazaars in Iran and in the world, classified at UNESCO, will be in the company of Oliver and Dagmar, from Germany, met in the parking that will serve as our bivouac. And partly in the company of Hossein, who has established himself as a guide, and from whom we will get separated a little later. Neighborhoods of fabrics, jewels, clothes, spices and dried fruits… we kind of get lost in this huge lively maze, paying attention to carts (even small mopeds) that pop out at every corner. We feel the curious glances on the family in the-not-really local colors that we are, some take the initiative to approach us, delighted to exchange a few words of English, traders call us: « Where are you from? Oh France? Welcome to Iran! « 
After some shopping, it’s a bit of a hassle under snowfalls, and on the bus, where we still have a little shock by experimenting for the first time separate sections for men and women.
Next big step: Rasht, near the Caspian Sea, where the second artistic session for Arty awaits us, scheduled 3 days later. So we take the time to make a big detour to the southwest to see Takht-e Soleimane. On the map it seems nearby, but no detour is innocuous here: here we go for 300 km! We drive along the huge salt lake of Orumiyeh, before descending towards Manoibad between beautiful mountains and small towns with heavy and painful traffic.
After passing 2-3 villages under the snow and cut off from the world, we finally find a clear path at the entrance of a village. It is noon, and yet Khalid, to whom we asked our way, do not hesitate to invite us to his place! In the large living room on the ground covered with beautiful Persian rugs and a large open kitchen, we will soon be joined by the family of his brother who lives on the other side of the street (we understand that his family lives in Tehran and that he himself is a trucker). The children play and learn Farsi writing, and we eat together; no English either, but the body language works well, with Google Translator in support. We finish with tea with dates, then oranges and fresh apples, at his brother’s. Incredible hospitality that will even offer us a roof for the night! We decline, as politely as possible, not wanting to abuse their kindness (vision probably very Western).
But this is just a good night’s goodbye: appointment is made the next day to try to meet the 6th-7th grade of the eldest child, Kian!

Une réflexion sur “15/02 au 17/02/19 – Tabriz and around 1/2

  1. Ping : 12/02 au 14/02/19 – Vallée de l’Araxe – Les Pourquoi Pas

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