Today will be a sudden change in our trip. Today, we enter Iran. The first country which feels very far away now, as we approach the border. Turkey still felt a bit like Europe; it is not an unusual holiday spot either. But Iran is a country we know so little about, and we are all very curious what we will see there in the days to come.
The 300 km towards the border continues to be as beautiful as it has been before. The mountain peaks rise high above the rivers and show great variation: rocky pillar near the road and their big brothers far away in all kinds of colors, red, green, yellow and more than you can imagine. The biggest mountain along the road even has snow on its summit, which feels weird considering the temperature outside approaches 40 degrees Celsius.
The first thing you spot at the border is the long train of trucks, 13 kilometers long. Joost talked to the drivers and some of them have already been there for over ten days! Luckily we can skip this line and drive directly to the border. There, a delegation of Iranian people awaits us; I see one, two, five people! And they are among the most friendly people I know. One guy does most of the talking, he calls himself Ted (his English name) and he taught himself tos peak English, which he does very well.
After waiting for four hours (which is relatively short, so great1!) we cross the border and have officially arrived in Iran. Ted joins us to Maku, which is the first stop in Iran. He takes us to a nice fancy restaurant for diner, where we get local sou pand great kebab (very different from the kebab at home, much better). It feels great to be here; everyone is so kind, welcoming and genuinely interested in us and our project.
You can see they feel honored by our presence; they crave to spend every minute with us they can. We are eager to hear and learn more about their culture, but unfortunately we have limited time tonight; sleep is also important. All of us fall asleep quite easily after this busy day with a lot of new impressions.