April 16, 2020 3 translation missing: de.blogs.article.read_time

Mäxmellow's next trip

Shortly before Christmas 2018 it was time again. The Stijlmarkt in Luxembourg marked the end of a long, exhausting but also educational and exciting festival and trade fair year.

The anticipation for the upcoming months was great. From now on I was able to go back to traveling, my greatest passion ever.

The plan: a few days in Amsterdam and a week in Morocco before a long-awaited dream should finally come true at the end of February - a trip to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

A country that has fascinated me for 10 years. Through books, films and stories from other travelers, I was able to put together a gray picture.

I heard a lot about incredibly hospitable and extremely cosmopolitan, creative people who are subjected to a presidential theocracy with extremely radical laws in a beautiful country.

But what does the reality look like? What will I expect? It is now necessary to find out in the next few weeks ...

... With my backpack I set off for Frankfurt on February 24th to land at Sabiha Gökcen Airport in Istanbul after 2,5 hours on the Pegasus flight PC 994. There I meet Andrei, a digital nomad and good friend from the vicinity of St. Petersburg, whom I met 14 months ago in Bangkok. So after a meeting at one of my festivals and a joint trip to Georgia, the next destination.

Together we will spend the next three days with Metin, a mutual friend, in the Asian part of Istanbul. Super city, nice people, lots of nice corners, good food, countless glasses of tea every day, lots of culture, cool bars ...

At midnight on February 27th, we will travel from Istanbul to Tehran. We arrive at the Imam Khomeini Aiport in Tehran sometime in the middle of the night. Due to the very strict laws in Iran, all women are forced to wear headscarves immediately after landing.

In the run-up to my trip, I heard and read so often how strict the immigration controls in Iran are - reality: everything at the immigration desk is so quick and easy like no other country to date. Totally relaxed mood, I don't even get an entry stamp in the passport and my visa is just a wiped paper after a three-day trip;)

Next we need money ... simple in theory, but in practice a little more complicated ATMs in Iran can only be used across the country with an Iranian bank account. So without knowing how much money we will need here in the next month, we have packed cash. Thanks to the sanctions imposed by our popular friend Mr. President Donald Trump, the Iranian rial has been pretty much in the basement for some time and so we exchange 100 euros for 15 million rials and quickly organize a hotel for the night or the next Hour (it is already 5 in the morning).

On the way to the taxi, which will take us the 2 kilometers to downtown Tehran for 40 euros, we briefly get to know the early 20-year-old Mohammed, who welcomes us to Iran, exchanges numbers with us and sets us up for the next few days a beer invites. "Beer? I thought that's prohibited in Iran." - "Don't worry, it's illegal but who cares? We like beer as much as the germans do;)"

Full of curious expectations of what will happen in the next few weeks, my eyes close at 6 or 7 in the morning ...

To be continued ...

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