To the Persian Gulf
“Instead of studying for the A-levels I kept watching the satellite pictures of the Persian Gulf. Let´s go there, I am really curious how it looks like!” We started to check this right after arriving to Bandar Abbas and headed to one of the Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf – Quesm Island.
Incredible heat, again plenty of Toyota Hillux, we wondered what’s being smuggled here. Apparently in particular electronics and other goods. Quesm Island is a free trade zone and from there it´s only a while with a fast smugglers´ boat at night.
We expected more from the fishermen’s´ village Laft so in the evening we packed our stuff and headed back to Bandar Abbas to go out with Arash – a manager of local steel company who we met the night before on bus from Shiraz. Arash took us to a great local café at the coast with a life performance of a local guitar player. It was a really nice evening full of music with relaxed mood and water pipe. We could see that Iranians also just want to have fun – even if it should be on the edge of legality.
The next day we explored the fortress on the Hormoz Island – a strategically important point which was under control of the Portuguese in the 16th and 17th century. We had been already on our way back to the port when Mike offered us a ride around the island with a taxi he hired. Mike has been spending the last couple of years of his pension backpacking solo around Asia. Respect.
After checking the salt cliffs in the heart of the island, which look like ice cliffs we stopped at innocently looking hole in a rock. “Let´s try if we can go through!” Martin said before disappearing in it. It was getting narrow in the cave. Our smart Lumia served as a reliable flashlight. Who would take a head lamp for a day trip to beach, right? In the middle of the cave we had to creep and dig through. After 100 metres of cave we were through and could see a sign of relief in Mike´s eyes. Not sure whether he would take hitchhikers again next time. We finished a great – only 16 km long – tour around this island on a high cliff above the see. From there we observed a sting-fish and a big turtle.
Beaches, palms, shopping malls, luxury cars. Our island tour continued on the Kish Island. Kish is for Iranians something like an island of freedom and island of consumption. Also diving at local coral reefs is very popular. However, snorkelling in the shallow waters close to the coast does not offer any spectacular views and you have to take an organized tour which takes you further away off the coast.
“Once I would like to go here for the honeymoon!” I though after reading an article about Esfahan as a little boy. Many years passed and I appeared here with Martin. Life is sometimes difficult.
Even if you try to minimise the romantic moments this city is amazing. Endless bazaar, even more endless square (which is second biggest in the world) and endless walks at the riverside. In the middle of unique bridges over the river there used to be very popular teahouses. Unfortunately, the conservative city hall ordered them to close. However, the riverside remains a popular place for walks for the locals.
After all this interesting sightseeing we had been driven out in the nature again – into the Dasht-e Kavir desert – which is located only a few hours far from Esfahan.
The Dasht-e Kavir desert is not only vaste plains, camels, sand dunes and isolated oasis. But it is also another place where Iranians escape to have fun. Especially those from Teheran. The desert parties are quite well known. That´s why young people from Teheran don’t hesitate to undergo a ten hours´ journey here, often only for a weekend.
The Dasht-e Kavir desert is a place worth seeing.
We could stare in the desert emptiness or boulder there for longer. However the weather forecast for Damavand promised three days of nice weather and a bearable wind (for the first time we have been here), so for us it was the time to move on. Let´s go to the roof of Iran!
You can find further news from our journey here https://instagram.com/microsoftcz
Desert plays – the Prague style