About 60km from the Turkmenistan border on the way to Mashhad there is a small detour to an old Caravanserai where people used to rest along the Silk Route. It’s a popular picnic spot for Iranian families on Fridays as we discovered.
The moment we arrived we were immediately invited to join a group of 3 friends and their wives and children.
The Caravanserai was pretty interesting but the best bit about the whole experience was the incredible Iranian hospitality, everyone around the place tried to talk to us, we had our photos taken with people so many times.
A couple of the group could speak a bit of English and we got to practise our Farsi a little and do a bit of miming. At first the language is so different to all the languages we have been used to so far in the trip but after a while we were starting to hear some of the words and to distinguish sounds more easily. We WILL be able to communicate with people, we just need some lessons!
Doesn’t Isabelle look good in her manteau (the black smock/dress thing) and head scarf?
Luckily for Isa, as we were leaving Uzbekistan we met Chris and Rita from Sweden and Switzerland who had just come from Iran and Rita passed on the manteau that she had worn throughout Iran. It was a great experience because it was our first chance to really mix with women, who just interacted with us as normal, unlike in Pakistan where we never even saw women outside the home and they definitely weren’t going to speak to us.