Is Iran the friendliest place on Earth?

IMG_0340 Of all the countries that we have visited on our travels, Iran has stood out as being the most unbelievably friendly place, inhabited by people who are more warm hearted, helpful, selfless and generous than we could have ever imagined.
We have constantly been overawed by the things people have done for us, from the shopkeeper refusing payment for an ice-cream, to the family who give up a bed in their home for us to sleep in, despite the fact that four of them then have to share a bed.

It has been almost impossible to pay for anything when in the company of any Iranian. However hard we try, we always end up giving up, as people just seem to be insulted if we try. This attitude resulted in us once watching an old lady fighting her son in law who was trying to pay her bus fare while a policeman held her back so that he could pay.

We would like to thank everyone that has helped us in Iran and if only we could all make such selfless sacrifices for guests in our own countries. the world would be so much nicer a place. Iranians seem to relish being kind to others and despite the oppression of their government over the last 20 years, they are still so proud of their country, it’s history,  their lifestyle and their families. They want all guests to see the very best of Iran and while constantly telling us how idiotic their rulers are, they are still so proud.

Here is a slideshow of some of the people we have met. If you click on any of the pictures you will see a brief description of how they helped us. Thanks to them all!!

One of our biggest regrets was not having met Mohammed, a wonderful Iranian cycle tourist who helped us in Mashhad, Neyshabur and Esfahan. We kept missing him as he flitted about across Iran.
He has his own website – We Need Trees, and is in the middle of a long cycle ride of his own. If you ever meet an Iranian cyclist called Mohammed trying to plant trees in your part of the world, please give him some help and support him!!! We hope to catch up with him one day in some part of the world.

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