2017 IRAN

2017 IRAN

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2017 – summer trip to Iran  30 June – 5 August (8 August – LR)

Toyota:  17.340 km – 3000 ltrs petrol

Land Rover:  A bit more; some 19.500 km + Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Poland.

1 map

ACTUAL ROUTE (FJ)

Riga, Kursk, Rost n Don, Grozny, Georgia, Yerevan, Nagorno Karabach, Umria, Täbriz, Tehran, Kashan/Qom, Isfahan, Shiraz, Bandar Imam Khomeni, Abadan, Kermanshah, Umria, Van, Siverek, Samandag, Nemrut Dagi, Ankara, Agva/Sile, Siatista/Ionnania, Shkoder, Dubrovnik (Mulonat), Zagreb, Graz, Prague, Lubeck, Svedala, Stockholm.  (Land Rover + Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldovoa, Ukraine, Poland).

People: Staffan Holm. Malcolm Holm, Carl-William Holm, Eva-Lena Donnerberg, Alexandra Sanchez

 

Vast areas on fire in sw Russia step

7 wild fires sw Russsia

Chechnya forest on fire  –  the tractor was moving…..

8 forest on fire chechnya

 

A good rest now and then

9 rest chechnya

 

Grozny  – lack of soul and everything else of value

Grozny Grand City Hotel really super bullshit

10 Grozny by nite

 

Cechnya Itum Kale –  protected / closed zone but permission granted 30 days in advance!!  Great place

11 Itum Kale Chechnya

Chechnya border land to Georgia

12 checnya

Military highway Russia – Georgia.   A relief after 12 checkpoints in chechnya and Ingushia

13 Military Highway

 

Georgian short cut – 45 km dead end

Heading for Gori further to Zekari Pass

14 Georgia 15 Georgia 4

 

To Zekari pass Georgia  –   an all day wet winching story

16 Georgia Zekari pass

Average speed 7 km/hour

17 Zekari path

The total human population at the peak of Zekari pass

18 zekari pass population

Heading for Abastumani

19 To Abastumani

Abastumani near Zekari pass Georgia – a grand “commis” resort history falling apart

20 Abastumani relics

 

Old lady but still working fine

21 old but working fine

Under protection bent 180 degrees – old style repair method lasted fpr 6 hours – no cracks!!

22 old style repairs bent protection

Yerevan always nice and tidy

23 Yerevan

Armenia
Nagorno Karabach
On the move to Agarak at iranian border
Plenty local contacts rediscovered

24 Nagorno Karabach Armenia

Armenian baracks next to our hotel in Agarak on border to Iran

24B Agarak baracks

 

Iran – no hazzles at the border besides carnet de passage, but everything smoothly processed by friendly help from our border agent and our friend Hossein
Customs as complicated as the border Switzerland/Germany
Night spent at his house in Umbria just i 3 hrs drive south from border
A splendid late meal
First impression of Iran; tidy, flexible, rather well off etc

25 arrived Iran

Heavy driving on numerous alpine roads taken its toll; leaking brake cylinder and broken pads fixed quickly in Umria – inexpensive, too
Strange when new serviced at home…..
Landy leaking cooling hose – fixed, too (hopefully)
Ready for Täbriz and a long run to Iranian Caspian sea coast

 

27 Iran reparis

The team

28 repair team

 

The hidden to most in the west unknown man-made environmental disaster is the shrinking salty inland Umria lake. Once one of the largest on the planet – two times Luxemburg – now remains 10 pct AND nobody is doing anything about it. In contrary to efforts going on restoring Aral lake. Upsetting and jeoperdizing the future for millions of people in the area

29 Umria lake gone 30 umria lake 31 umria boat

Salt at bargain price

32 salt a bargain price

 

Täbriz
Worth while, really
Slow int’l business
No tourists seen around
Years ago 200 carpet dealers but due to sanctions today only around 20
If we have had room in the cars certainly some good deals wud be possible

 

33 Täbriz

La rose en vie

34 täbriz

 

One of 7 bazaars35 täbriz

 

 

Passed Tehran
Not unlike other cities in the region – noisy and ugly
Pedestrians die or kill  –  Further to Maranjab desert partially also a man-made environmental “construction” as they say here

 

36 Teharan 37 Tehran 38 PG route starts

 

Qom  –  Marenjab desert

West Iran done
Kashan, Qom and the pearl Isfahan further to Shiraz where surroundings of interest visited; Persepolis. Red Village, too.
Further towards the gulf via stunning landscape rd 65 Bourojen, Yasuj etc
PG at Kuwait n Iraq +50 degrees

39 Marenjab desert en route Qom 40 Marenjab 41 flying Marenjab

Mr Mansour, Isfahan

42 Isfahan friend

 

 

Up north from Abadan and Kuwait border NE along the border and ex 90s war front Iraq/Iran littered with destroyed Iraqi tanks. Constant +47-55, humid, no wind. Persian Gulf area much different in many respects from other parts we have visited – and boring

Headed instead for one of the most developed western orientated cities in Iran, Kermanshah, where surprisingly enough wine and beer could be ordered. Just had to take that opportunity despite some risk

Next Iranian Kurdistan Before Urmia and border cross to Turkish Kurdistan – a problem area. Border land heavily guarded:
Artillery and all sorts of heavy weaponry

 

43 position Mosul

 

Iraq a stone throw away44 Abadan Kuwai up north

 

Kuwait a stone throw away, too

45 the corner PG

46 hot

Kurdistan – Iran, with the General

47 IRN Kurdistan

 

Turkey Kurdistan border cross near Iraq easy from Iran – only 2 hrs – really hot
Turkish side professional and correct but xtremly thorough – cant say more but the area regarded as the most unsecure in Turkey. Dogs used. All equipment searched for info
Turkish border and inland numerous controls over the 250 km border zone to Van consumed all day
Ofcourse no pics taken and all advise from security officers carefully observed
Found at last early evening a safe resort by the lake Van

48 Borderland IRN IRK 49 Van camp TR

 

Our pension at Nemrut Dagi

50 Nemrut Dagi friends

En route Mediterranian the English engineering skills hit us. The Land Rover (new) front differential broke down in Anatolian town Siverek
What to do we don’t know but we left the blody Landy within one hour at a garage hoping supply of spares from Ankara can fix it in reasonable time so someone can pick it up and bring it home for permanent retirement. We have come to the sober, we think, conclusion to never again use a Land Rover on long overland trips. Constant new problems which Toyota and Mercedes GW never done     Continued to Nemrut Dagi and were rewarded by late evening finding mountain Hotel & Rest Cesme Pansyion. Splendid late nite dinner – fresh fish – Wines and beer saved the day
The Land Rover forgotten

 

51 LR break down diff Fr TR

On a cultural historical road trip today in Kurdistan far from everything but really far from boring; winding roads, roman bridges hellenic mega format stone figures on 2300 m altitude Unesco Nemrud Dagi

52 nemrut D

Excursion in a varying region with small distances; Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Israel a short stone throw away…
Along Med on non existing “road”   Border area actually really comfortable n safe (?)

53 Med coast direction Syria 54 Position Syria 55 Pos Syria tfn

Samandag  Civlec  near Syrian border on the Med

Good friends, hotel manager/owner Levant and friend Izettin, came up with must do
Harbour/yard stroll really early bird
A few miles away visited the only remaing – in Turkey – Armenian christian village (vakifli) with its own church – perfect / tidy
Became more culture in walking Titus/Vespianus tunnel in Cevlic
On travel border land Turkey m Syria got stuck again in a strangely located checkpoint
All odd visas raise odd questions. Lost an hour
Lots of refugees around, abt 600000 in the area seemingly not so badly cared about as one have read abt – at least here
Tomorrow set for Ankara 1400 km away – perhaps we bother to pick up the Land Rover on the way

56 Civelk Samandag TR

Third time repair time Cemlik TR

57 repair tema 3 Toy

 

En Route Anatolia58 en route Anatolia

 

ANKARA58B Ankara

Turkish capital done, black sea Agva/Sile, Istanbul n Greece done; the amazing little bear country mountain town Siatatisa (or something) followed by inspecting the state of the Albanian Naval forces next to Shkodar …. feels like home already

Albanian Navy 2017 –  poor status

59 Albanian Navy 2017 60 Albanian Army trucks 2 border russia 13 hrs

Border cross Russia A Gulag story  13 hrs …  Met friend heading for Road of Bones

Check trip to road of bones – “Ride to magadan – edu V magadan”

3 kafka border cross USSR 4 on track kursk

On track at last – direction Kursk

5 kursk

 

Kursk Battle field

6 kursk battle field

 

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