Category Archives: Middle East

Dropping the act: recharging in Yerevan

It was cold and well past midnight when I crossed the border between Iran and Armenia. Everything went smooth: I didn’t get any questions, just a bunch of stares from a dozen Iranian soldiers, as one of them kept aimlessly flipping through my passport’s pages. Then I was on my way, walking across the bridge that separates the two countries. Iranian flags adorned one side, the other was bare as paint had weathered.

To be honest, I was quite relieved when I noticed I had reached the Armenian side of the river and was now, officially, free from the Iranian rules. For the first time in three weeks, I was allowed by law to – as a woman – sing out loud in public. And I did. I sang Tailor Swift’s “Look what you made me do” and didn’t give the slightest fuck about the stares I got. Continue reading Dropping the act: recharging in Yerevan


My top recommendations for Iran

Having finally finished my blog about Iran, here are some of the top tips and recommendations I took home from my three week journey: Continue reading My top recommendations for Iran

Saying goodbye to Iran

My return to Tehran brought a completely different feeling than my first arrival. After more than 1,5 month on the road, it felt good to return to a familiar place. I liked the fact that I could navigate the metro without having to look at the chart every five seconds. I liked how I could find the way to my hostel without the help of a map, how I knew where to buy water, how the shop owners and hostel staff remembered my face. I felt like I had – in a way – returned home, and it was a lovely feeling. Continue reading Saying goodbye to Iran

Cast away on Hormuz island

“Where is that #$@&%* of a driver?”
“What the hell was he thinking?!?”
“If we have to walk back to the port I’m going to f****** kill him!”

That’s pretty much what the conversation looked like while Merle and I were sitting on the beach, watching our tiny patch of shade shrink by the minute. Continue reading Cast away on Hormuz island

Deserts, canyons and nude swimming: homestay on Qeshm island

I had been recommended a trip to Qeshm island by many people. The first was a New Zealand girl who checked in my Tehran hostel when I was checking out. Then there were a couple of Germans, a Chinese guy and of course the lovely Suhaniya. So when I felt myself getting more and more tired of the cities, the daily harassment on the streets and the visits to mosque after mosque after mosque, my choice between Kerman or Qeshm was an easy one.

Welcome to Qeshm, where motorcycles are plenty, mosques are almost more plenty and everyone drives a Toyota (thanks to the Duty Free zone)

Continue reading Deserts, canyons and nude swimming: homestay on Qeshm island

I regret having paid for Persepolis

There: I said it.

Persepolis: that must-see historical destination in Iran. One of the ancient cities, silk trade stronghold, mighty civilization of long forgotten times. Of course I went there! Everyone does. Continue reading I regret having paid for Persepolis

Be kind to your sleeping heart: a visit to Shiraz

By the time I reached Shiraz I was getting remarkably stressed out due to the struggles of solo travelling in Iran. I was also feeling extremely tired, but perhaps not ready to admit it. I had planned relax time in Armenia, not Iran, and there were still so many things and places I was dying to see! If it wasn’t for the super comfortable and welcoming Taha hostel, I might have kept going at my steady pace and seriously out done myself. But thanks to their relaxing courtyard, kind staff and supreme beds, I suddenly didn’t mind wasting time in the shade with watermelon and tea – at all. Continue reading Be kind to your sleeping heart: a visit to Shiraz