DAY TWENTY FOUR…. going home, a postscript
Our final day involved packing bags, packing bikes, last minute shopping and changing our excess Iranian cash back into Euros. Plus, of course, one last visit to a historical mosque.
Then we had an afternoon drive in Medhi’s van to Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, with a stop at the Ash Soup restaurant in Qom for one last Iranian supper.
Lots of fond farewells at the airport with Ali & Medhi who had been such a brilliant support team, looking after us so well throughout our trip. I am sure that we must have tried their outstanding patience many times, and now they were eager to leave us at the airport and return to their much missed families.
POSTSCRIPT …. as we flew out of Iran, the government unexpectedly announced big increases in fuel prices (50% to 200%), leading to series of massive protests, blocking the main roads and later turning into serious and violent civil unrest. The government closed down the mobile phone networks and the internet. Many Iranian people were killed in protests and many more were arrested.
Unbeknown to us, all this was going on on the ground as we flew across the earth on our way home to the UK. We had had such a wonderful time in Iran, touched by the traditional Iranian hospitality, amazed by the historic cultural beauty of the many sites and we had fallen in love with the landscape of deserts and mountains. Maybe some benevolent angel was looking after us, as if we had left Iran a day later, we would have been caught up in a very different situation, with serious tensions that erupted. We were not aware of any such anger and unrest, as we travelled around the country.
We count ourselves lucky, even blessed, to have had the trip that we had. We look forward to the day when the vicious and aggressive stance that the current US Administration (Donald Trump and his warmongering, oil greedy friends) changes to a more mature and realistic view, where Iran can be seen as just another country with its own right to self-govern in the way that it chooses. As a nation, it is less repressive than other neighbouring Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Israel’s treatment of the Gaza Strip etc. It does not deserve the punishment and economic warfare that the USA is delivering, causing untold hardship to innocent Iranian people and holding back and staving a modern and well educated developed nation.
Iran carries a rich, hospitable & millennia-old Persian culture that we look forward to visiting again, one day soon.