Day 236 | Saturday November 5
Mr. Behrouz took me into town to get an Iranian SIM-card, now I can call and use internet on my phone. There are some restrictions on internet in Iran though. All the populair social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are blocked so I use a VPN to connect to that.
After breakfast I started driving to Khoy, were I found a CouchSurfing host. The traffic here is crazy! Drivers pass you from all directions and there don’t seem to be much rules here. If a car is parked next to the street and wants to join the traffic he doesn’t use his signals and not even watch behind to see if a car is coming. He just starts driving.
My hist Shahin picked me up in the centre of the city. At his house he introduced me to his brother, father and mother. All very hospitable people who appreciated that I was here. Shahin guided me through his city. A very typical Iranian city were not many tourists can be found. The place is well know for the biggest sunflower-seed market in the country country, which gave the city the nickname ‘Sunflower City’ and the grand bazar.
Something maybe worth mentioning: the toilets. They are the same as in Turkey but I didn’t mention it. They are weird holes in the ground and you need to squat the do your business. It’s a but uncomfortable when you are not used to it but and hard to keep your balance. There is no handle to hold on too and with the wet ground im sometimes afraid that I fall into my own… you know what. This kind of toilets are more hygienic because you don’t sit on a toilet seat I still try to avoid them. Restaurant and hotels usually have regular ones.
Around 200.000 people live in this city and it’s the capital of Khoy County. People here speak Farsi and Turkish. Khoy was named in ancient times for the salt mines that made it an important spur of the Silk Route. Khoy is located in the mountains, so the weather is very cold in winter and cool in summer. Spring weather in this city is very pleasant. The city is located in the vicinity of mountains such as Chelekhaneh Mount and Avrin Mount (The highest mountain of West Azarbaijan Province).