Day 237 | Sunday November 6
Shahin my hosts took me for a tour through the town. We visited an museum which showed artifacts like pots, pans, cutlery, guns and more stuff from the old days. The city is very vivid and feels authentic. Not many tourists visit this place. My plan for today was to go to Urumieh but a friend in Germany who arranged a place to stay there told me there was a miscommunication and they were not home. It was not a big problem as I wanted to go to Tabriz tomorrow and I could reach that from both Khoy and Urumieh. My host already let me know that he would appreciate it if I would stay another night so it was all good.
Day 238 | Monday November 7
Around noon it was time to leave. My next destination was Tabriz, 170km from Khoy. While it was a challenge to drive distances like that the last days in Turkey it was very easy now. Temperatures are around 15 degrees and while there are some mountains the most parts are flat. The scenery is stunning, a lot of sand, mountains and old clay buildings pop up next to the highway.
On CouchSurfing I found a guy who could host my, Sadiq. 34 year old banking guy. He just started hosting people 2 weeks ago and his first guests were a Dutch couple who are traveling from Holland to Singapore with a Land Rover. We have a similar route but it would be hard to catch up with them as they do long distances one a day.
Sadiq is really cool, making jokes a lot. He didn’t drink one zip of alcohol in his life, most Iranians never did and it’s almost impossible to get even a beer in this country. We were talking about tequila and he said “yeah I have seen this on TV”. Unbelievable, I know things like Barack Obama or Mars from TV and he tequila… Sadiq took me to a local restaurant, we sat on a thing that looks like a bed, with pillows and everything, and is close to the ground. Like in Turkey meat and bread is the most common food.
Tabriz has 4 million citizens which makes it the most populated city in the Iranian Azerbaijan, one of the historical capitals of Iran, and the present capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Located in the Quru River valley between the long ridge of the volcanic cones of the Sahand and Eynali mountains, Tabriz’s elevation ranges between 1,350 and 1,600 metres (4,430 and 5,250 ft) above sea level. The valley opens up into a plain that gently slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia, 60 kilometres (37 miles) to the west. With cold winters and temperate summers, the city is considered a summer resort. Tabriz is named World’s Carpet and Crafts City, it is also appointed as the exemplary tourism city in 2018 by Organization of Islamic Cooperation.