Day 246 | Tuesday November 15
Today started with a second meeting at NRI. The researchers explained me their renewable energy programs. They are in the progress of creating a battery car with a micro turbine inside. An interesting and intelligent concept. I interviewed them about the projects and how sustainability is being applied in Iran. Stay tuned for the video.
The afternoon I had no appointments and finally some time to explore the city. Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 9 million in the city and 16 million in the wider metropolitan area, Tehran is the most populous city of Iran, the 2nd-most populous city in Western Asia and the 3rd-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.
The majority of the people of Tehran are Persian-speaking people,and roughly 99% of the population understand and speak Persian; but there are also large populations of other Iranian ethnicities in the city such as Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Lurs, and Kurds who speak Persian as their second language.
There have been plans to relocate Iran’s capital from Tehran to another area; due mainly to air pollution and the city’s exposure to earthquakes. To date, no definitive plans have been approved. A 2016 survey of 230 cities by consultant Mercer ranked Tehran 203rd for quality of living.According to the Global Destinations Cities Index, Tehran is among the top ten fastest growing destinations.
Day 247 | Wednesday November 16
Another day, another interview. This time with Aidin from IranKhodro Magazine. IranKhodro is one of Iran’s 2 biggest car manufacturers (I have visited them both now) and they have their own magazine. Of course they write about cars. Aidin was a very nice guy and like most Iranians they tell me things like: it’s a big honor to meet you, I had the best day this month etc. It’s very heartwarming. Aidin took me for breakfast and wanted to shoot pictures after. He thought the car was dirty (which was true, the last time I cleaned the outside was in Norway) so we went through a carwash. The the car is 50 shades more blue now.
2 days ago at the office of Autoworld I was interviewed by a journalist, Pegah. Today we met again and she showed me her city. We went to Sa’Dabad Complex, this is a 300 hectare complex built by the Qajar and Pahlavi monarchs, located in Shemiran. Today, the official residence of the President of Iran is located adjacent to the complex.
The complex includes more than 180 hectares of natural forest, streets, qanats, galleries, and museums. The complex was first built and inhabited by Qajar monarchs in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty lived there in the 1920s, and his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, moved there in the 1970s. After the 1979 Revolution, the complex became a museum.
We arrived a bit late and only had time to see the Green House. An impressive building which was the resort of one of the kings. One room was completely decorated with mirrors and silver. The king didn’t had a bed in his bedroom because he preferred to sleep on the floor. He used to be a soldier and sleeping on the ground was common. He always had his boot within reach so he could take action when needed, a strong guy.
In the evening Pegah took me to her friends, about 20km outside of the city. We had a lot of drinks and this was the first time in Iran and probably since Istanbul that I had some alcohol. Good times.