11/12/23 to 12/21/23

The people of Iran are extremely hospitable, totally helpful and honest. We have already heard this from other travelers, but now we experienced it ourselves with a few examples.


For oriental carpet connoisseurs, Isfahan is one of the best Persian carpets; for travelers to Iran, it is an old city steeped in history. Since we’re a little bit of both, we wanted to try a combination. We definitely wanted to visit a carpet weaving workshop that still weaves real Isfahan carpets today. The carpet dealer who organized the tour for us, of course not without ulterior motives, explained to us that the carpets are always made by the family. The specialist can recognize good carpets by the classic patterns, which vary slightly depending on the family, and by the family signature on the edge. The weaving workshop that we were allowed to visit is located in a residential area in the middle of the city. Four women spend almost a year working on a classic-sized rug at the same time. Of course, men don’t weave carpets, they dictate the patterns and sell the carpets! It is uncanny how quickly the women tie the wool onto the cotton threads. Gabi, as a woman, was allowed to try it once under guidance, well… Considering the work and skill, even an expensive carpet actually seems very cheap to us. We are very impressed and happy that we were able to experience this with our own eyes at the most important carpet location in the world.

Happy moment

In Delijan we visited a cave that goes into the mountain for over a kilometer and is full of stalactites. The cave is a tourist site with parking, entrance and signposts. We found the place thanks to GPS, but not the cash register and the entrance. With an Iranian father and son, we searched the whole area until Gabi found the entrance in a large house next to the parking lot on her Google Map. We paid the entrance fee and were let into the incredibly long cave alone ahead of the local visitors. We had the cave completely to ourselves. What’s special are the “Colliflower” stalactites. In fact, they are everywhere. Unfortunately, the cave is illuminated in every color imaginable. As we were on our way back, a large class of female students came towards us; the cave was suddenly overcrowded and no longer so tranquil. We are very grateful to the cashier for letting us enjoy the cave all by ourselves.


When we stopped for a toilet rest, a group of young people who were in a very good mood pulled up next to us in the parking lot. They loved Globi and had discovered us somewhere else a while ago. There was a small celebration of joy that they had met us. Mojtaba, Hamed, Mohammad, Vahid, Mohammadmin, Asma, Leila, Masoomeh and Fatemeh spontaneously invite us to their weekend house for a dinner that turns into a party like the ones we celebrated as twenty-year-olds. Communication takes place mainly through the youngest of the three sisters, who describes herself as an English teacher. People ask questions, tell stories, explain things, eat, drink, dance and listen to loud music. Everyone sleeps on a huge carpet that is simply laid out in the large living room; we can sleep in our Globi! We still don’t make it to bed until midnight, which is very unusual for our habits. We really enjoyed the hospitality, even though we couldn’t contribute much. It’s a wonderful feeling to be accepted so naturally.

Technology Pitfalls

We’ve been driving around the world with Globi for the tenth year now, in hot countries and at high altitudes, but now we’re discovering something new. In the morning we hardly get any pressure on Globi’s boiler. We fear a leak. In extreme cases, we wouldn’t be able to drive at all! The Swiss garage suspects a leak right after the compressor. We’ll have it checked by a local mechanic. He doesn’t find anything and says everything is fine. We are unsettled. We find that at sea level and nighttime temperatures above zero degrees, the pressure builds at a virtually normal rate. In cold weather and at altitudes of over 2,000 meters above sea level, the pressure build-up takes up to 15 minutes. We’re not yet convinced that everything is okay because we spent the night in Bolivia at over 4,000 meters above sea level and it wasn’t exactly warm at night either. Maybe it’s the humidity. We don’t know and either way we are now sailing at sea level and always in warmer climes.

For a smile

In Kashan we take a taxi from our overnight place to the city center to the sights we would like to visit. After our sightseeing tour, we take a Snap, which is the Iranian version of Uber, back to Globi. As always, Gabi checks on her cell phone while driving to make sure the driver is taking the right route. While getting out of the care and paying all the money, not in terms of value but in terms of numbers, the cell phone is left on the back seat. The driver disappears and after about five minutes Gabi realizes it is missing. A drama. Nowadays, the cell phone is not just a telephone, but an electronic key and an information and photo database. It is gone and probably irretrievable. Gabi’s state of mind is beyond my ability to describe verbally. We don’t have the driver’s number because a friend organized one for us. We don’t have the friend’s phone number because we anyway don’t have any airtime to make calls – hopeless! Suddenly it occurs to us that the friend has liked us on Instagram, so we can send him a message. Unfortunately he is currently taking his afternoon nap. However, after what feels like an eternity, he gets in touch and says that he will take care of it. We are very happy, but not convinced that there is a real chance. After about another half hour he writes that he has reached the driver and that he has found the cell phone and will bring it back to us. We are not yet convinced, but we are confident. In fact, less than ten minutes later, the driver is standing in front of Globi with Gabi’s cell phone. Gabi’s outburst of happiness also exceeds my ability to express myself verbally. Of course, we give the driver money and other things so that he would do it again next time. The feeling of meeting such honest and lovely people in a country and a city is enormous.