Hospitality in Iran is second to none. Which means it’s first. Iranians are by far and away the most welcoming and friendly nationality I have ever met. On every corner of every street in the cities of Iran you will be greeted with warm, genuine welcoming smiles. “Welcome to Iran” 100 people will say to you as you backpack in Tabriz. At the start of our fourth and final week in Iran, we arranged to meet up with Rasool, a friend of ours who we met in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Rasool offered to pick us up from our hotel in Esfahan and drive us up the mountains to Shahr-e Kord. Shahr-e Kord is a standard yet unknown Iranian town, which also happens to be Rasool’s home.
Rasool and his family are one of the nicest families you could ever wish to meet. We stayed two nights and two days only as we wanted to head south to Persepolis and Shiraz next, but Rasool says we could have stayed there “as long as you like” and he was serious. Most Iran visas only last 30 days however.
After the drive up through the mountains, we arrive in dreamy Shahr-e Kord. I previously wrote a guide to the top 7 sights when backpacking in Shahr-e Kord.
It’s the longest night of the year. We have came to Shahr-e Kord on the longest night of the year! In other words, more darkness less light.
And in Iran this gives an excuse to stay in, mingle and chat and even better EAT and DRINK all night. It really is a feast!!
On arrival at Rasool’s house we greet his family. Mohsen and Mohammed the brothers. Plus Rasool’s parents.
We are given an afternoon tea. You just get addicted to drinking tea in Iran. It’s not just tea though. The tea comes with a massive chunk of sweet sugar in it, adding to the flavour. On the side we have cake and an endless supply of nuts – monkey nuts, pistachios and sunflower seeds. Standard in “the Kord” (self titled nickname for Shahr-e Kord).
Dinner time comes and it’s more than a 3 course meal. You don’t go hungry in Iran. It’s never happened and the food gets better by the day.
Gorgeous fish dish with vegetables, endless rice, a soup to die for, jelly and plenty of vegetables. Plus yoghurt and bread. You just cannot go hungry in Iran!
After tea, the banquet continues – more tea arrives, then cake, then nuts, then watermelon! It’s a feast!
We also get to smoke Shisha. Alcohol and drugs are forbidden in Iran but Shisha is a common alternative.
If you thought afternoon tea, dinner, post dinner was enough – think again. On the longest night in Iran we also had a big supper.
Thanks forever to my friend Rasool and family for this wonderful evening and experience. It was truly a once in a lifetime.
Here are some videos from the Longest Night in Shahr-e Kord, Iran: