We continued on long mountain streets and high passes and lastly on a well highway to Qazvin. The streets in Iran are all in a quite good condition and not comparable with the streets in Georgia or Armenia. It is a leftover of the time of the Shah. The Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi ruled the country from 1941 till 1979. At the end of his term he was like a dictator. A lot of his political enemies got oppressed. His fate was his convergence to the west and the banishment of religious traditions from the daily life. Under the lead of the charismatic cleric Khomeini to Shah was overturned and left the country 1979. The lead of the country went to Khomeini. I proclaimed the Islamic Republic of Iran. It based on a very complicated political system where the highest cleric leader is place for a live time and is the most powerful person in the state. The from the people elected parliament and the president only have limited power. Legally the political system is based on the Shari’ah – the Islamic law. In the time of the Islamic Republic it was mandatory for women to wear a head scarf. Singing in public was prohibited and is still prohibited for women. A lot of new rules were changing the daily live. And political hardliners as Ahmadinejad were bringing the country in deep crises where the country hardly finds the way out.
We drove from Qazvin to the Elburz mountains which are in between of the Caspian Sea and the highlands or Iran. The highest mountain has an altitude of around 5700m. We did a night stop at the feet of the ruins of the Alamut castle. They sent from here in 1090 the first hit men – the assassins – for killing the enemy kings. We enjoyed the sunset in front of the Iranian highland and dreamed about 1001 nights.
Concerning the guide I should have been possible to cross the mountains here to the Caspian Sea but only with a jeep. And we wanted to see the Caspian Sea so we took the risk and figured out that even this road was quite good and also no problem for normal cars. We enjoyed the view over the mountains at an altitude of 3200m.
We had a relaxing day at the Caspian Sea. I was sitting since Germany more than 8.000km in front of the driving wheel so I needed to rest. We discovered a small beach where women and men went together to the water. This is normally prohibited in Iran. The beaches are separate for men and women. But here also women went with all their clothes to the water. We used this moment to take the swim shorts out. A nice feeling because wearing shorts in the public is not allowed. And we followed that rule.