Welcome to Iran!

Considering the urgency of my visa situation (see previous posts), our Iran travel advisor organised an authorisation number directly from the ministry – of what, I don't exactly know – in Tehran, to be presented in exchange for a visa on arrival at Imam Khomeini Airport.

I expected an ordeal, maybe a few hours' wait while they checked me out (we arrived at night); perhaps even a refusal. Nothing of the kind! I showed my number, paid €40, and the official placed the pre-prepared visa in my passport. "Welcome to Iran!" she said with a smile and a slight inclination of the head. "Enjoy your stay!" said the police officer who checked my passport.

But that was just the start of the pleasant experience. We took a tax – having agreed the €15 fare before getting in – the 60 kilometres to the house of our hosts, friends of our Paris-based Iranian friend, Masoud. This newly-wed couple waited up until we arrived at 3.30 a.m. (in other words, the middle of the night). They made us sandwiches and fruit drinks and started arranging a day trip for the next day...

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Be nice!